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The State of Gujarat Vs. Natwarlal Pitamberdas Shah - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1978CriLJ1518; (1978)GLR1095
AppellantThe State of Gujarat
RespondentNatwarlal Pitamberdas Shah
Cases ReferredYadram v. State
Excerpt:
- - patel, that is the complainant, who had filed the complaint before the learned magistrate was not a food inspector on the date on which he took the sample of chilly powder and, therefore, prosecution of the accused was bad in law. patel, clearly showed that the complainant was not working as food inspector, but he was only looking after the work of issuing licences under the act. it was on this last statement made by patel that strong reliance was placed on behalf of the accused and it was submitted that this indicated that in spite of his appointment as food inspector patel did not take charge as food inspector. we fail to see how this statement goes to show that patel had not taken charge of his post as food inspector. we, therefore, fail to see how with reference to the above.....r.c. mankad, j1. this appeal by the state is directed against the order passed by the learned city sessions judge, ahmedabad, acquitting the respondent-accused of offence punishable under section 16(1)(a)(i) read with section 7(1) of the prevention of food adulteration act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as 'the act').2. the facts leading to this appeal are as follows, j. c. patel, who is a food inspector attached to the municipal corporation for the city of ahmedabad, purchased from the accused, who is running a shop in javahar chowk in maninagar area in the city of ahmedabad, 450 grams of chilly powder. it appears that the chilly powder was purchased in the presence of kantilai who is working as a peon and one shantilal. after following the necessary formalities laid down under the act......
Judgment:

R.C. Mankad, J

1. This appeal by the State is directed against the order passed by the learned City Sessions Judge, Ahmedabad, acquitting the respondent-accused of offence punishable under Section 16(1)(a)(i) read with Section 7(1) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as 'the Act').

2. The facts leading to this appeal are as follows, J. C. Patel, who is a Food Inspector attached to the Municipal Corporation for the city of Ahmedabad, purchased from the accused, who is running a shop in Javahar Chowk in Maninagar area in the city of Ahmedabad, 450 grams of chilly powder. It appears that the chilly powder was purchased in the presence of Kantilai who is working as a peon and one Shantilal. After following the necessary formalities laid down under the Act. sample of the chilly powder was sent for analysis to the Public Analyst for the City of Ahmedabad. The Public Analyst in his report gave an opinion that the chilly powder was adulterated. J. C. Patel, thereupon filed a complaint before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, Eighth Court, Ahmedabad alleging that the accused had committed offence punishable under Section 16(1)(a)(i) read with Section 7(1) of the Act. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The learned Magistrate, after recording evidence, convicted the accused for the offence punishable under Section 18(1)(a)(i) read with Section 7(1) of the Act and sentenced him to simple imprisonment for six months and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000 in default to suffer further simple imprisonment for six months.

3. Being aggrieved by the said order of conviction and sentence, the accused went in appeal before the City Sessions Court at Ahmedabad. It was contended before the learned City Sessions Judge who heard the appeal that J. C. Patel, that is the complainant, who had filed the complaint before the learned Magistrate was not a Food Inspector on the date on which he took the sample of chilly powder and, therefore, prosecution of the accused was bad in law. The learned Judge proceeded to decide this contention raised on behalf of the accused on the basis that there was no dispute that complainant Patel did not possess any of the qualifications referred to in Clauses (i) to (iv) of Rule 8 of the Rules framed under the Act. On appreciation of evidence on record, the learned Judge found that the complainant took charge and commenced to work as Food Inspector three months prior to the date on which P. W. 2 Kantilal gave his evidence before the learned Magistrate. In the view of the learned Judge, though the complainant was appointed as Food Inspector in 1966, he was not working as such and he therefore, held that the complainant was not a Food Inspector within the meaning of proviso to the said Rule 8. The learned Judge, therefore, came to the conclusion that the complainant was not competent to take sample of chilly powder for analysis and he was also not competent to set the law into motion by launching prosecution against the accused. In this view of the matter, the learned Judge held that the order of conviction and sentence passed by the learned Magistrate was wrong. He, therefore, allow-ed the appeal filed by the accused and acquitted him. In the view which he took, the learned Judge did not consider it necessary to decide other contentions which were raised by the accused before him. It is this order of acquittal which is challenged by the State before us in this appeal.

