PFA – Delhi Dt.Court – Food Inspector Vs Bijendra Sharma – Besan Ka Laddu case

                   IN THE COURT OF SH. ASHU GARG,
          Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate - II (New Delhi),
                    Patiala House Courts, New Delhi

CC No. 41/11
Unique Case ID No.

Date of Institution:              19.02.2011
Date of reserving judgement:      08.05.2017
Date of pronouncement:            08.05.2017

In re:

Delhi Administration / Food Inspector
Department of PFA,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi
A-20, Lawrence Road Industrial Area,
Delhi-110035                                   ...    Complainant

               versus

A-1) Bijender Sharma
S/o. Sh. Amar Nath Sharma
R/o. Village and Post Mukhmelpur,
Delhi-110003.

A-2) Shiv Dutt
S/o. Sh. Prabhu Dutt
R/o. D-63, Krishna Park,
Deoli Road, Khanpur,
New Delhi-110062.                              ...    Accused persons


JUDGMENT:

1. The present is a complaint filed under section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA Act), alleging that the accused persons have violated the provisions of the PFA Act and Rules. The accused no. 1 is stated to be the vendor-cum-Manager of the Prasad Godown, of which accused no. 2 is the proprietor, from where the food article, that is, ‘Besan Ke Laddu’ was lifted for sampling.

2. As per the complaint, on 31.07.2010, the food officials consisting of Food Inspector (FI) P.M.Kothekar and Field Assistant (FA) S.Massey under the supervision of Local Health Authority (LHA)/SDM Sh. V.P.Singh reached along with their staff at the premises of the Prasad Godown, Opposite Kalkaji Mandir, Kalkaji Mandir Complex, New Delhi- 110016, where the accused no. 1 was found conducting the business of various food articles, which were lying stored for sale for human consumption. The FI disclosed his identity and expressed his intention to purchase a sample of Besan Ke Laddu from the vendor lying in an open tray bearing no label declaration, to which he agreed. A sample of 1500 gm of Besan Ke Laddu was then lifted and divided into three counterparts as per procedure prescribed under the PFA Act and Rules. Each sample was separately packed, fastened, marked and sealed and necessary documents were prepared at the spot, including the Notice as per Form-VI, panchnama, etc. The price of sample was paid to the vendor. Thereafter, one counterpart of the sample was sent to the Public Analyst (PA) in intact condition and the other two counterparts were deposited with SDM/LHA. Vide report dated 27.08.2010, the PA found the sample to be not conforming to the standards of refined soyabean oil declared as an ingredient as BR reading and iodine values were found less than the prescribed maximum limits. Upon receipt of report, the SDM/LHA ordered investigation which was carried out by FI. It was found that the accused no. 2 was the proprietor of the premises in question. After completion of investigation, sanction under section 20 of the PFA Act was obtained from the Director PFA. The complaint was then filed in the court on 19.02.2011 against both the accused persons alleging violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of PFA Act as punishable section 7/16(1)(a) of PFA Act.

3. As the complaint was filed in writing by a public servant, recording of pre-summoning evidence was dispensed with and the accused persons were summoned vide order dated 19.02.2011. The accused appeared and filed an application under section 13(2) of PFA Act thereby exercising the right to get the second counterpart of the sample to be analysed from Central Food Laboratory (CFL). The application was allowed and a counterpart was sent for analysis to CFL. The CFL examined the sample and its Director gave Certificate dated 23.03.2011, opining the sample to be not conforming to the PFA Rules due to presence of rancidity and due to fungal growth and obnoxious smell.

4. Based on the report of the CFL, the matter was listed for pre-charge evidence, wherein the complainant examined PW-1 FI P.M.Kothekar and PW-2 FA S.Massey in pre-charge stage. On the basis of their depositions, charge was framed against both the accused persons on 03.03.2016 for commission of the offence punishable under section 7/16(1)(a) PFA Act, being violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of PFA Act, to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The accused persons chose not to recall PW-1 and PW-2 for further cross-examination in post charge stage. However, the prosecution also examined PW-3 Sh. V.P.Singh in post- charge stage.

5. PW-1, PW-2 and PW-3 were part of the team that had visited the spot for sample proceedings. All these witnesses deposed about the proceedings conducted by them on 31.07.2010 and narrated the steps undertaken by them during the sample proceedings, including disclosing their identity, expressing intention to purchase sample for analysis, lifting the sample of 1500 gm of Besan Ke Laddu lying in an open tray bearing no label declaration, mixing/homogenizing it, dividing it in three parts and putting in clean and dry bottles, adding 40 drops of formalin in each bottle, separately, fastening, sealing, marking the sample bottles, and obtaining signatures of vendor and witnesses. They also proved the necessary documents including the vendor’s receipt Ex. PW-1/A, Notice Ex. PW- 1/B, Panchnama Ex. PW-1/C, Raid report Ex. PW-1/D, Statement of accused no.1 Ex.PW-1/E, PA Receipt Ex. PW-1/F and LHA receipt Ex. PW-1/G. PA report Ex. PW-1/H was received and investigation was started. Letters Ex. PW-1/I, Ex. PW-1/I-1 and Ex. PW-1/I-2 were sent to the accused no. 1 and letter Ex. PW-1/I-3 was sent to accused no. 2 but they were not replied. Letter Ex. PW-1/J was sent to the STO and its reply was received. In the meanwhile, accused no. 2 furnished his statement Ex. PW-1/K to the FI. After completion of investigation, sanction Ex. PW-1/L was taken from the Director PFA and the complaint Ex. PW-1/M was filed in the court. A copy of PA report with intimation letter Ex. PW-1/N was sent to the accused persons vide postal receipts Ex. PW-1/O. These witnesses were duly cross-examined by the Ld. Defence Counsel for both the accused persons wherein they denied that the sampling method was not proper or that the accused persons had been falsely implicated.

6. Statements of the accused persons under section 313 CrPC were recorded on 08.05.2017 wherein they denied the allegations and pleaded innocence. Though accused no. 1 admitted the proceedings dated 31.07.2010, yet he questioned the reports on PA and CFL. On the other hand, accused no. 2 expressed ignorance of the spot proceedings as he was not present therein but he also questioned the reports on the ground that the deficiencies therein were due to passage of time. They however did not lead evidence in defence.

7. It is in these circumstances, Ld. SPP for the complainant has argued that the complainant has been able to establish its case against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt, on the ground that the accused persons have not been able to rebut the findings of the CFL report dated 23.03.2011 which as per section 13(3) of PFA Act is final and conclusive. It is submitted that all the witnesses have supported its case and no major contradiction can be seen in their testimony.

8. On the other hand, Ld. Defence Counsel has submitted that the sample proceedings were not conducted properly and that there are various missing links in the testimony of witnesses. Ld. Counsel has strongly contended that there is variation in the reports as given by PA and CFL, which leads to conclusion that the two samples were not representative and therefore, conviction cannot be based solely on the basis of the CFL report. He has relied upon various judgements in his support.

9. I have heard the arguments advanced by Ld. SPP for the complainant and the Ld. Defence Counsel for the accused persons and have carefully perused the material available on record.

10. It is to be understood that the charges framed against the accused persons are for violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of the PFA Act on the basis of CFL report. This is important to note because the ingredients of these offences are different and distinct. Under section 2(ia)(a) of PFA Act, the prosecution has to establish that the purchaser had demanded a food article of a specific nature, substance or quality and the article sold was, to his prejudice, either not of the nature, substance or quality demanded, or was not of the nature, substance or quality which it purported or represented to be. On the other hand, section 2(ia)(m) of PFA Act deals with situation where the quality or purity of an article falls below the prescribed standard or its constituents are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability which does not render the food article injurious to health.

11. In the case at hand, it is an admitted position that Besan Ke Laddu is not a standardized food article for which specific standards might be prescribed in any item of Appendix-B of the PFA Rules. The same has been considered as a proprietary food as defined in Rule 37A of PFA Rules.

12. The standards applied by the PA on the basis of which the sample of Besan Ke Laddu has been failed by him are not that of Besan ke Laddu (which is a proprietary food article for which there are no standards prescribed) but that of refined soyabean oil which was one of the ingredients of Besan ke Laddu. Apparently, such standard has been prescribed for refined Soyabean oil as a food article falling under Item No. A.17.13 of Appendix-B of PFA Rules. But no such standards are there for Besan Ke Laddu as a food article. The question is as to what extent the standards of soyabean oil can be applied to such a proprietary food.

13. For a proprietary food, no standards could be possibly prescribed as every manufacturer uses his own ingredients, methods and substance and combination thereof to prepare a distinct product. Unless there is violation of any prescribed rule, no standards are prescribed for such product on which they have to conform.

14. In my considered view, the standards of soyabean oil as per Item No. A.17.13 would not be safe to be applied to all the products prepared through such soyabean oil, particularly the proprietary foods that are prepared after heating various ingredients. Mixing and heating of various ingredients would result in change in chemical composition of the raw ingredients. It is not the case of the prosecution that the soyabean oil used in preparation of Besan Ke Laddu is the unheated oil which would always be as per the standards of raw and pure soyabean oil as per Item No. A.17.13. Therefore, there is nothing to show that there was any shortfall in the product on account of its nature, quality or substance.

15. There is nothing to show that the refined soyabean oil being used by the accused was not conforming to the standards. Therefore, the opinion formed by the PA on the basis of the BR reading and the iodine value, which pertained to the standards of refined soyabean oil, would not be applicable to a prepared proprietary food article. Thus, merely because the BR reading was found to be 49.5 and Iodine value was found to be 89.18, a prepared food article could not have been failed on the ground that the BR reading should be between 58.5 to 68.0 and the iodine value should be between 120 to 141, which are applicable to refined soyabean oil. It would not qualify to bring the matter within the purview of Section 2 (ia)(a) or

(m) of the PFA Act.

16. In any case, the PA report in the present case has already been superseded by the CFL certificate. As per section 13(3) of the PFA Act, the certificate issued by the Director of CFL shall supersede the report of the PA. As per proviso to section 13(5) of the Act, such certificate shall be final and conclusive evidence for the facts stated therein. Thus, as far as the findings of the CFL are concerned, the same are final and conclusive and no evidence can be given to disprove the same.

