PFA -New DelhiDistrict court – Substandard Vanaspathi case – Ravinde Gupta Vs State – Nov 18-2016

IN THE COURT OF SH. RAKESH PANDIT,

ASJ-01, NEW DELHI DISTRICT, PATIALA HOUSE COURTS, NEW DELHI

CA No. 8466/16

Ravinder Gupta S/o Sh. Ram Bharose Gupta M/s Rahul Sweets

D-1/525, Gali No. 13, Ashok Nagar, Delhi-110093. Also At :- R/o D-1/486, Gali No. 13, Ashok Nagar, Delhi-110093. ….Appellant

Vs.

The State (Delhi Administration) PFA Department. A-20, Lawrence Road, Industrial Area, Delhi …. Respondent Date of receiving of Appeal : 08.12.2011 Date of arguments : 18.11.2016 Date of judgment : 18.11.2016 JUDGMENT

1 By this judgment I will dispose of appeal u/sec.374 Cr.PC. filed on behalf of Sh. Ravinder Gupta against the judgment dated 22.10.2011 and order on sentence dated 09.11.2011  passed by Sh. Raghubir Singh, the then Ld. ACMM-II, Patiala House Court, New Delhi.

2 The brief facts of the case as per record and from trial court record are that accused is running an establishment namely M/s Rahul Sweets, D-1/525, Gali No. 13, Ashok Nagar, Delhi- 110093. On 29.04.2003 at about 6.00 p.m. Food Inspector Sh. Ram Pratap visited the said place and purchased 750 grams of “Vanaspati” (ready for use) from accused. FI was accompanied with SDM/LHA Sh. R. K. Chauhan. The said Vanaspati was purchased for the purposes of analysis under PFA Act. The same sample was divided into three parts, packed as per Rules of PFA. Panchanama was prepared. One sample was sent for analysis to Public Analyst. As per the report of Analyst, sample did not confirm to the standard because “The sample does not conform to standard because it does not contain sesame oil (Negative Baudomin’s set).

3 As the sample was failed, prosecution was launched by Food Inspector by filing complaint dated 29.07.2003 with the court. Accused was summoned. He has exercised his right u/sec.13(2) PFA Act and get the sample analyzed by CFL. CFL reported “I am of the opinion that the sample no. 51/LHA/4078 does not conform to the standards of Vanaspati a per PFA Rules 1955.

 4 Charge was framed against accused u/sec.2(ia) (a) (m) read with sec.7 of PFA Act, 1954 punishable u/sec.16(1A) of PFA Act. The charge was amended on 25.03.2010 and charges u/sec.2(ia) (a) (m) read with sec.7 of PFA Act, 1954 punishable u/sec.16(1a) of PFA Act was framed.

5 After trial, vide judgment dated 22.10.2011 accused was convicted for offence u/sec.16(1A) of PFA Act and vide order on sentence dated 09.11.2011 was directed to undergo simple imprisonment for a period of 6 months and fine of Rs.5,000/- and in default of payment of fine SI of 7 days.

6 In this appeal, the accused has assailed the judgment on the following grounds:-

(i) The Baudounin Test (BT) is not a sure test to determine the presence of seasame oil.

(ii) There is variation in PA and CFL Report with respect to melting point and thus benefit goes in favour of accused.

(iii) After coming into Food Safety & Standards Act, the punishment is to be granted under the said Act (argued orally).

7 No reply was filed by respondent/state and the matter was argued orally.

8 I have gone through the record, Trial Court record and have heard the submissions of Ld. counsel for appellant and Ld.

9 It is argued by counsel for appellant that The Baudounin Test (BT) is not a sure test to determine the presence of seasame oil. As far as this argument is concerned, the same argument was raised before the Ld. Trial Court. The same was dealt by the trial court from para 11 to 15 of the judgment. As far as opinion/finding of the trial court regarding this argument is concerned, I do not find any infirmity in those findings and the same are upheld and the arguments regarding this fact does not find any force and thus rejected.