4. Mr. J. U. Mehta, learned Public prosecutor appearing for the State submitted that the learned Judge was not right in proceeding on the assumption that there was no dispute that complainant Patel did not possess the prescribed qualifications to work as Food Inspector. Patel was Food Inspector and he was validly appointed as such on October 6, 1966. Mr, Mehta submitted that in his deposition recorded by the learned Magistrate, Patel had deposed that he was appointed as Food Inspector and his appointment was gazetted on October 6, 1966. Mr. Mehta pointed out that nothing has been brought out in the cross-examination of Patel which would indicate that his appointment was not valid. Under these circumstances, submitted Mr. Mehta, the the learned Magistrate was right in taking aid of Section 114(e) of the Indian Evidence Act and holding that Patel was validly appointed as Food Inspector. Mr. Mehta submitted that the finding of the learned Judge that Patel did not possess necessary qualifications for being appointed as Food Inspector and that his appointment as Food Inspector was not valid is not supported by any evidence on record. Mr. B. C. Patel, learned Advocate appearing for the respondent-accused, on the other hand, submitted that though Patel had stated that he was appointed as Food Inspector on October 6, 1966, he did not take charge as Food Inspector till July 1974. In this connection, he invited our attention to the deposition of P. W. 2 Kantilal who had stated to the effect that he was working as peon under the complainant Patel for the last three months since the date he took charge, Mr. Patel further submitted that the complainant had admitted that on October 6, 1966, he was working as Sanitary Inspector and was looking after the work of issuing licences under the Act. This admission, submitted Mr. Patel, clearly showed that the complainant was not working as Food Inspector, but he was only looking after the work of issuing licences under the Act.

MARCH 22, 1978.

5. Complainant Patel has deposed that he was appointed as Food Inspector and his appointment was notified in the Government Gazette published on October 6, 1966. In his cross-examination also, he stated that ha was Food Inspector since October 6, 1966. In reply to a question put in his cross-examination, he stated that on October 6, 1966, the date on which he was appointed as Food Inspector he was working as Sanitary Inspector and he was also given the work of issuing licences under the Act. It was on this last statement made by Patel that strong reliance was placed on behalf of the accused and it was submitted that this indicated that in spite of his appointment as Food Inspector Patel did not take charge as Food Inspector. We fail to see how this statement goes to show that Patel had not taken charge of his post as Food Inspector. It only shows that on the date he was appointed as Food Inspector he was working as Sanitary Inspector and also looking after the work of issuing licences under the Act. There is no reason to disbelieve Patel's statement that he is Food Inspector since October 6, 1966. No question has been put to him that he did not take charge of of his office as Food Inspector. We also do not understand as to how P. W. 2 Kantilal's statement to the effect that he was working under Patel for the last three months since the time he took charge of his post, goes to show that though Patel was appointed as Food Inspector on October 6, 1966, he took charge of his office only three months prior to the date on which deposition of P. W. 2 Kantilal was recorded, which was on October 17, 1974. As pointed cut above, no question has been put to Patel as to when he took charge of his appointment as Food Inspector. We, therefore, fail to see how with reference to the above statement, made by P. W. 2 Kantilal, who is a peon working under Patel, it can be held that Patel did not take charge as Food Inspector till July 1974. We were told that city of Ahmedabad is divided into different zones and each zone is put under a Food Inspector. It is likely that Patel was posted as Food Inspector in the zone in which P. W. 2 Kantilal was working three months prior to the date on which he gave deposition. However, the mere fact that Kantilal was working under Patel for the last three months since the date he took charge, cannot lead UP to the conclusion that Patel did not take charge of his appointment as Food Inspector till July 1974. As observed above, we see no reason to reject Patel's statement that he has been working as Food Inspector since October 6, 1966. Nothing has been brought out in his cross-examination nor is there anything on record which would indicate that Patel does not possess necessary qualifications to act as Food Inspector. The learned Judge's observation to the effect that there was no dispute that Patel did not possess qualifications referred to in clauses (i) to (iv) of Rule 8 does not seem to be correct. Official acts must be deemed to have been done according to law. Therefore, it must be deemed unless contrary is proved that Patel possessed necessary qualifications for being appointed as Food Inspector. As pointed out above, he was appointed as Food Inspector on October 6, 1966 and he worked as such from that date. We do not agree with the learned Judge that in spite of his appointment as Food Inspector on October 6, 1966, he did not take charge of his office until July 1974. We, therefore, do not find any infirmity in the appointment of Patel as Food Inspector. He was validly appointed as Food Inspector and he worked as such from October 6, 1966.

