Gopal Kishan Sharma, J.
1. This revision by petitioner Mangaram is directed against the judgment dated 27th September, 1978, passed by the Sessions Judge, Alwar, upholding the conviction and the sentence of the petitioner under Section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act(in short, here in after, 'the Act)'. The petitioner was sentenced to 6 months' SI and a fine of Rs. 100/- in default of payment of fine, to further undergo 2 months' SI.
2. The petitioner was prosecuted under Section 7/16 of the Act in the court of Munsif & Judicial Magistrate, Alwar. After the trial he was found guilty of the charge levelled against him, and was sentenced by the learned Magistrate as mentioned above. The petitioner then preferred an appeal which was dismissed by the learned Sessions Judge, maintaining the conviction and the sentence under Section 7/16 of the Act.
3. Mr. Rathore did not argue the case on merits. The only point argued by him was regarding taking a lenient view in the matter. He also argued that the offence alleged against the petitioner is of the year 1974 and at that time, he was carrying business of sweets, and that, during the trial, he left the said business, and at present, for the last so many years, he has not been carrying the business of sweets. The petitioner, after his conviction has remained in jail for 22 days and as the offence is related to the year, 1974, Mr. Rathore argued it would be quite unjust and improper if the petitioner is sent back to jail to undergo the sentence of imprisonment awarded to him by the learned lower court, So, it was argued that the sentence already undergone by the petitioner, would meet the ends of justice.
4. Mr. Pareek opposed this contention and argued that the minimum sentence awarded under the Act is 3 months, and as the matter is of adulteration no lenient view should be taken.
5. I have considered the rival contentions of both the learned counsel. The court has discretion even to reduce the sentence where the minimum sentence has been prescribed in the Act on showing some special reasons. Even in the cases where substantive sentence is provided and fine is also provided, there too, the court has discretion to pass sentence of fine only. In this respected I am supported by the case of Municipal, Board Baran v. Prabhulal decided by Justice Sidhu, in the year 1983, and reported in 1983 RLR 626. Hon'ble the Supreme Court in Paramjeet Singh v. Delhi Municipal Council : 135ITR620(SC) observed that though minimum sentence has been prescribed, but the courts are allowed discretion to impose either the sentence of imprisonment or the sentence of fine. Thus, I do not agree with the argument of the learned Public Prosecutor, and hold the Court has the discretion to reduce even the minimum sentence of imprisonment provided in the Act. In the present case, the incident is of the year 1974, and the petitioner has already left the business of sweet-selling. He has also been in jail for 22 days and in such circumstances, if he is sent back to undergo the sentence of imprisonment that would cause a great hardship to him as well as his family. For the last 10 years, he has been facing the trial, which in my opinion, is sufficient punishment on him. So, under these circumstances, I feel that the sentence of imprisonment already undergone by the petitioner would meet the ends of justice.
6. In the result, the petition is partly allowed. The conviction of the petitioner under Section 7/16 of the Act, is maintained. But, he is sentenced to imprisonment already undergone by him. The amount of fine is maintained. In default of payment of fine, he shall undergo 2 months' SI. He is allowed 3 months time to deposit the said fine if it has not been deposited. He is on bail. He need not surrender to his bail bonds. His bail bonds are cancelled.