17. In Calcutta Municipal Corporation v. Pawan Kumar Saraf [AIR 1999 SC 738], it has been authoritatively laid down that the legal impact of a certificate of the Director of CFL is three fold: (a) it annuls or replaces the report of the PA, (b) it gains finality regarding the quality and standard of the food article involved in the case and (c) it becomes irrefutable so far as the facts stated therein are concerned.

18. In Subhash Chander v. State, Delhi Administration [1983(4) DRJ 100], it was observed by Hon’ble High Court of Delhi that “It has repeatedly been held by the supreme court that the certificate of the Director supersedes the report of the public analyst and is to be treated as conclusive evidence of its contents. The Director is a greater expert and therefore the statute says that his certificate shall be accepted by the court as conclusive evidence. For all purposes the report of the public analyst is replaced by the certificate of the Director…. Superseded is a strong word. It means obliterate, set aside, annul, replace, make void, inefficacious or useless, repeal. The Director’s cetificate supersedes the report given by the public analyst. Once superseded it does not survive for any purpose. It will be anamolous to hold that for some purpose it survives and for other purposes it is superseded.”

19. Since the report of CFL is final and conclusive and the same supersedes the report of PA, only this report has to be considered and the report of PA has to be ignored. It would be seen that the CFL report has negated the results of PA on both the counts. The BR Reading shown to be at 49.5 by PA was found to be 61.3 by CFL (within minimum and maximum prescribed limits of 58.5 to 68.0, even as per the standards of refined soyabean oil as applied by the PA). But apparently and as per the discussion above, such standards would not be applicable to the food article in question and therefore, the CFL neither failed the sample on account of BR reading or deemed it necessary to go for the iodine value test. Thus, the CFL certificate has not found any deficiency on any of the two counts on which the PA gave his report on the basis of which the prosecution was launched.

20. On the contrary, the sample was opined to be not conforming to the standards by the CFL only on the count of rancidity being positive and also due to presence of fungal growth and obnoxious smell. As such, the matter has to be determined only on the basis of report of CFL.

21. In this regard, the defence strongly relies upon the judgement titled as Kanshi Nath v. State [2005(2) FAC 219], informing that the said ruling has been constantly followed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in State v. Ramesh Chand [2010 (2) JCC 1250], Food Inspector v. Parvinder Malik [2014(2) FAC 306], State v. Vinod Kumar Gupta [2010(2) JCC 957], State v. Virender Kohli [2014(2) FAC 223], State v. Kamal Aggarwal [2014(2) FAC 183], State v. Vidya Gupta [2014(1) FAC 291], State v. Dinesh Goswami [2014(1) FAC 302], State v. Mahabir [2014(1) FAC 286], State v. Santosh Sharma [2014(1) FAC 296], Raja Ram Seth & Sons v. Delhi Administration [2012(2) FAC 523], State v. Sunil Dutt [2011(4) JCC 2377] and State v. Rama Rattan Malhotra [2012(2) FAC 398]. It is submitted that comparison of the two reports would show that there are substantive variations which would show that the sample was not representative.

22. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in Kashi Nath’s case (supra), was dealing with a situation where there were certain variations in the reports of PA and CFL while analysing a sample of ‘dhania powder’. Hon’ble Court considered the ratio in MCD v. Bishan Sarup [ILR 1970 (1) Delhi 518] and held that it would still be open for the accused to establish that the sample tested was not a representative one, and if the variation in the two reports is substantial enough, then the PA report can certainly be looked into to establish this variation.

23. Though the CFL report is final and conclusive as to the results therein, yet it can still be looked into to ascertain if the samples were representative or not. If the accused is able to show that the samples were not representative or otherwise that the food article might have undergone a change by the time it reached CFL which was beyond his control, he would get benefit on that count.

24. In the case at hand, the differences between the two reports would show substantive variations in the two. There is vast difference in the BR reading, fungal growth and smell in the two reports. However, the point to be noted is that when the sample was analysed by the PA, the sample was conforming to standards on these parameters on which the sample was failed by the CFL. There was no fungal growth or obnoxious smell in the sample analysed by the PA.

25. If the accused is able to show that the samples were not representative or otherwise that the food article might have undergone a change by the time it reached CFL which was beyond his control, he would get benefit on that count.

26. As far as the grounds on which CFL failed the sample are concerned, it is important to understand that Besan Ke Laddu as a food article is prone to natural variations due to presence of ingredients having limited shelf life. If quality or purity of such an article falls below the prescribed standards solely due to natural causes and beyond the control of human agency, then such article would not be termed as adulterated. If the two reports are so considered showing test for fungus and rancidity, it can be said that either the food article had not been properly homogenised and made truly representative, or otherwise the sample had undergone a natural change beyond the control of the accused. The CFL had examined the sample from 15.03.2011 to 23.03.2011. Thus, it was so analysed after about 7 months when it was lifted from the possession of the accused no. 1 vendor. The nature of Besan Ke Laddu as a food product is such that some changes are bound to happen if sample is kept for a long period. The effect of presence of moisture, temperature, external environment, internal heat etc. cannot be ignored on such article. Such changes would be natural changes beyond human control. Fungus may grow with the passage of time, particularly in view of the fact that no such fungus was found in the sample analyzed by PA. Similarly, rancidity increases in sample of ghee/oil as well as in the food articles prepared with ghee / oil with passage of time. Reliance can be placed on the judgements titled as National Diary Development Board v. State of Haryana [1997(I) PFA Cases 95] and Nebh Raj v. The State [Criminal Appeal no. 113/1975, Supreme Court of India, dated 24.10.1980]. In the present case, such development of fungus, obnoxious smell and rancidity cannot be ruled out after 07 months of lifting of the sample. Thus, there is possibility that such changes were natural changes. The burden would be on prosecution to rule out possibility of such natural changes before the accused persons can be convicted, particularly in view of such substantive variations in the two reports. The only conclusion would be that either the sample was not truly representative or otherwise it underwent a natural change during the intervening period which was beyond human control. In any case, the accused persons would get benefit of doubt.

27. Thus, the matter would not be covered under section 2(ia)(a) of PFA Act. There is no evidence to show that any particular nature, quality or substance of Besan Ke Laddu was demanded by the FI which was not supplied to him to his prejudice, or that it was not of nature, quality or substance represented or purported to be so as to bring the case within section 2(ia)(a) of PFA Act.

28. As far as section 2(ia)(m) is concerned, the accused persons are entitled to be given benefit of doubt considering the time gap, natural variations and variations in two reports, as well as the fact that the food article is a proprietary food for which no standards have been prescribed. The standards of refined soyabean oil cannot be applied to food articles prepared using this oil after passing through a different process. The evidence on record is not sufficient to conclude that the sample in question was ‘adulterated’ within the meaning of section 2(ia) of PFA Act and thus, no case would be made out against the accused persons for commission of offences punishable under section 7/16 of the PFA Act.

29. Having said so, both the accused persons are acquitted of the charges. However, their bail bonds shall remain in force for the next six months in terms of section 437-A. CrPC.

30. File be consigned to record room.

Announced in the open court this 8th day of May 2017 ASHU GARG ACMM-II (New Delhi), PHC Judge Code: DL0355.

Pepsico fined as dead insects seen in Mirinda bottle

HC says it can not give directions on liquor bottle warning

The Delhi High Court today refused to give a direction to increase the size of statutory warning on liquor bottles and packaging, saying it is in the realm of policy making. 
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Navin Chawla, however, directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to consider the plea as a suggestion and take a firm view in this regard.
“The subject matter of the writ petition and the prayers made are in the realm of policy making and it is the respondents who are best placed to examine the same and take a view. 
“Even otherwise, the matter complained of and the prayers made are in the nature of policy decision making which are beyond the writ jurisdiction of this court,” the bench said. 
It disposed of the matter, saying if any action is required to be taken to mitigate the grievances pointed out in the petition, the same may be taken at earliest. 
The court was hearing pleas by Delhi resident Ved Pal and by an NGO Community Against Drunken Driving (CADD). They had file the plea suggesting written and pictorial warnings on liquor bottles against dangers of consuming alcohol and drunken driving. 
They have also sought directions to alcohol manufacturers to increase the size of the existing statutory warnings on the alcohol bottles. 
The petitions sought directions to the governments “to mandate all alcohol producers, manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, sellers, etc., nationwide to print in large font the dangers of consuming alcohol and driving”.

FIR -Ashokbhai Vs State of Gujarat – Adulterated and Misbranded Ghee


                     IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD
               CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION (FOR QUASHING & SET ASIDE
                          FIR/ORDER) NO. 6991 of 2014

================================================================ ASHOKBHAI KANUBHAI RAVANI & 1….Applicant(s) Versus STATE OF GUJARAT & 1….Respondent(s) ============================================================================== Appearance:

MS YS LAKHANI, SR COUNSEL with MR PRAVIN GONDALIYA, AD. for the Applicant(s) No. 1 – 2 MS NISHA THAKORE, APP for the Respondent(s) No. 1

CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE J.B.PARDIWALA Date :05/05/2017 CAV JUDGMENT

1. By   this   application,   the   applicants,  original accused, seek to invoke the inherent  powers   of   this   Court   praying   for   quashing   of  the   Criminal   Case   No.580   of   2008   pending   in  the   Court   of   the   learned   Chief   Judicial Magistrate,   Amreli   arising   from   the   First  Information Report being C.R. No. I­8 of 2008  registered   with   the   Amreli   Taluka   Police  Station,   Amreli   for   the   offence   punishable  under Sections 406, 420, 272 and 273 read with  Section   114   of   the   Indian   Penal   Code   and  Sections 5(7), 16 and 17A of the Prevention of  Food Adulteration Act.