6. We further find that in view of the admitted position that Patel was appointed as Food Inspector on October 6, 1966, his appointment as Food Inspector is valid under the proviso to Rule 8 which prescribes qualifications of Food Inspector. Rule 8 which has been reproduced in the judgment of the learned Judge reads as under:

A person shall not be qualified for appointment as Food Inspector, unless, he

(i) is a medical officer in charge of the health administration of a local area; or

(ii) is a Graduate or a Licentiate in Medicine and has received at least one month's training in food inspection and sampling work approved for the purpose by the Central or the State Government;

(iii) is a qualified Sanitary Inspector having an experience as such for a minimum period of one year and has received at least three months' training in food inspection and sampling work in any of the laboratories referred to in Clause (i) of Rule 6; or (iv) is a Graduate in Science with Chemistry as one of the subjects or a graduate in Agriculture, Food Technology or Dairy Technology, and has received at least three months' training in food inspection and sampling work in any of the laboratories referred to in Clause (i) of Rule 6;

Provided that a person who is a Food Inspector on the date of the commencement of the Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Rules, 1968, may continue to hold office as such subject to the terms and conditions of service applicable to him, even though he does not fulfil the qualifications laid down in Clauses (i) to (iv).

It will be seen that under the proviso, a person who is a Food Inspector on the date of the commencement of the Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Rules, 1968, continues to hold the office as such subject to the terms and conditions of service applicable to him even though he does not fulfil the qualifications laid down in Clauses (i) to (iv) of the said Rule. Prevention of Food Adulteration (Amendment) Rules, 1968, came into force on July 8, 1968. As pointed out above, Patel was appointed as Food Inspector in October 1966. He was Food Inspector on the date on which the said Rules came into force. It further appears that he continued to hold the office as Food Inspector after coming into force of the said Rules. Therefore, there cannot be any doubt that Patel whose initial appointment as Food Inspector was valid continued to hold the office as Food Inspector after the said Rules came into force. It, therefore, cannot be urged that Patel was not Food Inspector within the meaning of said Rule 8. The learned Judge was, therefore, wrong in holding that Patel was not Food Inspector on the date he took sample of chilly powder from the accused.

7. In the view, which we are taking, the prosecution launched by Patel cannot be held to be bad in law. It is not disputed that if Patel is held to be a Food Inspector, he had authority to launch prosecution under the Act. The only dispute which was raised was that as he was not a Food Inspector within the meaning of Rule 8, the proceedings taken by him were vitiated. In other words, the contention which was raised was that as Patel could not act as Food Inspector, he could not validly initiate prosecution against the accused and consequently the accused cannot be convicted of the offence under Section 16(1)(a)(i) read with Section 7(1) of the Act. However, since we are holding that Patel was Food Inspector at the time when, he took sample of chilly powder from the accused and also when he launched prosecution against the accused, the above ground urged on behalf of the accused fails.

