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In Re: K.K.S. Karuppiah Nadar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCri. Revn. Case Nos. 112, 113, 300 and 301 of 1950 and Cri. Revn. Petn. Nos. 105, 106, 283 and 284 o
Judge
Reported inAIR1951Mad885a; (1951)IMLJ477
ActsOpium Act, 1878 - Sections 9
AppellantIn Re: K.K.S. Karuppiah Nadar and ors.
Appellant AdvocateRamachandra Ayyar and ;G.M. Alagiriswami, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateThe Public Prosecutor
DispositionConviction and sentence set aside
Excerpt:
- - rumours like these & impressions like these are so rampant in this country of rumours & impressions that no ct. nor can we say that these quack pills contain the same ingredients always, like standard pills of well-known chemists. & convictions scientific proof of a reliable variety regarding the pills reld......mag. of mathurai. the case against them was that they had in their shops bottles containing 'guru tiger pills' without licenses. all the petnrs. admitted possession of the bottles & the absence of licenses, but said that they did not know that these pills contained any opium, & also put the prosecution to proof that there was really opium in these pills. curiously enough, the prosecution did not send the pills for analysis, & examine a qualified analyst or chemist to speak to the presence of opium in the pills, but examined p. w. 1, a prohibition sub-inspector, & admittedly not an analyst or expert, to show that the pills contained 5 per cent opium. how p. w. 1 could find it out was not explained, except by his statement that he saw a publication somewhere some months before his.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. The petnrs. in all these cases have been convicted Under Section 9 (a), Opium Act, & sentenced to a fine of Rs. 50 or, in default, to undergo R. I. for one month by the Addl. First Class Mag. of Mathurai. The case against them was that they had in their shops bottles containing 'Guru Tiger Pills' without licenses. All the petnrs. admitted possession of the bottles & the absence of licenses, but said that they did not know that these pills contained any opium, & also put the prosecution to proof that there was really opium in these pills. Curiously enough, the prosecution did not send the pills for analysis, & examine a qualified analyst or chemist to speak to the presence of opium in the pills, but examined P. W. 1, a prohibition Sub-Inspector, & admittedly not an analyst or expert, to show that the pills contained 5 per cent opium. How P. W. 1 could find it out was not explained, except by his statement that he saw a publication somewhere some months before his evidence that in 'Guru Tiger Pills' there was 5 per cent opium. That evidence is sheer hearsay & absolutely worthless. Rumours like these & impressions like these are so rampant in this country of rumours & impressions that no Ct. should pay any attention to them. Nor can we say that these quack pills contain the same ingredients always, like standard pills of well-known chemists. For Cts. & convictions scientific proof of a reliable variety regarding the pills reld. on by the prosecution is needed. There was no proof here by any expert chemist or analyst that there was any opium contained in the bottles seized from these petnrs; nor was there any proof that the petnrs. knew or had reason to believe that these tiger pills contained any opium. 'Tiger Pills, Lion Balm, Karukurangu Legiyam' are all names fancied by drug sellers in India, & none dealing in such medicines as the agents of these sellers will know what their contents are. Though there is no knowledge required for possession of 'opium, pure & simple', certainly knowledge will have to be proved when it is alleged that some particular medicine or pill contains opium before the man can be convicted criminally, as 'mens rea', or guilty knowledge, has to be established in such cases. As there was no proof in any of these cases that the pills seized contained any opium & that the petnrs. were aware of the presence of opium in these pills, I set aside the convictions & sentences of these petnrs. & acquit them, & direct the fines, if paid, to be refunded to them.


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