1. This is an application made on behalf of the Chairman of the Calcutta Corporation against an order passed by the Municipal Magistrate of Calcutta acquitting two persons of an offence under Section 495 of the Calcutta Municipal Act. That section provides that no person shall sell to the prejudice of the purchaser any article of human food or drink which is not of the nature, substance or Quality of the article demanded by such purchaser. It is alleged in this case that the accused persons sold to the Food Inspector as tea-dust some substance which, on analysis, was found not to contain any tea. When the case came on for trial the learned Magistrate, without examining the witnesses or the accused, acquitted the latter on the ground that tea-dust does not come within the purview of the words 'article of human food or drink.' He wrote a judgment which shows that he had in his mind the words of the learned Judges who decided the case of Hinde v. Allmond 82 J. P. 151. That judgment was passed under the very special rules of the Food Hoarding Order; and it was pointed out in the course of the judgment that the word 'food' in that Order was not identical with the description of the word 'food' as given in the 'Sale of Food and Drugs Act of 1875' be-cause the word 'drink' was omitted from the Order. The definition given in the Act of 1875 in that Court is that 'food' shall include every article used for food or drink by man other than drugs or water; and when the Act was amended in 1899, an addition was made to this effect that food shall include also any article which ordinarily enters into or is used in the composition or preparation of food and shall include flavouring matters and condiments. It appears to me that the learned Magistrate has erred in seeking for guidance as to the meaning of the words Article of human food or drink' in a case that arose from a prosecution under the Food Hoarding Order. That Order was promulgated in Very peculiar circumstances to achieve an object very different from that of Chapter XXXV of the Calcutta Municipal Act, and as I have already mentioned, the words Used in the order are different from those of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act, and of Section 495.
2. If there is any difficulty in determining the true meaning of the words 'Article of human food or drink', I think that the definition given in the Sale of Foods and Drugs Act makes the meaning plain, and I bold that tea-dust comes within the scope of Section 495 of the Calcutta Municipal Act, As it appears that no evidence has been given and the accused have not been examined, the case must be sent back to the lower Court to be tried with reference to the above remarks.
Shamsul Huda, J.
3. I agree.