8. Once having found that complainant Patel was a Food Inspector both at the time when he took sample of chilly powder as also when he launched prosecution, ordinarily we would not have considered! it necessary to deal with and decide the question whether any defect or irregularity in the appointment of Patel as Food Inspector would necessarily render the prosecution launched by him bad in law. The learned Judge, as pointed out above, has held that proceedings initiated by Patel are vitiated inasmuch as his appointment as Food Inspector was defective or invalid. In view of our finding that Patel was Food Inspector at the relevant time, the decision of the learned Judge cannot be upheld. We are, however, of the opinion that having regard to the importance of the question whether prosecution launched by a Food Inspector whose appointment is defective or invalid is bad in law, we do not consider proper to leave this question open or undecided. If the view taken by the learned Judge, which in our opinion is patently wrong, is allowed to stand, many proceedings initiated by a Food Inspector whose appointment is defective or invalid are likely to be held to be bad in law. Therefore, in order to set at rest the controversy, we proceed to decide the question whether the prosecution launched by Patel was bad in law on the assumption that his appointment as Food Inspector was defective or invalid. In order to decide this question, it is necessary to read some of the provisions of the Act. Section 2(viii) defines the expression 'local authority' and this definition so far as is relevant reads as under:

'Local authority' means in the ease of

(1) a local area which is

(a) a municipality, the municipal board or municipal corporation.XX XX XX XX

Section 9 of the Act empowers the Central Government or the State Government to appoint such persons as it thinks fit, having the prescribed qualifications to be Food Inspector for such local areas as may be assigned to them by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be. Provisos to Sub-section (1) and Sub-section (2) of Section 9 are not relevant for our purpose. Section 10 deals with the powers of the Food Inspectors. The relevant provisions of the said section read as under:

10 (1) A Food Inspector shall have power-

(a) to take samples of any article of food from-

(i) any person selling such article; (ii) any person who is in the course of conveying, delivering or preparing to deliver such article to a purchaser or consignee;

(iii) a consignee after delivery of any such article to him; and

(b) to send such sample for analysis to the public analyst for the local area within which such sample has been taken;

(c) with the previous approval of the health officer having jurisdiction in the local area concerned, or with the previous approval of the Food (Health) Authority, to prohibit the sale of any article of food in the interest of Public Health.

(2) Any food inspector may enter and inspect any place where any article of food is manufactured, stored or exposed for sale and take samples of such articles of food for analysis.

(3) Where any sample is taken under Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) or Sub-section (2), its cost calculated at the rate at which the article is usually sold to the public shall be paid to the person from whom it is taken.

(4) If any article intended for food appears to any food inspector to be adulterated or misbranded, he may seize and carry away or keep in the safe custody of the vendor such article in order that it may be dealt with as hereinafter provided:

Provided that where the food Inspector keeps such article in the safe custody of the vendor he may require the vendor to execute a bond for a sum of money equal to the value of such article with one or more sureties as the Food Inspector deems fit and the vendor shall execute the bond accordingly.

Section 11 of the Act prescribes the procedure to be followed by the Food Inspector. Section 12 amongst other things lays down that nothing contained in the Act shall be held to prevent a purchaser of any article of food other than a Food Inspector from having such article analysed by the public analyst on payment of such lees as may be prescribed and from receiving from the public analyst a report of his analysis. Provisos to Section 12 are not relevant for our purpose. Section 20 of the Act which is an important section 90 far as the question raised before us is concerned, reads as under:

20. (1) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except by, or with the written consent of the Central Government or the State Government or a local authority or a person authorised in this behalf, by general or special order, by the Central Government or the State Government or a local authority:

Provided that a prosecution for an offence under this Act may be instituted by a purchaser referred to in Section 12, if he produces in court a copy of the report of the public analyst along with the complaint.

(2) No court inferior to that of a Presidency Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class shall try an offence under this Act.

9. It will be seen that Section 20 provides that no prosecution for the offence under the Act shall be instituted except by or with the written consent of the Central Government or the State Government or a local authority, or a person authorised in this behalf by general or special order by the Central Government or the State Government or a local authority. Municipal Corporation is a local authority as specified under Section 2(viii) which can institute prosecution under the Act or authorise a person to launch prosecution, or prosecution may be instituted with the written consent of the Corporation or the person authorised by it. It is not in dispute before us that the complainant Patel is duly authorised by the Municipal Corporation for the city of Ahmedabad to launch prosecution under Section 20 of the Act. The Supreme Court has in K. C. Agarwal v. Delhi Administration, in Criminal Appeal No. 100 of 1966 decided on 27-3-69 held that a complaint filed by one of the officers of a local authority at the instance of that authority is in law a complaint instituted by that local authority. Therefore, when the complaint in the present case has been , filed by complainant Patel on the authority of the Municipal Corporation, the complaint must be held to have been instituted by the Municipal Corporation itself, (vide Dhian Singh v. Municipal Board, Saharanpur : 1970CriLJ492 ).