2. The   respondent   No.2,   original   first  informant, while on duty near the Savar­kundla  cross­road  by­pass  spotted  the  applicant  No.1  holding something in his hand. The respondent  No.2   inquired   with   the   applicant   No.1   as   to  what he had in his hands. The respondent No.2  noticed that the  applicant No.1 had a box of  “Ghee”.   The   respondent   No.2   drew   a   panchnama  of the  seizure of the box containing “Ghee” in  presence   of   the   local   witnesses.   The  respondent   No.2   had   an   information   that  adulterated “Ghee” was being sold in abundance  in   the   market.   In   such   circumstances,   the  respondent   No.2   had   kept   a   vigil   over   such  activity.   It   is   the   case   of   the   prosecution  that   the   “Ghee”   was   not   only   adulterated   but  the   same   was   also   misbranded.   In   such  circumstances,   the   respondent   No.2   registered   the First Information  Report for the offences  enumerated above.

3. At   the   end   of   the   investigation,   the  charge­sheet   came   to   be   filed   and   the   filing  of the charge­sheet culminated in the Criminal  Case   No.580   of   2008   pending   in   the   Court   of  the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Amreli. 

4. Mr.   Lakhani,   the   learned   senior   counsel  appearing   with   Mr.   Gondaliya,   the   learned  counsel appearing for the applicants submitted  that   the   prosecution   instituted   against   the  applicants on a police report for the offence  punishable   under   the   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration Act is not tenable in law. It is  submitted   that   the   respondent   No.2   being   a  Police   Officer   had   no   authority   to   lodge   the  First   Information   Report   in   respect   of   the  offence   punishable   under   the   Provisions   of  Food Adulteration Act. It is further submitted  that   no   procedure   as   envisaged   under   the  Provisions   of   the   Act,   1954   and   the   Rules  framed thereunder, was followed at the time of  collecting the samples of “Ghee”. Mr. Lakhani,  the   learned   senior   counsel   appearing   for   the  applicants   submitted   that   this   issue   is   no  longer  res integra  in view of the decision of this   Court   in   the   case   of  Shambhu   Dayal  Agrawal & Others v. State of Gujarat, reported  in 2003 (2) GLH 621.

5. Mr.   Lakhani,   the   learned   counsel   submits  that in such circumstances referred to above,  the   prosecution   for   the   offence   under   the  Indian Penal Code is also not tenable in law.  According   to   Mr.   Lakhani,   Sections   272,   273,  406   and   420   of   the   Indian   Penal   Code   has   no  application so far as the fact of the present  case are concerned. 

6. Mr.   Lakhani   submitted   that   for   the   very  same   offences   the   Food   Inspector   lodged   a  complaint   in   the   Court   of   the   learned   Chief  Judicial Magistrate, Amreli culminating in the  Criminal   Case   No.841   of   2008.   The   said  complaint is for the offence punishable under  the   provisions   of   the   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration   Act,   1954.   The   learned   Chief  Judicial   Magistrate   took   cognizance   upon   the  complaint   and   issued   process   against   the  applicant No.1 herein. Thus, according to Mr.  Lakhani, the applicant No.1 has already being  prosecuted   for   the   offence   alleged   under   the  Special   Act   relating   to   the   adulteration   of  food article. 

7. Mr.   Lakhani   prays   that   there   being   merit  in   this   application   relief   as   prayed   for   be  granted and the prosecution be quashed. 

8. On   the   other   hand,   this   application   has  been   vehemently   opposed   by   Ms.   Thakore,   the  learned Additional Public Prosecutor appearing  for   the   State.   According   to   Ms.   Thakore,   the  Police   Officer   could   not   have   registered   the  First Information Report so far as the offence  under the Food Adulteration Act is concerned,  but, the prosecution is maintainable so far as  the   offence   under   the   Indian   Penal   Code   are  concerned. 

9. Having heard the learned counsel appearing  for   the   parties   and   having   considered   the  materials   on   record,   the   only   question   that  falls   for   my   consideration   is   whether   the  prosecution   instituted   against   the   applicants  deserves to be quashed. 

10. Let me straightway look into the judgment  of   this   Court   in   the   case   of  Shambhu   Dayal  Agrawal  (supra).  In   the   said   case,   the   First  Information Report was lodged before the Unjha  Police   Station   for   the   offence   punishable  under   Sections   406,   420,   272,   273,   326,   328,  511 and 120­B of Indian Penal Code and Section  16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act,  1954. The First Information Report was lodged  by   the   Police­Sub­ Inspector   of   the   Unjha  Police   Station.   While   petrolling   the   Police­ Sub­ Inspector   received   an   information   that  certain   edible   goods   were   being   carried   in   a  truck. The Truck was intercepted. Neither the  driver nor the owner of the transport company  could render any satisfactory explanation, and  ultimately,   the   samples   were   collected   in  presence   of   the   Food   Inspector.   It   was   found  that the said edible goods were adulterated.

11. The   accused   –   Shambhu   Dayal   Agrawal   and  others   came   before   this   Court   by   filing   an  application under Section 482 of the Code. The  principal   argument   before   the   learned   Single  Judge   of   this   Court   was   that   the   Police  Officer   could   not   have   registered   the   First  Information   Report   for   the   alleged   offences.  The   learned   Single   Judge   accepted   the  contention   and   quashed   the   First   Information  Report   filed   by   the   Police­Sub­Inspector.   I  may   quote   the   observations   of   the   learned Judge as under:­ “6.  It  has  been  mainly  contended  that the  Police  Sub ­Inspector   has   no   authority   to   file   F.I.R.  before the Police for  the offences in question. In   fact,   even   looking   to   the   averments   made   in   the  F.I.R. no  offence can be said to have been made out   and therefore it would be an abuse of court process   to permit further investigation and submission of  the charge­ sheet at the end of the investigation by  the   Investigating   Officer   in   the   said   matter.  Therefore,   no   offence   has   been   made   even   prima  facie, therefore the F.I.R. may be quashed. 4. On  receipt   of   the   above   petition,   notice   was   issued  and rule was issued thereafter. 5. Learned A.P.P.  has appeared on behalf of the State. I have heard  the   learned   advocate   for   the   petition   and   the  learned   A.P.P.   for   the   State   who   have   taken   me  through the F.I.R. and legal aspects of the case. 

6.   It   has   been   mainly   contended   by   the   learned  advocate   for   the   petitioner   that   the   Police   Sub­ Inspector   has   no   authority   or   power   to   file   the  F.I.R.   or   complaint   in   respect   of   the   offences  punishable under the provisions of The Prevention  of Food Adulteration Act, 1954  (for short “the said  Act”). He has, drawn my attention to the provisions  made in the said Act.  If we go by the scheme of the  said   Act,   it   is   very   clear   that   the   powers   have   been given to  the Food Inspector for collecting the  samples and for sending them to the Public Analyst  and also to file complaint against the persons who   are found to be guilty of the offences punishable  under   the   said   Act.   In   the   present   case,   a   Food   Inspector appointed u/s 9 of the Act,  has not filed     the complaint but a F.I.R. has been filed by the  Police   Sub­ Inspector.   The   Police   Sub­ Inspector  cannot be equated with Food Inspector and therefore  the   Police   Sub­ Inspector   cannot   claim   any   right,  power   or   authority   to   file   the   F.I.R.   for   the  offences punishable under the said Act. 

7. It   is   required   to   be   considered   that   the  under   Section   12   of   the   said   Act,   even   the  purchaser has also been empowered to take samples  and   send   the   same   to   the   Public   Analyst   for  analysis.   In   the   present   case,   we   find   that   the  Police   Sub­Inspector   has   not   purchased   the   food  samples   in   question   and   therefore   he   is   not   a   purchaser. Therefore, he cannot file the complaint  or the F.I.R. even in his capacity as purchaser.

8.   Then   the   learned   advocate   for   the   petitioners   has   also   taken   me   through   the   provisions   of   the  Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Rules,1955  (hereinafter referred to as “the said Rules”).  Rule  9 of the said Rules, provides for the duties of the   Food Inspector and there are also provisions  as to   the manner in which food samples are required to be   collected.  In   the  present  case,  we   find  that  the  F.I.R.   etc.   do   not   speak   that   the   procedure   and  rules have been observed  and followed by the P.S.I.  while taking the samples. 

9. Rule 12 of the said Rules also states that when   the Food Inspector takes a sample of an article for   the purpose of analysis, he has to give notice of  his intention to do so in writing in form VI, then   and   there,   to   the   person   from   whom   he   takes   the   sample   and   simultaneously,   by   appropriate   means,  also to the persons if any, whose name, address and   other particulars have been disclosed  under Section  14­A   of   the   Act.   The   F.I.R.   does   not   state   that   this   process   was   undertaken   by   the   Police   Sub­ Inspector while taking the samples. 

10.   Then   Rule   14   of   the   said   Rules   provide   for  manner for sending samples for analysis. The F.I.R.  etc. do not show that this Rule was followed by the   Police   Sub­Inspector   while   forwarding   the   samples  to the Public Analyst. 

11. Rule 16 of the said Rules, provides for packing   and sealing the samples. The F.I.R. does not show  that   this   Rule   was   followed   while   packing   and  sealing the samples in question. 

12. Rule 17 of the said Rules, provides for manner  of despatching the containers of samples. Again the  F.I.R. is silent on the point as to whether this  procedure was followed by the Police Sub­Inspector  while despatching the samples in question. 

13. Rule 18 of the said Rules says that a copy of  memorandum and specimen impression of the seal used  to   seal   the   packet,   shall   be   sent,   in   a   sealed  packet   separately   to   the   Public   Analyst   by   any  means immediately but not later than the succeeding  working  day.   Again  the  F.I.R.  does  not   show  that  the   Police   Sub­Inspector   has   followed   this  provision   made   under   Rule   18   of   the   Rules   while  while sending the samples to the Public Analyst. 

14. Rule 19 further says that the preservatives are  required to be added in the food samples. Again the   F.I.R.   does   not   show   that   any   preservative   was  added to the food samples.

15. Section 10 (3) of the said Act provides that  the complainant is required to pay for the samples  purchased by him. In the present case, we find that   in the F.I.R. it is not stated that the price of   the   goods   in   respect   of   which   the   samples   were  collected was paid to the vendor. 

