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In Re: K.S. Ambi Aiyar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFood Adulteration
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939Mad375; (1939)IMLJ332
AppellantIn Re: K.S. Ambi Aiyar
Excerpt:
- - the government not having laid down any standard in respect of sweetmeats like 'kajoor' the selling of the sweetmeats which do not contain what they are usually expected to contain does not amount to an offence under section 5, clause 1(d) of the act......which is prohibited by the act. the particular sweetmeat in question is not one of the articles of food in respect of which the government have prescribed standards of purity or determined the normal constituents thereof, and it cannot be said that there is any room afforded for raising a presumption that the article of food is not genuine or is injurious. it is conceded by the learned public prosecutor that no such action has been taken by the local government in respect of this particular article of food known as 'kajoor', and it is not right therefore to convict a man for a breach of the adulteration law when there is no law or rule having the force of law prescribing a particular composition for the article that is exposed for sale. it may be that ghee is one of the ordinary.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Pandrang Row, J.

1. The petitioner has been convicted of an offence punishable under Section 5, Clause 1(d) of the Madras Prevention of Adulteration Act III of 1918 and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 100. The petitioner is the proprietor of a Coffee Hotel at Vellore and the prosecution relates to a certain sweetmeat called 'kajoor' which was prepared and sold at the hotel by the petitioner through his servants. The sample that was analysed was found to contain 80 per cent, of fat not derived from milk or cream. The prosecution assumed and the Magistrate seems to have acted on the same assumption that merely because the sweetmeat was found to contain 80 per cent, of fat not derived from milk or cream it amounts to adulteration which is prohibited by the Act. The particular sweetmeat in question is not one of the articles of food in respect of which the Government have prescribed standards of purity or determined the normal constituents thereof, and it cannot be said that there is any room afforded for raising a presumption that the article of food is not genuine or is injurious. It is conceded by the learned Public Prosecutor that no such action has been taken by the Local Government in respect of this particular article of food known as 'kajoor', and it is not right therefore to convict a man for a breach of the adulteration law when there is no law or rule having the force of law prescribing a particular composition for the article that is exposed for sale. It may be that ghee is one of the ordinary ingredients of the sweetmeat in question but the standard of purity which is laid down in the case of ghee cannot be applied to the ghee that is contained in the sweetmeat as one of its ingredients, so long as there is no separate standard of composition or quality fixed for the sweetmeat, for instance, prescribing that it should contain so much percentage of ghee; on this ground alone it is clear that the conviction of the petitioner cannot stand. The Government not having laid down any standard in respect of sweetmeats like 'kajoor' the selling of the sweetmeats which do not contain what they are usually expected to contain does not amount to an offence under Section 5, Clause 1(d) of the Act. The conviction of the petitioner and the sentence imposed upon him are therefore set aside and he is acquitted and the fine if paid should be refunded to him.


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