10. The validity or otherwise of the complainant's appointment as Food Inspector is not at all relevant for the purpose of deciding 20 is validly launched (sic). Even assuming for the sake of argument that Patel's appointment as Food Inspector is invalid or defective, the prosecution launched by him would not necessarily be illegal, Valid appointment as Food Inspector is not a pre-requisite for valid institution of prosecution under Section 20. What we have to see is whether the conditions laid down by Section 20 are satisfied. If these conditions are satisfied, the prosecution launched must be held to be valid, irrespective of the fact whether or not appointment of Patel as Food Inspector was valid. Prosecution would not be ex facie invalid as sought to be urged on behalf of the accused even if appointment of Patel as Food Inspector is not valid. In the present case it is not disputed that Patel was duly authorised to launch prosecution under Section 20 of the Act on behalf of the Municipal Corporation for the City of Ahmedabad. Therefore, in our opinion, validity of the prosecution launched by him cannot be challenged.

11. It was submitted on behalf of the accused that Food Inspector is appointed for taking samples of any article of food and to send such samples for analysis to the Public Analyst and in case the sample was found to be adulterated to launch prosecution under Section 20 of the Act. It was contended that the power which the Food Inspector derives for launching prosecution is on account of the fact that he is a Food Inspector. Therefore, once it is shown that the person who launches prosecution is not validly appointed as Food Inspector all the steps taken by him as Food Inspector must be held to be illegal and invalid. We do not agree with this proposition. The Food Inspector as is seen from reading Section 10 is not merely appointed for taking samples, sending them to Public Analyst and launching prosecution as sought to be urged on behalf of the accused. Power to take samples and to send them for analysis to the Public Analyst is one of the powers conferred on the Food Inspector and not the only power. Under Sub-section (4) of Section 10 Food Inspector has also power to seize any food article if he finds the said article to be adulterated or misbrand-ed. Further, it is not correct to say that it is the Food Inspector who is conferred with the power of launching prosecution under the provisions of the Act. As pointed out above, any person authorised by the Municipal Corporation or the Central Government, State Government under Section 20 can launch prosecution for the offences under the Act. The power to launch prosecution is not confined to Food Inspector as urged on behalf of the accused. Food Inspector can launch prosecution under Section 20, only if he is authorised to do so under Section 20. As a matter of fact, a person who is authorised to launch prosecution under Section 20, need not be a Food Inspector. It is by virtue of the authority conferred under Section 20 by the local authority Central Government or the State Government that Food Inspector or any other person gets authority to launch prosecution for the offences under the Act. Therefore, whether a person who is duly authorised to launch prosecution under Section 20 of the Act is or is not validly appointed as Food Inspector, is an entirely irrelevant factor. In our opinion, prosecution will not fail even if appointment of complainant Patel as Food Inspector is invalid.