16. Section 11 of the said Act also provides that  after taking the samples, the same is required to  be divided into three parts, and one of the same is   required to be sent to the Public Analyst and two  other parts are required to be sent to the Local  (Health) Authority for the purpose of sub­section  (2) of this Section and sub­sections (2­A) and (2­ E) of Section 13. 

17. Section 13 of the said Act, says that even the   accused person has a right to obtain second opinion  from the Central Food Laboratory and the report of  the   said   Central   Food   Laboratory   would   be   a  separate   report   from   the   report   of   the   Public  Analyst.   There   is   nothing   in   the   F.I.R.   to   show  that  some  portion  of  the   samples  in   question  was  preserved   so   that   the   present   petitioners   could  request the concerned Court for sending the samples  to the  Central Food Laboratory. It is well settled  that   these   provisions   are   mandatory   and   are  required   to   be   strictly   complied   with.   If   the  petitioners are unable to exercise their right of   applying before the learned Magistrate for having  second   opinion   from   the   Central   Food   Laboratory,  then a very valuable right of the petitioners can  be   said  to   have  been  infringed  and  therefore  his  defence is likely to be adversely and pre judicially  affected. 

18. It is very clear that in the present case no   procedure as laid down in the said Act and Rules  has   been   followed   by   the   Police   Sub­ Inspector.  Learned A.P.P. is unable to say that the procedure  as   indicated   in   the   said   Act   and   Rules   has   been   followed. In that view of the matter, the samples  have been taken by the Police Sub ­Inspector without  following  procedure  as   laid  down  in   the  said  Act  and Rules. 

19.  On  one  hand,  the  Police  Sub­Inspector  is  not  competent   to   file   complaint   for   the   offences   punishable under the said Act and on the other hand   he is not the purchaser  as indicated  above. Even he   has   not   followed   the   procedure   required   to   be  followed for taking  the samples for preserving the  samples   and   for   despatching   the   samples   to   the  Public Analyst.  A valuable right of the petitioners  of having second opinion has been lost as there is  nothing   on   record   to   show   that   the   said   samples  have  been  preserved  as   aforesaid.  In   view  of  the  violation of the aforesaid mandatory provisions, it  is clear that no fruitful purpose will be served by   allowing   the   prosecution   to   go   ahead   with  investigation and trial. 

20.  It  is  well   settled  that  the  petitioners  have  right   of   getting   second   opinion   from   the   Central  Food Laboratory. Their defence can be said to have   been adversely affected and in that case also the  complaint is required to be quashed and set aside. 

21. In that case this is a fit case for exercising   discretionary jurisdiction and power under Section  482 of the Code for quashing and setting aside the  F.I.R.   Learned   A.P.P.   appearing   on   behalf   of   the  State is unable to support the case of the State or   of the Police Sub­Inspector. 

22.   For   the   foregoing   reasons,   this   petition   is  allowed. The First Information Report being  CR No.  22 of 2001 filed by the Police Sub­Inspector before  the   Unjha   Police   Station   and   consequent  investigation in respect thereof are ordered to be  quashed and set aside.  The petitioners shall not be  prosecuted in respect of the said offences on the  basis   of   the   F.I.R.   filed   by   the   Police   Sub­ Inspector.  This  does  not   mean  that  even  the  Food  Inspector   is   debarred   from   prosecuting   the  petitioners.   Rule   is   made   absolute   to   the   above  extent.”

12. My attention has been drawn to a Division  Bench decision of the Allahabad High Court in  the   case   of  M/S   Pepsi   Co.   India   Holdings   v.  State  of  U.P.,  Writ  Petition  No.8254  of  2010  decided   on  8th  September,   2010  dealing   with  almost an identical issue.

13. In the said Writ­ Petition, the validity of  the   Government   order   dated   11.05.2010  directing   the   Police   to   register   cases   or  initiate   action   under   Section   272/273   of   IPC   was   questioned   on   the   ground   that   it   had  resulted in gross violation of the fundamental  rights   of   the   employees   and   agents   of   the  Company as available under Articles 14 and 21  of   the   Constitution   of   India.   The   argument  before   the   Division   Bench   was   that   on   coming  into force of the  PFA Act,  it repealed Section  272 and 273 IPC by necessary implication as it  occupied   complete   field   with   regard   to   the  “Adulteration   of   Food   Stuff”  and   also   on   the  principal   of   special   law   prevailing   over   the  general law to the extent Section 272/273 IPC  Code   covered   by   the   PFA   Act.   The   Division  Bench   while   allowing   the   writ­ petitions   and  quashing  the  impugned  Government  Order  issued  by the State Government held as under:­ “In   all   the   afore­ captioned   writ   petitions,  petitioners   have   questioned   the   validity   of   the  Government   Order   dated   11.5.2010   issued   by   the  State Government directing  the police  to register  cases or initiate action  under Sections 272/273 IPC  inter alia on the ground that it has resulted in   gross   violation   of   fundamental   rights   of   the  employee’s and agents of the Company as available  under   Article   14   and   21   of   the   Constitution   of  India and have consequently prayed for quashing of  the   FIR   registered   against   the   employees   of   the  Company   in   different   districts   of   the   State   of  Uttar   Pradesh.  

In writ petition no. 8254 (MB) of 2010, petitioner  no.2   Sumit   Sehgal   is   the   distributor   of   the  company,   who   has   been   arrested   on   11.8.2010   in  pursuance of FIR dated 11.8.2010 registered  as Case  Crime No. 392 of 2010 under Sections 272/273 IPC at  PS   Cantt.   District   Varanasi.  

In Writ Petition No. 8255 (MB) of 2010, petitioner  HC-NIC Page 11 of 74 Created On Sat May 06 01:23:41 IST 2017 no.2 Wajid Ali is Quality Control Executive of the  Company and  petitioner no.3 Mohd. Shahid is Manager  of   the   CFA   Agency   of   the   company.   They   were  arrested   in   pursuance   of   the   FIR   dated   11.8.2010  registered  at  PS Khuldabad, District  Allahabad  as  Case Crime No. 244 of 2010 under Section 273 IPC   In writ petition no. 8256 (MB) of 2010, petitioners  were arrested pursuant to the FIR dated 12.8.2010  registered   at   police   station   Rohania   District  Varanasi   as   case   crime   no.   144/10   under   Section  419, 420, 467,468, 471 IPC and Section 7/16 of the  PFA Act and Rules 32, 49, 50 of the Rules framed  thereunder. In the said case, the prosecution moved  an   application   for   alteration   of   sections,   which  was   allowed   by   the   competent   Court   and   the  petitioners   were   remanded   only   under   Section   273  IPC and  Sections 51 and 57  of the Food Safety and  Standards   Act,   2006.  

Draped in brevity, the facts of the case are that  the   petitioner­   Pepsico   India   Holdings   Private  Limited,   is   a   company   registered   under   the  provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. The company  is engaged in the business of manufacturing of soft  drinks   inter­alia   under   the   brand   name   of   PEPSI,  Lehar, 7UP, Slice and Miranda etc. The company is  aggrieved by the issuance of  the  Government Order  dated 11.5.2010 issued by the State Government as  it   gives   unfettered   powers   to   the   authorities   to  initiate   action   against   violators   or   suspected  violators for food  adulteration and misbranding by  invoking Sections 272/273 IPC by registering FIRs.  After   the   issuance   of   the   aforesaid   Government  Order, various products of the Company were seized  from the go­down and FIRs were registered against  the officers/agents of  the  company  under Sections  272/273 IPC and Section 7/16 of the Prevention of  Food   Adulteration   Act,   1954   [hereinafter   referred  to   as   the   ‘PFA   Act’].  

Sri   Nagendra   Rao,   learned   Counsel   for   the  petitioners, while giving a summary of the history  of legislation on Food laws, took us to the past   and   stated   that   Chapter   XIV   of   the   Indian   Penal  Code   deals   with   “Offences   affecting   the   public  health”. Sections 272 and 273  IPC deal with public  health   by   making   penal   offences   pertaining   to  adulteration of food etc.  and sale of noxious food  or   drink.   Thereafter   the   Parliament   in   the   year  1954 enacted  “The Prevention of Food  Adulteration  Act,   1954”   which   was   a   complete   code   in   itself  providing for various penalties for adulteration of  food   stuff   and   other   related   subjects.   It   also  HC-NIC Page 12 of 74 Created On Sat May 06 01:23:41 IST 2017 provided   an   exhaustive   procedure   for   the   inquiry  and   trial   of   such   offences,   regulating   the  manufacture, sale and distribution etc of “Food”. 

According to Counsel for the petitioners, on coming  into force of the PFA Act, it repealed Sections 272  and 273 IPC by necessary implication as it occupied  complete   field   with   regard   to   ‘adulteration   of  foodstuff’ and also on the principle of a special  law   prevailing   over   a   general   law   to   the   extent  Sections 272/273 IPC got covered by the PFA Act. In  the said PFA Act and Sections 272 IPC,  the  State of  Uttar Pradesh brought amendments in the year 1975  whereby Section 16 of the PFA Act  was amended and  the   period   of   imprisonment   of   6   years   was  substituted with  ‘imprisonment for life’.  Similarly  amendments   were   incorporated   in   Section   272   IPC,  whereby   imprisonment   for   six   months   was   also  substituted   by   ‘imprisonment   for   life’.   The  offences   under   both   the   aforesaid   Acts   were   also  made   cognizable   and   non ­bailable.   Thereafter,   the  Parliament made further amendments to the PFA Act  through the Act No. 34 of 1976.  By this amendment  graded punishment based on the degree of violation  was   introduced.   Recently,   the   Parliament   in   the  year 2006 passed the Food Safety and Standards Act  (in   short,   referred   to   as   ‘FSSA’).   Various  provisions of FSSA were notified from time to time  but finally on  29th July, 2010, Section 97 of FSSA,  which   repealed   all   other   food   related   laws,   was  notified.  