10 It is further argued that There is variation in PA and CFL Report with respect to melting point and thus benefit goes in favour of accused. As far as this leg of arguments is concerned, once a CFL certificate comes on record, the PA report is of no relevance and thus cannot be used to compare. Moreover, it is the CFL report which is to be seen for the purposes of adulteration and not PA report. As per CFL report, the melting point is not within standard and thus due to that reason there is adulteration. I do not find any other reasoning than this. So, the arguments of Ld. counsel in this regard is rejected.

So, in these circumstances, I do not find any ground for change/modification of Trial Court’s judgment, on merits. So, the finding of the trial court with respect to the conviction of accused      Ravinder Gupta Vs.  State          5u/sec.2(ia) (a) & (m) of PFA Act 1954 read with Sec.16(1a) of PFA Act, is upheld.

11 It is submitted by Ld. counsel for appellant that on the date of judgment/order on sentence, the PFA Act, 1954 was repealed. It is further stated that the court should have passed the order on sentence as per the quantum/punishment mentioned in Food and Safety Standards Act, 2006 (hereinafter called FSSA). For this purpose, Ld. counsel for appellant had relied on Judgment i.e. Nemi Chand Vs. State of Rajasthan (Crl. Appeals No. 214 and 215 of 2016, vide order dated 10.03.2016, as corrected vide order dated 17.03.2016, as reported in 2016 (1) FAC 203) of Hon. Supreme Court and earlier judgment T Barai Vs. Henry, 1983 (1) SCC 177.

12 On the other hand, it is argued by Ld. SPP for State that the sentencing cannot be done in new Act since the definition of many offences are changed in the new Act including this particular offence of which accused is charged. Definition of major offences like “adulteration” and “misbranding” have been changed. Now FSSA have definition “substandard food”, “food containing extraneous matter”, “unsafe food” and “misbranded food”. Due to this reason, the ingredients have changed and thus there is no way in which the old offences could be related to new offences.

13 As far as the objection of Ld. SPP for State is concerned, in the present case, the offence was that the article/food i.e. Vanaspati Ghee was found having deviation from standards i.e. melting point is found as 44 (31-41) and BT negative (should be positive). This was termed as adulteration in view of Sec.2(ia) of PFA Act and thus consequently punishable u/sec.16(1a) of PFA Act. The charge/notice was framed with these facts. There was no charge/notice in which it is stated that the said deviation was injurious to health. Had it been the case, the charge should have been u/sec.16(1A) (ii) of PFA Act.

14 Now in the FSSA, such adulteration is termed as “substandard” in terms of Sec.3(zx) of FSSA Act punishable u/sec.51 of FSSA.

So, if we go through both these provisions of law, a particular offence with a particular fact is mentioned with some other name but with same ingredients in the new FSSA Act.

15 Hence, it is held that it is the ingredients which constitute an offence, determines that whether it is the same offence but with new name or an altogether different offence. Here the offence i.e. Vanaspati Ghee having deviations from standards i.e. melting point is found as 44 (31-41) and BT negative (should be positive) which was punishable u/sec.16(1a) PFA Act is similar to the offence u/sec.51 of FSSA Act.

16 As far as the application of Nemi Chand judgment (supra) is concerned, the same is based on the old judgment i.e. T. Barai (supra) of Hon. Supreme Court. The relevant portion of the T. Barai judgment is as follows:-

(Para 25) – It is settled both on authority and principle that when a later statute again describes an offence created by an earlier statute and imposes a different punishment, or varies the procedure, the earlier statute is repealed by implication. In Michell v. Brown [(1958) 120 ER 909, 912: 32 LTOS 146 : 7 WR 80] Lord Campbell put the matter thus:

“It is well settled rule of construction that, if a later statute again describes an offence created by a former statute and affixes a different punishment, varying the procedure, the earlier statute is repealed by the later statute; see also Smith v. Benabo [(1937) 1 All ER 523: (1937) 1 KB 518: 156 LT 194] .

