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Bhanwar Lal Vs. the State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFood Adulteration
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Criminal Revision No. (sic)0 of 1977
Judge
Reported in1982WLN(UC)563
AppellantBhanwar Lal
RespondentThe State of Rajasthan
Cases Referred and Surja Ram v. State of Rajas
Excerpt:
.....to send the petitioner to jail again.;the ends of justice would be met if thes entence of six months' rigorous imprisonment awarded to the petitioner is reduced to a term undergone by him and the amount of fine imposed on him in addition thereto is reduced to a sum of rs 750/-.;revision partly allowed. - - his only contention was that the sentence passed against the petitioner was highly excessive and the petitioner may be released on probation of good conduct. there is reliable evidence of hari kishan, pw 1, food inspector, murli dhar, pw 2 and ram gopal pw 3 on the record to prove that the petitioner used to sell milk and sweets at his shop and that a sample of the cow's milk was taken from him by the food inspector for rs. apart from this it was further urged that the matter..........nonfat. hence, i am of the view that the ends of justice would be met if the sentence of six months' rigorous imprisonment awarded to the petitioner is reduced to a term undergone by him and the amount, of fine imposed on him in addition there to is reduced to a sum of rs. 750/-.6. the result is that i partly accept the revision petition filed by bhanwar lal and while maintaining his conviction under section 7 read with section 16(1)(a) of the prevention of food adulteration act. reduce the substantive sentence of six months' rigorous imprisonment to a term of rigorous imprisonment already undergone by him. i further reduce the fine of rs. 1000/-imposed on him to a sum of rs. 750/-in default of payment of fine the petitioner shall undergo rigorous, imprisonment for one month only......
Judgment:

Kalyan Dutta Sharma, C.J.

1. This is an application in revision filed by Bhanwarlal against the judgment of, the Sessions Judge, Merta dated January, 51977, in Criminal Appeal No. 160 of 1976, by which he conviction and sentences of the petitioner under Section 7 read with section 16(1)(a) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (here in after referred to as the (Act) wee upheld. It will not be out of place to mention that the petitioner was prosecuted for the aforesaid offece in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagour, and was convicted and sentenced of undergo rigorous imprisonment fors ix months and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/-, in default of payment of find to further suffer rigorous imprisonment for 1 1/2 months.

2. The Prosecution case against the Petitioner was as follows:--On October 9, 1975, Food Inspector Hari Kishan Bishnoi PW 1 went to the petitioner's shop situated at Gudari Bazar. Deedwana, and purees d 660 MMs of cow's milk for Rs. 1.25 p. from the petitioner for the purpose of analysis after giving a prescribed notice in Form No. VI. The quantity of milk purchased from the petitioner was equally divided into three parts and each Part was filled in one dry clean bottle with 18 drops of formalin added to it. Thereafter the three bottles were duly sealed and a Panchama Ex. P. 3 to the same effect was preyed On bottle along with Form No. VI was given to the petitioner and pother sealed bottle was sent to the Public Analyst at Jaipur for analysis along with Form No. VII (Ex. P. 4) and a separate copy thereof with the specimen seal impression also was sent by registered him. The Public Analyst analysed the sample of the cow milk sent to him and declared the result of the analysis as follows:--

Fat contents 2.3%

Solids non fat 6.8%

Cane Sugar and

Starch Nil.