It   has   been   vehemently   argued   that   invocation   of  sections   272/273   IPC   by   registering   the   impugned  FIR originate  from the  impugned Government Order,  is   in   clear   violation   of   Article   14   of   the  Constitution, as in any other part of the Country,  if   there   is   any  adulteration,  same  will   be   dealt  with   under   FSSA   by   following   the   procedure   laid  down therein. Astonishingly, the authorities in the  State  of   U.P.   are   not  invoking  the  provisions  of   FSSA   and   instead   the   persons   are   being   arrested  under sections 272/273 IPC  thereby the fundamental  rights of the petitioners as guaranteed by Article  14 stand violated  since in cases where provisions  of FSSA are invoked the defaulter gets benefit of  procedure and  safeguards as provided under the Act  whereas   in   the   present   cases,   pursuant   to   the  Government   Order,   referred   to   above,   the  authorities have chosen to  invoke sections 272/273 IPC  without even waiting for the report of Public  Analyst. Since the alleged offence as disclosed in  the   FIR   are   covered  under   the   provisions  of   FSSA   and   as   such   there   cannot   be   any   violation   of  section   272/273   IPC.  

Elaborating his arguments, Sri Nagendra Rao argued  that there are certain ingredients for constituting  an   offence   under   section   272   IPC.   Similarly,  section   273   requires   certain   ingredients   to   be  fulfilled before the offence of adulteration can be  said   to   be   made   out.   The   ingredients   are   that  somebody selling the food article or drinks which  has been rendered noxious or unfit for food/drink  with   such   knowledge   or   having   reasons   to   believe  that   the   same   is   noxious   food   item.   To   put  differently,   sections   272/273   IPC   are   only  attracted, if it is shown that the adulteration is  deliberate,  intentional  or  with the  knowledge.  In  the   absence   of   any   such   evidence   or   allegations,  the ingredients of offence  under sections 272/273 IPC are not constituted.  In any event intention to  adulterate   or   the   knowledge   that   the   product   is  adulterated   cannot   be   remotely   attributed   to   the  petitioners nor there is any such allegation in the  complaint.  

Learned   Counsel   for   the   petitioners   next   argued  that   the   impugned   Government   Order   directing   the  subordinates   to   initiate   action   under   Sections  272/273   IPC   is   completely   misconceived   in   law   as  Sections   272/273   IPC   are   not   applicable   to   the  cases of  food adulteration as upto 29th July, 2010  all such cases were required to be dealt under the  PFA Act and with effect from 29th July, 2010 the   provisions   of   the   said   PFA   Act   and   other   food  related   laws   relating   to   sampling,   imposition   of  penalties   for   adulteration   and   other   connected  matters have been repealed by the introduction of  Food   Safety   and   Standards   Act,   2006.  

On the strength of paras 15 and 20 of the judgment  rendered   in   Jeewan   Kumar   Raut   and   another   v.  Central   Bureau   of   Investigation   [2009   (7)   UJ   SC  3135], Sri Rao vehemently argued that action of the  respondents   in   registering   the   F.I.R.   instead   of  proceeding  as  per procedure, prescribed under the  FSSA, is highly unjustified and illegal. The said  judgment   relates   to   the   Transplantation   of   Human  Organs   Act,   1994,   which   has   been   referred   to   as  ‘TOHO’   therein.   Paragraphs   15   and   20   of   the  judgment,   on   which   reliance   has   been   placed,   are  reproduced   hereunder:­   “15. TOHO being a special statute, Section 4 of the  Code,   which   ordinarily   would   be   applicable   for  investigation   into   a   cognizable   offence   or   the  other provisions, may not be applicable. Section 4  HC-NIC Page 14 of 74 Created On Sat May 06 01:23:41 IST 2017 provides   for   investigation,   inquiry,   trial,   etc.  according   to   the   provisions   of   the   Code.   Sub­ section   (2)   of   Section   4,   however,   specifically  provides that offences  under any other law shall be  investigated,   inquired   into,   tried   and   otherwise  dealt   with   according   to   the   same   provisions,   but  subject   to   any   enactment   for   the   time   being   in  force   regulating   the   manner   or   place   of  investigating,   inquiring   into,   tried   or   otherwise  dealing   with   such   offences.   TOHO   being   a   special  Act   and   the   matter   relating   to   dealing   with  offences there under having been regulated by reason  of   the   provisions   thereof,   there   cannot   be   any  manner   of   doubt   whatsoever   that   the   same   shall  prevail   over   the   provisions   of   the   Code.  

20.It is a well­settled principle of law that if a  special statute lays down procedures, the ones laid  down   under   the   general   statutes   shall   not   be  followed.   In   a   situation   of   this   nature,   the  respondent   could   carry   out   investigations   in  exercise of its authorization under Section 13 (3) 

(iv)   of   TOHO.   While   doing   so,   it   could   exercise  such powers which are  otherwise vested in it.  But,  as   it   could   not   file   a   police   report   but   a  complaint petition only; Sub­section (2)  of Section  167    of   the   Code   may   not   be   applicable.   The  provisions  of  the  Code,  thus,  for   all   intent   and   purport,   would   apply   only   to   an   extent   till  conflict arises between  the provisions of the Code  and   TOHO   and   as   soon   as   the   area   of   conflict  reaches,   TOHO   shall   prevail   over   the   Code.  Ordinarily,   thus,   although   in   terms   of   the   Code,  the respondent upon completion of investigation and  upon obtaining remand of the accused from  time to  time, was required to file a police report, it was  precluded from doing so by reason  of the provisions  contained   in   Section   22   of   TOHO.   To   put   it  differently, upon completion  of the investigation,  an authorized officer could only file a complaint  and not a police report,  as a specific bar has been  created   by   the   Parliament.   In   that   view   of   the  matter, the police report being not a complaint and  vice­ versa,  it  was  obligatory  on  the  part  of   the   respondent to choose the said method invoking the  jurisdiction of the Magistrate concerned for taking  cognizance of the offence only in the manner laid  down   therein   and   not   by   any   other   mode.   The  procedure laid down in TOHO, thus, would permit the  respondent   to   file   a   complaint   and   not   a   report  which   course   of   action   could   have   been   taken  recourse   to   but   for   the   special   provisions  contained   in   Section   22   of   TOHO.”  

 Placing reliance on Jatinder Kumar Jain vs. State  of   Punjab;   [2008(2)   FAC   437]   learned   Counsel   for  the petitioners has argued that registering of the  FIRs under the Penal Code  against the employees   and  agent   of   the   company   without   following   the  procedure   laid   down   in   the   special   statute   i.e.  FSSA   is   not   permissible.  

Referring to the case of Jamiruddin Ansari v. CBI;  (2009)6   SCC   316,   Sri   Rao   submitted   that   in   this  case the Apex Court has held that the provisions of  Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act  (MCOCA)  would have an overriding effect over the provisions  of Code of Criminal Procedure.  In paragraph 67 of  the   report,   the   Apex   Court   observed   as   under:­   ” We are also inclined to hold that in view of the   provisos of section 25 of MCOCA, the provisions of  the said Act would have an overriding effect over  the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code and  the learned Special Judge would not, therefore, be  entitled to invoke the provisions of Section 156(3)  CrPC  for   ordering  a   special   inquiry  on   a   private  complaint and taking  cognizance thereupon,  without  traversing   the   route   indicated   in   Section   23   of  MCOCA.”  

On behalf of the State, it has been argued that the  impugned Circular dated 11.5.2010 is nothing, but a   direction to follow the rule of law as it had come  to the knowledge of the State Government that the  FIRs   are   not   being   registered   by   the   Food  Inspectors and Drug Inspectors even in the case of  cognizable   offences.   The   said   Circular   is   only   a  reminder to the authorities  to do work according  to  law and nothing else. It is incorrect to say that  FIRs have been registered pursuant to the circular  dated   11.5.2010.  

During the course of argument, a feign attempt was  also   made   regarding   maintainability   of   the   writ  petition   at   Lucknow   as   no   cause   of   action   has  arisen   within   the   territorial   jurisdiction   of  Lucknow.   However,   this   point   was   not   seriously  pressed  when  it   was   pointed   out   that   the  primary  relief   relates   to   the   quashing   of   the   Government  Order/Circular dated 11.5.2010  and the quashing for  FIRs   is   the   consequential   relief.  

Learned State Counsel  has also pointed out that the  Act of 2006 is a Central Act. Various provisions of  the   said   Act   of   2006   have   been   notified   in   the  official gazette on various dates.  Some provisions  of the said Act came into force on 15.10.2007, some  provisions   came   into   force   on   25.7.2008,   some   on 28.8.2008,   some   on   11.8.2008,   some   on   9.3.2009,  some  on   26.6.2009,  some  on   31.7.2009  and  last   by   some on 29.7.2010. Therefore, the Union of India is  a   necessary   party   to   place   various   objects   and  reasons including the Doctrine of Implied Repeal.  Moreover,   Section   29(1)   of   the   FSSA   deals   with  express repeal, which provides that the enactments  and   orders   specified   in   the   Second   Schedule   have  been   repealed   from   29.7.2010   i.e.   the   appointed  date. The Second Schedule mentions about 8 Acts or  orders   in   which   not   a   single   provisions   of   the  Penal  Code  has   been   mentioned.  Thus,  it   is   clear  that the relevant  provisions of the Penal Code i.e.  Sections 272 and 273 have not been repealed by any  express   provision.   In   support   of   this   contention  reliance   has   been   placed   upon   State   of   M.P.   vs.  Kedia  Leather  and  Liquor  Ltd  and   others   (2003)  7   SCC   389.  