In Regina v. Youle [(1861) 158 ER 311, 315-16: 4 LT 299: 9 WR 637] , Martin, B. said in the oft-quoted passage:

“If a statute deals with a particular class of offences, and a subsequent Act is passed which deals with precisely the same offences, and a different punishment is imposed by the later Act, I think that, in effect, the legislature has declared that the new Act shall be substituted for the earlier Act.”

The rule is however subject to the limitation contained in Article 20(1) against ex post facto law providing for a      greater punishment and has also no application where the offence described in the later Act is not the same as in the earlier Act i.e. when the essential ingredients of the two offences are different.

Moreover this particular aspect is stated as a illustration in the same judgment in para 23 which is as follows:-

To illustrate, if Parliament were to reenact Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and provide that the punishment for an offence of murder shall be sentence for imprisonment for life instead of the present sentence of death or imprisonment for life, then it cannot be that the courts would still award a sentence of death even in pending cases.

So, in these circumstances, it can be safely said that while considering on the point of sentence, the quantum of sentence in new Act i.e. FSSA is to be considered.

17 Now according to my aforesaid reasoning the offence i.e. Vanaspati Ghee having deviations from standards i.e.melting point is found as 44 (31-41) and BT negative (should be positive), earlier punishable u/sec.16(1a) of PFA Act is to be considered as an offence u/sec.51 of FSSA Act for the purposes of awarding punishment. The maximum punishment u/sec.51 FSSA Act is penalty which may extend to Rs. 5 lakhs.

18 It is submitted by Ld. counsel for appellant that appellant is a small time shopkeeper. He has suffered the long pendency of trial and a respectable person of society and has family. So, lenient view be taken.

19 Opposed by Ld. SPP for State on the ground that the long duration of trial cannot be a ground for leniency.

20 I have gone through the rival contentions on this aspect.

21 After going through the entire arguments in this regard, it is directed that accused/appellant Ravinder Gupta is directed to pay fine of Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand only) with the Trial Court. In default of payment of fine, he is directed to undergo SI of 15 days.

22 Fine be deposited within 30 working days.

23 Fine already deposited with the trial court be adjusted.

24 Bail Bond u/sec.437A Cr.P.C. already furnished and accepted for six months.

25 TCR be sent back with copy of the order.

26         Copy of order be given dasti.


27       File of appeal be consigned to Record Room.


ANNOUNCED In the open Court                   (RAKESH PANDIT)
today i.e. 18.11.2016                    ASJ-01/New Delhi District
                                      Patiala House Courts/New Delhi

                         CA No. 8466/16
                         Ravinder Gupta Vs. State
18.11.2016

Present:     Sh. R. D. Goel counsel with appellant.
             Sh. A. K. Mishra Ld. SPP for State.

             Arguments on appeal heard.

Bail Bond u/sec.437A Cr.P.C. already furnished and accepted and accepted for six months.

Put up for order today itself.

(Rakesh Pandit) ASJ-01/PHC/New Delhi District 18.11.2016 At 3.00 a.m. Present: Sh. R. D. Goel counsel with appellant.

Sh. A. K. Mishra Ld. SPP for State.

Vide separate judgment the appeal filed by the appellant is disposed off. Accused/appellant Ravinder Gupta is directed to pay fine of Rs.20,000/- (Rupees Twenty Thousand only) with the Trial Court. In default of payment of fine, he is directed to undergo SI of 15 days.

Fine be deposited within 30 working days.

Fine already deposited with the trial court be adjusted.

Compliance report be sent by trial court to this court.

TCR be sent back with copy of the order.

Copy of order be given dasti.

File of appeal be consigned to Record Room.

(Rakesh Pandit) ASJ-01/PHC/New Delhi District 18.11.2016

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