12. The view which we have taken above finds support from the decision of the Supreme Court in Dhian Singh v. Saharanpur Municipality 1970 Cri LJ 492 (supra). In that case it was urged on behalf of the accused that a permission under Section 20 of the Act to file a complaint is a condition precedent for validly instituting a complaint under the provisions of the Act. The fulfilment of that condition must be satisfactorily proved by the complainant before a Court can entertain the complaint. It was urged that without such a proof, the Court will have no jurisdiction to try the case, In support of the above contention, the learned Counsel for the accused sought to take assistance from the decision of the Judicial Committee in Gokulchand Dwarkadas v. The King and Madan Mohan Singh v. State of U.P. : AIR1954SC637 Both these decisions deal with the question of the validity of sanction given for the institution of certain criminal proceedings. The provisions under which sanction was sought in those cases required the sanctioning authority to apply its mind and find out whether there was any justification for instituting the prosecution. The Judicial Committee as well as the Supreme Court have laid down that in such cases, the Court must be satisfied either from the order of sanction or from the other evidence that all the relevant facts had been placed before the sanctioning authority and that authority had granted the sanction after applying its mind to those facts. The Supreme Court observed that the ratio of those decisions had no bearing on the facts of the case before it. Under Section 20 of the Act no question of applying one's mind to the facts of the case before the institution of the complaint arises as the ' authority to be conferred under that provision can be conferred long before a particular offence has taken place. It is a conferment of an authority to institute a particular case or even a class of cases. That section merely prescribes that persons or authorities designated in that section are alone competent to file complaint under the statute. Therefore, as observed by the Supreme Court, the Municipal Corporation of city of Ahmedabad or the person authorised by it was competent to file complaint under the Act. As already pointed out above, complainant Patel was duly authorised to file complaint under the Act. That being so the prosecution launched by him cannot be held to be bad in law even if his appointment as Food Inspector is defective or invalid.

13. In Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Darshan Lal Sharma 1973 FAC 356, the High Court of Delhi made the following observations which are relevant for our purpose.

After Shri Jamna Pershad ceased to have any financial interest in the manufacture or sale of articles of food there was no legal bar to his acting as Food Inspector. The view taken by the learned Additional Sessions Judge does not appear to be correct but even if there was any defect in the appointment of the Food Inspector the purchase of sweets made by him for purposes of analysis could be regarded to be purchase by a person other than a Food Inspector in terms of Section 12 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. There was no legal bar to prosecution being instituted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi or by the person authorised in this behalf by a general or special order of that authority. The proviso to Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act only enables such a purchaser to institute prosecution so that he may not be without remedy if prosecution is not instituted by the authorities mentioned in Sub-section (1) of that section.

In a later decision in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Chandu Lal 1974 FAC 507, Delhi High Court referred to the above observations made in the case of Darshan Lal Sharma, (supra) and held that even assuming that there was any irregularity in the appointment of Sethi as a Food Inspector the purchase made by him was covered by the provisions of Section 12 of the Act and there was no illegality in the prosecution instituted on the complaint of the Assistant Municipal prosecutor. It was further observed that the purchase made by the Food Inspector in that case was covered by the provisions of Section 12 of the Act.

14. We fully agree with the view taken by the High Court of Delhi. As held by the High Court of Delhi, in the present case even if appointment of Pate] as Food Inspector was defective or invalid, there was no legal bar to the prosecution being instituted by the Municipal Corporation of the City of Ahmedabad or by any person authorised in that behalf by a general or special order of that authority. It is not urged in the present case that there was any legal defect in taking of the sample or the institution of prosecution against the accused which could vitiate the proceedings or which may have caused prejudice to the accused.