It has been vehemently argued that the provisions  of   the   Penal   Code   shall   not   be   repealed   unless  there  is   express  provision  to  that  effect  as   was   done by the Parliament  while enacting Prevention of  Corruption   Act.   Moreover,   the   provisions   of   the  FSSA and the  relevant provisions of the Penal Code  are   not   contradictory   to   each   other.   Reliance   in  this  regard  has   been   placed   on   Basti  Sugar  Mills  Co. Ltd. vs. State o U.P. and another (1979) 2 SCC 

86.   In   the   Code   of   Criminal   Procedure   (Cr.P.C.),  there   are   various   stages   like   investigation,  cognizance, prosecution, conviction, sentence which  are altogether different to the procedure provided  in the FSSA as such the provisions of FSSA do not  have   any   overriding   effect   upon   the   relevant  provisions   of   the   Cr.P.C..   Furthermore,   the  assertion of the petitioners that the instant case  is   fully   covered   with   the   decision   of   the   Apex  Court   in   Jeevan   Kumar   Raut’s   (supra)   is   wholly  misconceived as in the instant case, the relevant  provisions of the Code  remained intact  as doctrine  of   implied   repeal   is   not   applicable.  

Lastly, it has been submitted that in clause 3(j)  of the definition clause of FSSA, the word “food”  has   been   defined.   The   recovered   article   does   not  come   within   the   meaning   of   “Food”   as   such   the  provisions   of   FSSA   are   not   applicable   in   the  present   case.  

Countering   the   allegations   of   the   State   Counsel,  petitioners’   Counsel   submitted   that   assertions   of  the State Counsel that date of repeal is yet to be  notified is  wholly fallacious as the  notification  bringing into force Section 97 of the FSSA has tobe read in light of Section 1(3) and  Section 5(3)  of   the   General   Clauses   Act.   A   bare   reading   of  Section 97(1) with the  second Schedule   as well as  Column   Comments   under   the   caption   “Notes   on  Clauses”   supplied   with   the   Act   will   make   it  abundantly clear  that “this section seeks to repeal  the   enactment   and   orders   specified   in   second  Schedule immediately w.e.f. the date on which Act  is   enacted   and   comes   into   force.  

Clarifying the position, it has been submitted that  section 97(2) is not dependent on Section 97(1) and  it has come into force on 29th July, 2010. By the  impact   of   Section   97(2)   all   State   Amendments  corresponding   to   FSSA   stand   repealed,   meaning  thereby if subject  matter of any  State Amendment is  included in FSSA, the same stands repealed w.e.f.  29th   July,   2010   since   State   Amendment   amending  section 272 and section 273 IPC and section 16 PFA  Act   deals   with   the   same   subject   of   food  adulteration   which   is   now   fully   covered   by   FSSA,  the same stands repealed irrespective of the fact  that whether PFA Act is repealed or not. In fact,  the State by its own admission has accepted repeal  of PFA Act in the FIR impugned in Writ Petition No.  8255   (MB)   of   2010.   Originally,   the   State   had  invoked   Section   16   PFA   Act   which   has   now   been  replaced   by   Section   51   and   57   of   FSSA.  

Learned Counsel for the petitioners submitted that  definition of ‘food’ is an inclusive definition and  includes any substance which is intended for human  consumption.   The   word   ‘substance’   as   defined   in  Section   2   (zw)   of   FSSA   includes   any   natural   or  artificial substance  or other matter, whether it is  in solid state or in liquid form or in the form of   gas or vapour.  It is nobody’s case that carbonated  drinks   or   juice   based   beverages   are   not   intended  for   human   consumption   or   that   they   are   not  substances   for   the   purposes   of   Section   2   (zw).  Moreover,   under   Section   5   of   PFA   Act,   standards  were laid for various food  articles in  Appendix B.  In Appendix B, carbonated water is defined in entry  A.01.01 Similarly juice based  beverages are   defined  in Entry A.15 of Appendix B. By virtue of Section  98,   the   rules   including   Appendix   B   have   been  temporarily   transported   to   FSSA   till   the  regulations under  the FSSA are notified.   It would,  therefore, be absurd to contend that although the  standards for this product are provided treating it  to   be   food   stuff,   but   it   otherwise   is   not   an   article   of   food.  

Learned Counsel for the petitioners has also urged  HC-NIC Page 18 of 74 Created On Sat May 06 01:23:41 IST 2017 that   sale   of   unsafe   food   is   a   violation   under  Section 59 of FSSA  where the punishment varies from  six months to seven years. Unsafe food is defined  under Section 2 (zz) of FSSA, which also includes  food   which   is   harmful   to   health   or   repugnant   to  human use. Reliance has also placed on the judgment  passed   by   a   Division   Bench   of   the   Hon’ble   High  Court   of   Kerala   in   Chami   vs.   Excise   Inspector  [(2006  (1)  KLT   511)]   wherein  the   Court   has   dealt  with the definition and the interpretation of the  word  ‘noxious’  and  has  come   to   the  conclusion  at   Para 4 that for a substance to become noxious it   should   be   harmful   to   health.  

The   Ministry   of   Health   and   Family   Welfare,   New  Delhi issued a notification  dated 29th July, 2010   with   regard   to   coming   into   force   of   various  provisions   of   the   FSSA,   2006.   The   notification  reads   as   under:­   “S.O.1855(E):­ In exercise of the powers conferred  by sub­section(3) of Section 1 of the Food Safety  and Standards Act, 2006 (34 of 2006), the Central  Government   hereby   appoints   the   29th   day   of   July,  2010 as the date on which  the provisions of Section  19 to 21 (both inclusive), Sections 23 to 29 (both  inclusive),   Sections   31   to   35(both   inclusive),  Sections   48   to   80(   both   inclusive),   Sections   89,  Section 94 to 98 ( both inclusive) and Section 100  of   the   said   Act,   shall   come   into   force.”  

As   much   emphasis   has   been   laid   on   the   various  provisions   of   the   FSSA,   we   deem   it   proper   to  reproduce certain relevant  provisions  of the Act.  FSSA was enacted  by the Parliament  with a view to  consolidate   the   laws   relating   to   food   and   to  establish the  Food Safety  and Standards Authority  of   India   for   laying   down   science   based   standards  for   articles   of   food   and   to   regulate   their  manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import  to ensure  availability of safe and wholesome food  for   human   consumption   and   for   matters   connected  therewith.  

The   statement   of   object   and   reasons   of   the   Act  reads   as   under:­   (1)   Multiplicity   of   foods   laws,   standard   setting  and enforcement agencies pervades different sectors  of   food,   which   creates  confusion  in  the   minds   of   consumers,   traders,   manufacturers   and   investors.  Detailed   provisions   under   various   laws   regarding  admissibility   and   levels   of   foods   additives,  contaminants,   food   colours,   preservatives,   etc.,  and   other   related   requirements   have   varied  standards under these laws. The standards are often  rigid and non ­responsive to scientific  advancements    and modernization. In view of multiplicity of laws,  their enforcement  and   standard setting as well as  various   implementing   agencies   are   detrimental   to  the growth of  the nascent food processing industry  and is not conducive to effective fixation of food  standards   and   their   enforcement.  

(2)   In   as   early   as   in   the   year   1998,   the   Prime  Minister’s Council on  Trade and Industry  appointed   a Subject Group on  Food and Agro Industries,  which  had   recommended   for   one   comprehensive   legislation  on Food with a Food Regulatory Authority concerning  both   domestic   and   export   markets.   Joint  Parliamentary   Committee   on   Pesticide   Residues   in  its report in 2004 emphasized the need to converge  all   present   food   laws   and   to   have   a   single  regulatory   body.   The   Committee   expressed   its  concern on public health and food safety in India.  The Standing Committee of Parliament on Agriculture  in its 12th Report  submitted in   April 2005 directed  that the much needed legislation on Integrated Food  Law   should   be   expedited.  

(3)   As   an   on   going   process,   the   then   Member­ Secretary,   law   Commission   of   India,   was   asked   to  make a comprehensive review of Food Laws of various  developing   and   developed   countries   and   other  relevant   international   agreements   and   instruments  on the subject. After making an indepth survey of  the   International   scenario,   the   then   Member­ Secretary recommended that the new Food Law be seen  in   the   overall   prospective   of   promoting   nascent  food   processing   industry   given   its   income,  employment   and   export   potential.   It   has   been  suggested that all acts and orders relating to food  be subsumed within  the proposed  Integrated Food Law  as the international trend is towards modernization  and   convergence   of   regulations   of   Food   Standards  with   the   elimination   of   multi­level   and   multi­ departmental  control. Presently, the emphasis is on 

(a)   responsibility   with   manufactures,   (b)   recall, 

(c) Genetically Modified and Functional Foods, (d)  emergency   control,   (e)   risk   analysis   and  communication   and   (f)   Food   Safety   and   Good  Manufacturing Practices and Process Control, viz.,  Hazard   Analysis   and   Critical   Control   Point.  

(4)   In   this   background,   the   Group   of   Ministers  constituted   by   the   Government   of   India,   held  extensive   deliberations   and   approved   the   proposed  Integrated Food Law  with certain modifications. The  Integrated   Food   Law   has   been   named   as   ‘The   Food  Safety   and   Standards   Bill,   2005’.   The   main  objective   of   the   Bill   is   to   bring   out   a   single  statute   relating   to   food   and   to   provide   for   a   systematic   and   scientific   development   of   Food  Processing Industries. It is proposed to establish  the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India,  which will fix food standards and regulate/monitor  the manufacturing, import, processing, distribution  and   sale   of   food,   so   as   to   ensure   and   wholesome  food   for   the   people.   The   Food   Authority   will   be  assisted   by   Scientific   Committees   and   Panels   in  fixing   standards   and   by   a   Central   Advisory  Committee   in   prioritization   of   the   work.   The  enforcement of the  legislation will be through the  State   Commissioner   for   Food   Safety,   his   officers  and   Panchayati   Raj/   Municipal   bodies.”  

