Jagat Narayan, C.J.
1. This is an appeal by the Municipal Council, Jaipur, against the order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Jaipur City, acquitting Sewan Das, respondent, of an offence under Section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954. The respondent was convicted by the Magistrate and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment , for two years and to pay a fine of Es. 2,000/- only. He had earlier been convicted of the same offence and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 200/- only.
2. On 3-10-1963 the Food Inspector called upon the respondent, who is a milk vendor, to sell milk to him. The Food Inspector paid 37 Paise as price of the milk. He then filled this milk in 3 bottles and sent one of them for analysis to the Chief Public Analyst. This milk was found to be adulterated by reason of its containing about 13% of added water.
3. The Food Inspector was authorised by a general order of the Municipal Council, Jaipur, under Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 to institute prosecutions for offences under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, and the Rules made thereunder. This general order is published in the Rajasthan Rajpatra dated 12-9-1963, at page 109 under Notification No. D.972 H. S. dated Jaipur July 24, 1963. Amongst the persons authorised was Shri Abhinandan Prasad Goyal, Food Inspector, on whose complaint the respondent was prosecuted. The learned Magistrate who tried the case was satisfied that the sample of milk sent to the Public Analyst was duly purchased from the respondent and this was not disputed before the learned Additional Sessions Judge. This is sufficiently proved by the evidence on record.
4. On behalf of the respondent it was contended before the learned Magistrate that the Food Inspector could not be authorised by the Municipal Council by a general order to institute prosecutions. This contention was overruled by him, but it prevailed with the learned Additional Sessions Judge. He relied on the following two decisions:--
Trivandrum City Corporation v. Arunachalam, AIR 1960 Ker 356, and K. G. Anjaneyulu v. Puri Municipality, AIR 1963 Orissa 158.
His attention was not drawn to the decision in State of Gujarat v. Gandhi Jayantilal Sankalchand, 1964-5 Guj LR 696 = (1966 Cri LJ 475). The view taken in the Gujarat case was also taken by the Kerala High Court in a later decision in M. H. O. & F. Inspector v. A. T. Estate Co., AIR 1961 Ker 84. This case was specifically cited before the learned Additional Sessions Judge.
5. Section 20(1) of the Act runs as follows:--
'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.'
6. It clearly empowers a local authority to authorise a person by a general order to institute a prosecution by his consent in writing.
7. It is not possible to give the interpretation which the learned Additional Sessions Judge has put on the above provision namely that in every case prosecution should be instituted by a special order of the local authority. The word 'general' would in that case become superfluous and meaningless.
8. It appears that the learned Additional Sessions Judge was greatly influenced by the decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Gour Chandra v. Public Prosecutor, Cuttack, AIR 1963 SC 1198. There the wordings of. Section 198-B (3) (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code came up for interpretation. It runs as follows:--
'No complaint under Sub-section (1) shall be made by the Public Prosecutor except with the previous sanction;
(a) in the case of the President or the Vice-President or the Governor of a State, of any Secretary to the Government authorised by him in this behalf:'
The above provision does not empower the authorities concerned to make a general order. The ruling in the Supreme Court case is therefore not applicable to the present case where the wordings of Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, specifically empower authorisation by a general order.
8A. We accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the acquittal and convict the respondent under Section 7/16(2) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954. The minimum sentence prescribed for a subsequent offence is rigorous imprisonment for one year and a fine of Rs. 2,000/-. We sentence the respondent to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 2,000/- only.
9. The respondent is not present today. The District Magistrate, Jaipur, shall take necessary steps for the arrest of the accused to undergo the sentence passed by this Court.