The Public Analyst opined that the sample was adulterated by reason of its containing about 19% of added water and abstraction of about 19% of original fats. Accordingly, the Public Analyst sent his report to the Food Inspector who then, obtained sanction for prosecution of the petitioner and eventually filed complaint against him in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Nagaur, under Section 7 read with Section 16(1)(a) of the Act The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nagaur, tried the petitioner for the said offence, found him guilty thereof and convicted and sentenced him in the manner stated above. Aggrieved by his conviction & sentences, the petitioner preferred an appeal in the court of the Sessons Judge, Merta who, as stated above, dismissed the appeal and confirmed the conviction and the sentences. As against his judgment of the learned Sessions Judge Merta, the petitioner has now come up in revision to this Court. At the time of admission of the revision petition Mr. S.R. Singhi, learned Counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the sentences awarded to the petitioner by the Chief Judicial Magistrate and confirmed by the Sessions Judge were highly severe in the circumstances of the case and that there were reasonable ground to justify reduction thereof. It was further urged by him that the petitioner was not heard on the question of sentence and so the revision petition may be admitted on the question of severity of the sentences. Accordingly, the revision petition was admitted on January 12, 1977. At the time of final arguments on the revision petition also Mr. S.R. Singhi, did not challenge the conviction of the petitioner under Section 7 read with Section 16(1)(a) of the Act. His only contention was that the sentence passed against the petitioner was highly excessive and the petitioner may be released on probation of good conduct. However, I perused the record with a view to ascertaining whether the petitioner was rightly convicted by the trial court under Section 7 read with Section 16(1)(a) of the Act Upon careful review of the entire evidence on the record I have come to the conclusion that the prosecution has succeeded in proving its case beyond reasonable doubt against the petitioner. There is reliable evidence of Hari Kishan, PW 1, Food Inspector, Murli Dhar, PW 2 and Ram Gopal PW 3 on the record to prove that the petitioner used to sell milk and sweets at his shop and that a sample of the cow's milk was taken from him by the Food Inspector for Rs. 1.25 p for analysis. It is further proved by the testimonies of these witnesses that the quantity of milk purchased from the petitioner was divided into three equal parts & each part was filled in a dry clean bottle which was later on duly sealed. The prosecution has further produced the report of the Public Analyst which reveals that the sample of milk sent to him in a sealed bottle by the Food Inspector was analysed and found adulterated by reason of 19% of water added to it. The plea set up by the petitioner in the trial court was rightly discarded by both the courts below. Consequently, I find no substantial ground for interference with the finding of both the courts below as to the guilt of the petitioner under Section 7 read with Section 16(1)(a) of the Act.

3. As regards the sentences, the contentions of the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that a lenient view may be taken because it is a case of adding water to the milk which cannot be said to be injurious to public health. Apart from this it was further urged that the matter pertains to the year 1975 & since then the petitioner has been facing criminal proceedings and the ends of justice would be met if he is released on probation of good conduct. In support of his above contention, Mr. Singhi, learned Counsel for the petitioner, placed reliance on Ghanshyam Das v. Delhi Municipality (1) AIR 1975 S.C. 855 and Surja Ram v. State of Rajas than (2) 1976 Raj. Cr. L.R.

4. The Public Prosecutor, on the other hand, urged that there are no mitigating circumstances to lessen the severity of the crime, especially when minimum sentence prescribed under the Act has been awarded to the petitioner.

5. I have considered the rival contentions mentioned above It is no doubt true that the matter pertains to the year 1975 as the sample of cow's milk was taken by Food Inspector from the petitioner on October 9, 1975 Since then the petitioner had to face criminal proceedings and he has already served out sentence of rigorous imprisonment for a period of more than 20 months. The petitioner is not a previous convict for a similar offence, in this state of affairs, I am of the opinion, that it would not be proper to send the petitioner to jail again. However. I subscribe to the contention of the learned Public Prosecutor that it is not a fit case in which benefit of the provisions of Section 3 or 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act should be given to the petitioner, because, the cow's milk which the petitioner was found selling had been found deficient in fat contents as well as solids nonfat. Hence, I am of the view that the ends of justice would be met if the sentence of six months' rigorous imprisonment awarded to the petitioner is reduced to a term undergone by him and the amount, of fine imposed on him in addition there to is reduced to a sum of Rs. 750/-.

6. The result is that I partly accept the revision petition filed by Bhanwar Lal and while maintaining his conviction under Section 7 read with Section 16(1)(a) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. reduce the substantive sentence of six months' rigorous imprisonment to a term of rigorous imprisonment already undergone by him. I further reduce the fine of Rs. 1000/-imposed on him to a sum of Rs. 750/-in default of payment of fine the petitioner shall undergo rigorous, imprisonment for one month only. The petitioner is on bail. He need not surrender to his bail bonds which are hereby cancelled. Two months' time is given to the petitioner to deposit the amount of the fine in the trial court, failing which necessary action will be taken against him in 'accordance with law.


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