Section 3 of the Act is the definition clause and  defines   ‘adulterant’   ‘contaminant’   ‘food’   ‘food  additive’ ‘food business’ ‘hazard’, ‘manufacture’,  ‘sale’,   ‘substance’,   ‘sub­standard’   and   ‘unsafe  food’ amongst other words, which read as under:­   “(a ) “adulterant” means any material which is or  could   be   employed   for   making   the   food   unsafe   or  sub­standard, mis­branded or  containing  extraneous  matter;  

(g) “contaminant” means  any substance,  whether  or  not   added   to   food,   but   which   is   present   in   such  food   as   a   result   of   the   production   (including  operations   carried   out   in   crop   husbandry,   animal  husbandry   or   veterinary   medicine),   manufacture,  processing,   preparation,   treatment,   packing,  packaging, transport or holding of such food or as  a   result   of   environmental   contamination   and   does  not   include   insect   fragments,   rodent   hairs   and  other   extraneous   matter;  

(j) “food” means any substance, whether processed,  partially   processed   or   unprocessed,   which   is  intended for human consumption and includes primary  food,   to   the   extent   defined   in   clause   (ZK)  genetically   modified   or   engineered   food   or   food  containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged  drinking water, alcoholic  drink, chewing gum, and  any substance, including water used into the food  during   its   manufacture,   preparation   or   treatment  but does not include any animal feed, live animals  unless they are prepared or processed for placing  on the market for human consumption, plants prior  to   harvesting,   drugs   and   medicinal   products,  cosmetics,   narcotic   or   psychotropic   substances:   Provided that  the Central  Government  may declare,  by notification in the Official Gazette, any other  article as food for the purposes of this Act having  regards to its use, nature, substance or quality; 

(k)   “food   additive”   means   any   substance   not  normally consumed as a food by itself or used as a  typical ingredient of the food, whether or not it  has   nutritive   value,   the   intentional   addition   of  which   to   food   for   a   technological   (including  organoleptic)   purpose   in   the   manufacture,  processing,   preparation,   treatment,   packing,  packaging,   transport   or   holding   of   such   food  results,   or   may   be   reasonably   expected   to   result  (directly or indirectly), in it or its by­products  becoming a component of or otherwise affecting the  characteristics of such food but does not include  “contaminants”   or   substances   added   to   food   for  maintaining   or   improving   nutritional   qualities;  

(n) “food business” means any undertaking, whether  for   profit  or   not   and  whether  public  or  private,  carrying out any of the activities related to any  stage   of   manufacture,   processing,   packaging,  storage,   transportation,   distribution   of   food,  import   and   includes   food   services,   caterings  services,   sale   of   food   or   food   ingredients;  

(u)   “hazard”   means   a   biological,   chemical   or  physical agent in, or condition of, food with the  potential   to   cause   an   adverse   health   effect;  

(zd ) “manufacturer” means a person engaged in the  business of manufacturing any article of food for  sale   and   includes   any   person   who   obtains   such  article from another person  and packs and  labels it  for   sale   or   only   labels   it   for   such   purposes;  

(zr)   “sale”   with   its   grammatical   variations   and  cognate expressions, means the sale of any article  of food, whether for cash or on credit or by way of   exchange   and   whether   by   wholesale   or   retail,   for  human   consumption   or   use,   or   for   analysis,   and  includes an agreement  for sale,  an offer for sale,  the exposing for sale or having in possession for  sale   of   any   such   article,   and   includes   also   an  attempt   to   sell   any   such   article;  

(zw) “substance” includes any natural or artificial  substance or other matter, whether it is in a solid  state or in liquid form or in the form of gas or  vapour;  

(zx) “sub­standard” ­ an article of food shall be  deemed to be sub­ standard if it does not meet the  specified   standards   but   not   so   as   to   render   the  article   of   food   unsafe;  

(zz) “unsafe food” means an article of food whose  nature, substance or quality is so affected as to  render   it   injurious   to   health:  

(i)by the article itself, or its package thereof,  which  is   composed,  whether  wholly  or  in   part,   of   poisonous   or   deleterious   substances;   or  

(ii)by the article consisting , wholly or in part,  of   any   filthy,   putrid,   rotten,   decomposed   or  diseased   animal   substance   or   vegetable   substance;  or  

(iii)by virtue of its unhygienic processing or the  presence in that article of any harmful substance;  or  

(iv)by the substitution of any inferior or cheaper  substance   whether   wholly   or   in   part;   or  

(v)by   addition   of   a   substance   directly   or   as   an  ingredient   which   is   not   permitted;   or  

(vi)by the abstraction, wholly or in part, of any  of   its   constituents;   or  

(vii)by the article being so coloured, flavoured or  coated,   powdered   or   polished,   as   to   damage   or  conceal the article or to make it appear better or  of   greater   value   than   it   really   is;   or  

(viii)by   the   presence   of   any   colouring   matter   or  preservatives other than  that specified in  respect  thereof;   or  

(ix)by the article having been infected or infested  with   worms,   weevils   or   insects;   or  

(x)by virtue of its being prepared, packed or kept  under   insanitary   conditions;   or  

(xi)by   virtue   of   its   being   mis­branded   or   sub­ standard or food containing extraneous matter; or 

(xii)by virtue  of containing pesticides and other  contaminants  in excess  of  quantities  specified  by  regulations.”  

Section   41   deals   with   power   of   search,   seizure,  investigation,   prosecution   and   procedure   whereas  section 42 deals with the procedure for launching  prosecution.   Both   the   sections   reads   as   under:­  

41.   Power   of   search,   seizure,   investigation,  prosecution   and   procedure   thereof   ­   (1)  Notwithstanding   anything   contained   in   sub­section  (2)   of   section   31,   the   Food   Safety   Officer   may  search   any   place,   seize   any   article   of   food   or  adulterant,   if   there   is   a   reasonable   doubt   about  them   being   involved   in   commission   of   any   offence  relating   to   food   and   shall   thereafter   inform   the  Designated Officer of the actions taken by him in  writing:  

Provided   that   no   search   shall   be   deemed   to   be  irregular by reason only of the fact that  witnesses  for the search are not inhabitants of the locality  in   which   the   place   searched   is   situated.  

(2)   Save   as   in   this   Act   otherwise   expressly  provided,   provisions   of   the   Code   of   Criminal  Procedure,   1973   relating   to   search,   seizure,  summon, investigation and prosecution, shall apply,  as far as may be, to all action taken by the Food  Safety   Officer   under   this   Act.  

42. Procedure for launching prosecution ­ (1) The  Food   Safety   Officer   shall   be   responsible   for  inspection   of   food   business,   drawing   samples   and  sending   them   to   Food   Analyst   for   analysis.  

(2)   The   Food   Analyst   after   receiving   the   sample  from   the   Food   Safety   Officer   shall   analyse   the  sample   and   send   the   analysis   report   mentioning  method   of   sampling   and   analysis   within   fourteen  days   to   Designated   Officer   with   a   copy   to  Commissioner   of   Food   Safety.  

(3)   The   Designated   Officer   after   scrutiny   of   the  report of Food Analyst shall decide  as to whether  the   contravention   is   punishable   with   imprisonment  or   fine   only   and   in   the   case   of   contravention  punishable   with   imprisonment,   he   shall   send   his  recommendations   within   fourteen   days   to   the  Commissioner   of   Food   Safety   for   sanctioning  prosecution.  

(4) The Commissioner of Food Safety shall, if he so  deems fit decide, within the period prescribed by  the   Central   Government,   as   per   the   gravity   of  offence,   whether   the   matter   be   referred   to,­­  

(a)   a   court   of   ordinary   jurisdiction   in   case   of  offences punishable with  imprisonment  for a term up  to   three   years;   or  

(b) a Special Court in case of offences punishable  with imprisonment for a term exceeding three years  where such Special Court is established and in case  no Special Court is established, such cases shall  be   tried   by   a   court   of   ordinary   jurisdiction.  

(5)   The   Commissioner   of   Food   Safety   shall  communicate his decision to the Designated Officer  and   the   concerned   Food   Safety   Officer   who   shall  launch   prosecution   before   courts   of   ordinary  jurisdiction or Special Court, as the case may be;  and   such   communication  shall  also  be  sent  to   the   purchaser if the sample was taken under section 40. 

Chapter IX of the Act deals with the offences and  Penalties   with   regard   to   adulteration   of   food  stuff, the relevant provisions of the statute read  as   under:­   “48. General provisions relating to (1 ) A person  may render any article of food injurious to health  by   means   of   one   or   more   of   the   following  operations,   namely:­­  

(a) adding any article or substance to the food;  

(b) using any article or substance as an ingredient  in   the   preparation   of   the   food;  

(c) abstracting any constituents from the food; or 

(d)   subjecting   the   food   to   any   other   process   or  treatment;  

with the knowledge that it may be sold or offered  for   sale   or   distributed   for   human   consumption.  

(2)   In   determining  whether  any  food  is   unsafe   or   injurious   to   health,   regard   shall   be   had   to­­  

(a) (i) the normal conditions of use of the food by  the   consumer   and   its   handling   at   each   stage   of  production,   processing   and   distribution,  

(ii)   the   information   provided   to   the   consumer,  including   information   on   the   label,   or   other  information   generally   available   to   the   consumer  concerning the avoidance of specific adverse health  effects from a particular food or category of foods  not only to the probable, immediate or short­ term  or long ­term effects of that food on the health of  a   person   consuming   it,   but   also   on   subsequent  generations;  

(iii)   to   the   probable   cumulative   toxic   effects;  

(iv)   to   the   particular   health   sensitivities   of   a  specific   category   of   consumers   where   the   food   is  intended   for   that   category   of   consumers;   and  

(v) also to the probable cumulative effect of food  of substantially the same composition on the health  of a person consuming it in ordinary quantities;  

(b)   the   fact   where   the   quality   or   purity   of   the   article, being primary food, has fallen below the  specified standard or its constituents are present  in   quantities   not   within   the   specified   limits   of  variability, in either case, solely due to natural  causes and beyond the control of human agency, then  such article shall not be deemed to be unsafe or   sub­standard or food containing extraneous matter. 

Explanation   .­­For   the   purposes   of   this   section,  “injury”,   includes   any   impairment,   whether  permanent or  temporary,  and “injurious  to health”  shall   be   construed   accordingly.  

