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The Public Prosecutor, Madras Vs. Gadi Satyanarayanamurthy - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1951)2MLJ301
AppellantThe Public Prosecutor, Madras
RespondentGadi Satyanarayanamurthy
Excerpt:
- - the offence complained of is under the madras prevention of adulteration act......of the word 'after' occurring in the section could not be lost sight of when the section has to be construed. but i quite realise that it is a different matter to argue that since it is a criminal proceeding the benefit of a strict construction should be given to the accused. i have also been referred to a decision by my learned brother, somasundaram, j., where he has taken a strict view of the section and held that the three months period would expire a day previous to the date of the actual commission. this decision would seem to overlook the effect of the word 'after' occurring in two places in section 19 of the act. however in the circumstances of the case and at this late stage i do not think there is any need for ordering a further trial of the accused. no useful purpose will.....
Judgment:

Basheer Ahmed Sayeed, J.

1. This is an appeal against an acquittal. The offence complained of is under the Madras Prevention of Adulteration Act. The offence was committed on the 8th September, 1949, but the complaint was filed on the 8th December, 1949. The accused pleaded that the complaint was out of time by virtue of Section 19 of the Act, and the lower Court agreed with this contention and acquitted the accused. The question for consideration is whether the day of the commission of the offence is to be excluded or included for purposes of calculating the period of three months indicated in Section 19 of the Act. The words used are that no prosecution shall be launched after the expiry of three months after the commission of the offence. On proper construction of the wording of the section, I am of the opinion that the complaint is not out of time. The significance of the word 'after' occurring in the section could not be lost sight of when the section has to be construed. But I quite realise that it is a different matter to argue that since it is a criminal proceeding the benefit of a strict construction should be given to the accused. I have also been referred to a decision by my learned brother, Somasundaram, J., where he has taken a strict view of the section and held that the three months period would expire a day previous to the date of the actual commission. This decision would seem to overlook the effect of the word 'after' occurring in two places in Section 19 of the Act. However in the circumstances of the case and at this late stage I do not think there is any need for ordering a further trial of the accused. No useful purpose will be served either. While holding that the learned Magistrate was not right in his interpretation and while allowing the appeal for the reasons stated above, I think the accused need not be proceeded with further.


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