15. Mr. B. C. Patel, learned Advocate for the accused placed strong reliance on a decision of Allahabad High Court in Shabbir Abdul Rehman v. State : AIR1969All478 . It may be mentioned here that the learned Judge in the instant case in arriving at the conclusion which he did, had placed reliance on this decision of the Allahabad High Court in preference to the decision of the Delhi High Court referred to above. Relying on this decision of the Allahabad High Court, Mr. Patel urged that the prosecution on the basis of analysis of sample obtained by the person who was not validly appointed as Food Inspector is misconceived and not sustainable in law. In the case before the Allahabad High Court, one I. P. Apan, Food Inspector of Municipal Board Chandausi purchased 3/4th seer of buffalo milk from the accused in that case on Aug. 8, 1963, and after undergoing the necessary (sic) sent a sample of the same for examination of the public Analyst, The public Analyst analysed the sample and found it deficient in fat contents by about 10 per cent and in non-fatty solids by about 16 per cent. Consequently the accused was prosecuted on a complaint launched by the Medical Officer of the Municipal Board and convicted and sentenced for offence under Section 16 read with Section 7 of the Act. The learned Single Judge of the Allahabad High Court found that Apan did not possess any diploma recognised by the U. P. Government for being appointed as Sanitary Inspector. The Government had, however, issued G. O, on 1-11-1962 in which it permitted unqualified Sanitary Inspectors to continue to work as Sanitary Inspectors subject to their being successful in the special examination arranged by the Government in that behalf. Apan, therefore, continued to act as Sanitary Inspector but he passed the qualifying examination in the month of November, 1963. He had taken the sample on 8th August, 1963 and although he was acting as a Sanitary Inspector he admittedly did not possess the qualification prescribed by the State Government for appointment of Sanitary Inspectors. That qualification came to be possessed by him when he passed the examination in November 1963. The learned Single Judge, therefore, held that it was obvious that he was not a Food Inspector within the meaning of Section 9 of the Act and the G. O. dated 1-11-1962 which permitted him to act as Sanitary Inspector could not confer on him the powers of a Food Inspector as required under the Act. The learned single Judge was, therefore, of the opinion that Apan had no authority as Food Inspector to take a sample of the milk from the accused and his prosecution on the basis of the analysis of that sample was misconceived and not sustainable in law. In this view of the matter, he set aside the conviction and sentence of the accused. With respect, we do not agree with the view taken by the learned Single Judge of the Allahabad High Court. As observed above, even assuming that the person who launched the prosecution does not possess the qualifications as Food Inspector, or that he is not validly appointed as Food Inspector, the prosecution launched by him cannot be held to be misconceived and unsustainable in law. In order to find out whether the prosecution launched under the Act is valid or not, all that we have to see is whether the conditions laid down in Section 20 of the Act are satisfied. If these conditions are satisfied, the prosecution would be valid. It may be pointed out that it was brought to our notice that in a Division Bench decision of the Allahabad High Court in Yadram v. State (1968) All WR (HC) 675 (677) it was held that where sample sold to the Food Inspector is legally proved to be adulterated, mere fact that the Food Inspector had no proper official status because of some defect in the order of his appointment, is immaterial. However, unfortunately (1968) All WR (HC) 675 was not made available to us and, therefore, we have not been able to properly appreciate the ratio of that decision. We, however, agree with the view where the sample sold to the Food Inspector is legally proved to be adulterated, mere fact that Food Inspector had no proper official status because of some defect in the order of his appointment is immaterial. We, therefore, hold that even if complainant Patel's appointment as Food Inspector was not valid, or that he had not taken the charge as Food Inspector or that there was some defect in his appointment or functioning as Food Inspector, prosecution launched by him under Section 20 cannot be held to be invalid. As already observed above, he was duly authorised to launch prosecution and, therefore, prosecution launched by him under Section 20 of the Act cannot be held to be bad in law.

16. We also do not agree with the view taken by the learned Judge that once the complainant Patel purported to act as Food Inspector, the purchase made by him from the accused would not be covered by Section 12 of the Act. It is not disputed that Patel had purchased 450 grams of chilly powder from the accused, which was found to be adulterated by the Public Analyst. Therefore, in our opinion, as purchaser, Patel had authority to launch prosecution against the accused. In our opinion, therefore, even as purchaser under Section 12 of the Act, complainant Patel had authority to launch prosecution against the accused.

17. In our view, therefore, the learned Sessions Judge has misdirected himself both on question of law and in appreciating evidence before him and as a result arrived at conclusions which are wholly unreasonable and unsupportable. It is. therefore, the duty of this Court to interfere with the order of acquittal passed by him.

18. In the result, we allow this appeal and set aside the order of acquittal passed by the learned Judge. We, however, find that the learned Judge has not dealt with other points raised before him by the accused. It is, therefore, necessary to remand the case to him for deciding other points raised before him.

19. We, therefore, remand the case to him to decide the same in accordance with law in light of the observations made above. Bailable warrant in a sum of Rs. 1000 (one thousand) to be issued against the accused to appear before the learned City Sessions Judge, Ahmedabad.

20. Order accordingly.


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