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V. Krishna Iyer Vs. Health Officer, Pudukottai Municipality - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFood Adulteration
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1960)1MLJ86
AppellantV. Krishna Iyer
RespondentHealth Officer, Pudukottai Municipality
Excerpt:
- - ..3. in the case before us we must consider it as established that the chilly-paste was kept in an imperfectly tinned container, and clearly the facts and probabilities warrant the inference that it was not merely intended for domestic consumption, but was intended to be used as an ingredient of the food to be sold in the hotel. it is possible to maintain the view that the language is not very happy, and that the construction of the clause leaves room for improvement......as follows:no person shall use for manufacturing, preparing or storing any food or ingredeient of food intended for sale, any utensil or container which is imperfectly enamelled or imperfectly tinned....3. in the case before us we must consider it as established that the chilly-paste was kept in an imperfectly tinned container, and clearly the facts and probabilities warrant the inference that it was not merely intended for domestic consumption, but was intended to be used as an ingredient of the food to be sold in the hotel. the learned counsel for the revision petitioner urges that, even so, the strict terms of rule 49(2) would not be applicable, because there is no evidence that this ingredient of food (chilly-paste) was directly intended for sale. taking the language of rule 49(2).....
Judgment:
ORDER

Anantanarayanan, J.

1. Upon the facts of evidence in this case, I see no grounds to interference in revision with the conviction of this petitioner under Rule 49(2) of the rules framed under Central Act XXXVII of 1954 read with Section 16(1) of the Act. The argument before me is that, assuming the facts as established that the revision petitioner did store or keep chilly-paste in an untinned container (there is no specific evidence about the substance of which the container was made, but very probably it was brass or copper), merely keeping such an ingredient of food in an untinned vessel by a hotel proprietor would not attract the language of Rule 49(2), and that these facts would not come within the mischief of that rule.

2. Rule 49(2) runs as follows:

No person shall use for manufacturing, preparing or storing any food or ingredeient of food intended for sale, any utensil or container which is imperfectly enamelled or imperfectly tinned....

3. In the case before us we must consider it as established that the chilly-paste was kept in an imperfectly tinned container, and clearly the facts and probabilities warrant the inference that it was not merely intended for domestic consumption, but was intended to be used as an ingredient of the food to be sold in the hotel. The learned Counsel for the revision petitioner urges that, even so, the strict terms of Rule 49(2) would not be applicable, because there is no evidence that this ingredient of food (chilly-paste) was directly intended for sale. Taking the language of Rule 49(2) as it stands, and reasonably construing the words of the section, I have no doubt that the rule will apply both to any food, and to any ingredient of food, which is ultimately intended for sale, whether directly, or as part of the prepared food. Any other interpretation would make the rule practically meaningless, and restrict its scope in a manner which will defeat the very purpose of the rule. It is possible to maintain the view that the language is not very happy, and that the construction of the clause leaves room for improvement. Nevertheless, the intention, the broad purpose of the rule, and the context, have all to be taken into account in arriving at a reasonable interpretation. Under those circumstances, I have no doubt that Rule 49(2) read with Section 16(1) of the Act did apply to the facts of this case, and the conviction must therefore be confirmed.

4. As regards the sentence, this seems to be not merely the first offence, but a highly technical one. There is some evidence to show that chilly-paste kept in an untinned container in this fashion, is not likely to become noxious or directly to injure the health of any consumer. Taking that circumstance into account, I reduce the sentence to a fine of Rs. 20, or in default to rigorous imprisonment for two weeks. The excess fine if paid will be refunded.


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