49. General provisions relating to penalty ­ While  adjudging   the   quantum   of   penalty   under   this  Chapter, the Adjudicating Officer or the Tribunal,  as the case may be, shall have due regard to the  following:­­  

(a)   the   amount   of   gain   or   unfair   advantage,  wherever   quantifiable,   made   as   a   result   of   the  contravention,  

(b) the amount of loss caused or likely to cause to  any   person   as   a   result   of   the   contravention,  

(c)   the   repetitive   nature   of   the   contravention,  

(d)   whether   the   contravention   is   without   his  knowledge,   and  

(e)   any   other   relevant   factor.  

50. Penalty for selling food not of the nature or  substance   or   quality   demanded   ­   Any   person   who  sells to the purchaser’s prejudice any food which  is   not   in  compliance  with   the   provisions  of   this   Act or the regulations made thereunder, or of the  nature   or   substance   or   quality   demanded   by   the  purchaser,   shall   be   liable   to   a   penalty   not  exceeding   two   lakh   rupees.  

Provided that the persons covered under sub­section  (2) of section 31, shall for such non­compliance be  liable   to   a   penalty   not   exceeding   twenty   five  thousand   rupees.  

51. Penalty for sub­standard food ­ Any person who  whether by himself or by any other person on his   behalf manufactures for sale or stores or sells or  distributes   or   imports   any   article   of   food   for  human consumption which is sub standard, shall be  liable to a penalty which may extend to five lakh 

52.   Penalty  for   misbranded  food  ­   (1)   Any   person  who whether by himself or by any other person  on   his behalf manufactures for sale or stores or sells  or distributes or imports any article of food for  human   consumption   which   is   misbranded,   shall   be  liable to a penalty  which may extend  to three lakh  rupees.  

(2) The Adjudicating Officer may issue a direction  to the person found guilty of an offence under this  section,   for   taking   corrective   action   to   rectify  the   mistake   or   such   article   of   food   shall   be  destroyed.  

53. Penalty for misleading advertisement ­ (1 ) Any  person   who   publishes,   or   is   a   party   to   the  publication   of   an   advertisement,   which­­  

(a)   falsely   describes   any   food;   or  

(b)   is   likely   to   mislead   as   to   the   nature   or   substance   or   quality   of   any   food   or   gives   false  guarantee,   shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to   ten   lakh   rupees.  

(2)   In   any   proceeding   the   fact   that   a   label   or  advertisement   relating   to   any   article   of   food   in  respect   of   which   the   contravention   is   alleged   to  have been committed contained an accurate statement  of the composition of the food shall not preclude  the court from finding that the contravention was  committed.  

54. Penalty for food containing extraneous matter ­   Any   person   whether   by   himself   or   by   any   other  person   on   his   behalf   manufactures   for   sale   or  stores   or   sells   or   distributes   or   imports   any  article   of   food   for   human   consumption   containing  extraneous   matter,   shall   be   liable   to   a   penalty  which   may   extend   to   one   lakh   rupees.  

55.   Penalty   for   failure   to   comply   with   the  directions   of   Food   Safety   Officer   ­   If   a   food  business   operator   or   importer   without   reasonable  ground,   fails   to   comply   with   the   requirements   of  this   Act   or   the   rules   or   regulations   or   orders  issued thereunder, as directed by the Food Safety  Officer , he shall be liable to a penalty which may  extend   to   two   lakh   rupees.  

56. Penalty for unhygienic or unsanitary processing  or manufacturing of food ­ Any person who, whether  by himself or by any other person on his behalf,   manufactures or processes any article of food for  human   consumption   under   unhygienic   or   unsanitary  conditions, shall be liable to a penalty which may  extend   to   one   lakh   rupees.  

57. Penalty for processing adulterant ­ (1) Subject  to   the   provisions  of   this   chapter,  if   any   person  who whether by himself or by any other person on   his   behalf,   imports   or   manufactures   for   sale,   or  stores, sells or distribute any adulterant shall be  liable   ­­  

(i)   where   such   adulterant   is   not   injurious   to  health, to a penalty not exceeding two lakh rupees; 

(ii) where such adulterant is injurious to health,  to   a   penalty   not   exceeding   ten   lakh   rupees.  

(2)   In   a   proceeding   under   sub­section   (1   ),   it  shall not be a defence that the accused was holding  such   adulterant   on   behalf   of   any   other   person.  

58. Penalty for contravention for which no specific  penalty   is   provided   ­   Whoever   contravenes   any  provisions of this Act or the rules or regulations  made thereunder, for the contravention of which no  penalty   has   been   separately   provided   in   this  Chapter,   shall   be   liable   to   a   penalty   which   may  extend   to   two   lakh   rupees.  

59.   Punishment  for  unsafe  food  ­   Any   person  who,   whether by himself or by any other person on his   behalf, manufactures for sale or stores or sells or  distributes   or   imports   any   article   of   food   for  human   consumption   which   is   unsafe,   shall   be  punishable,­­  

(i)where   such   failure   or   contravention   does   not  result   in   injury,   with   imprisonment   for   a   term  which may extend to six months and also with fine  which   may   extend   to   one   lakh   rupees;  

(ii)where such failure or contravention results in  a non­grievous injury, with imprisonment for a term  which   may   extend   to   one   year   and   also   with   fine  which   may   extend   to   three   lakh   rupees;  

(iii)where such failure or contravention results in  a   grievous   injury,   with   imprisonment   for   a   term  which may extend to six years and also with fine   which   may   extend   to   five   lakh   rupees;”  

Section 89 gives overriding effect of the Act over  the other food related laws and reads as under:­   “89.Overriding   effect   of   this   Act   over   all   other  food   related   laws   ­   The   provisions   of   this   Act  shall   have   effect   notwithstanding   anything  inconsistent  therewith  contained in  any other law  for the time being in force or in any instrument   having effect by virtue of any law other than this  Act.”  

Section 97 of the Act seeks to repeal the enactment  and   orders   specified   in   the   Second   Schedule  immediately with effect from the date on which the  Act   is   enacted   and   comes   into   force.   It   further  provides   that   if   there   is   any   other   law   for   the  time being in force in any State, corresponding to  the Act, the same shall, upon the commencement of  the   Act,   stand   repealed   and   in   such   case,   the  provisions of Section 6 of the General Clauses Act,  1897   shall   apply.  

“97. Repeal and savings ­ (1) With effect from such  date as the Central Government may appoint in this  behalf, the enactment and orders specified in the  Second   Schedule   shall   stand   repealed:  

Provided   that   such   repeal   shall   not   affect   :­­  

(i)the   previous   operations   of   the   enactment   and  orders   under   repeal   or   anything   duly   done   or  suffered   thereunder;   or  

(ii)any   right,   privilege,   obligation   or   liability  acquired,   accrued   or   incurred   under   any   of   the  enactment   orders   under   repeal;   or  

(iii)any penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred  in   respect   of   any   offences   committed   against   the  enactment   and   orders   under   repeal   ;   or  

(iv)any investigation or remedy in respect of any  such   penalty,   forfeiture   or   punishment,   and   any   such   investigation,   legal   proceedings   or  remedy may be instituted, continued or enforced and  any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be  imposed,   as   if   this   Act   had   not   been   passed:  

(2) If there is any other law for the time being in   force in any State, corresponding to this Act, the  same shall upon the commencement of this Act, stand  repealed   and   in   such   case,   the   provisions   of  section  6   of   the  General  Clauses  Act,   1897   shall  apply as if such provisions of the State law had   been   repealed.  

(3)   Notwithstanding   the   repeal   of   the   aforesaid  enactment and orders the licences  issued under any   such enactment or order , which are in force on the  date of commencement   of this Act, shall continue to  be in force till the date of their expiry for all  purposes,   as   if   they   had   been   issued   under   the  provisions of this Act or the rules or regulations  made   thereunder.  

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other  law   for   the   time   being   in   force,   no   court   shall  take   cognizance   of   an   offence   under   the   repealed  Act or orders  after the expiry of a period of three  years   from   the   date   of   the   commencement   of   this  Act.”  

Thus, after the aforesaid notification the FSSA now  stands as the only law relating to deal with the   adulteration of food. Various provisions of the Act  were notified on different dates over a period of  time.  

The   State   Government   has   issued   the   G.O.   Dated  11.5.2010   directing   all   Divisional   Commissioners,  District Magistrates, Deputy Inspector Generals of  Police,   Senior   Superintendent   of   Police   and  Superintendents   of   Police   to   lodge   FIR   under  Section 272/273 IPC in case of adulteration of any  article   of   food   or   drink.   The   grievance   of   the  petitioners   that   pursuant   to   the   said   Government  order,   the   authorities   are   invoking   Sections  272/273   IPC   without   following   or   applying   the  provisions   of   FSSA.   Sections   272   and   Section   273  read   as   under:  

“272.Adulteration   of   food   or   drink   intended   for  sale:­ Whoever adulterates any article of food or  drink, so as to make such article noxious as food  or drink, intending to sell such article as food or  drink,   or   knowing   it   to   be   likely   that   the   same  will be sold as food or drink, shall be punished   with imprisonment of either description for a term  which   may   extended   to   six   months,   or   with   fine,  which  may   extend  to   one   thousand  rupees,  or   with   both.  

272. Sale of noxious food or drink:­ Whoever sells,  or offers or exposes for sale, as food or drink,   any article which has been rendered or has become  noxious or is in a state unfit for food or drink,  knowing or having reason to believe that the same  is   noxious,   or   is   in   a   state   unfit   for   food   or  drink, knowing or having reason to believe that the  same is noxious as food or drink, shall be punished  with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which  may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.” 

Section   272   IPC,   reproduced   hereinabove,   is  attracted when a person adulterates an article of  food with the intention to sell such an article or  knowing that it is likely that the article will be  sold as food or drink. In the instant case, there  is   no   allegation  in   the   FIR  that  the  petitioner­ company   or   its   employees   or   agents   had   kept   its  products   with   the   intention   to   sell   the   same   or  knowing that the products are likely to be sold as  food   or   drink   or   that   the   said   products   were  exposed or offered for sale. The definite stand of  the   company  was   the   articles  seized  were  kept   in   the godown where even a board “not for sale” was   also   hanging   at   the   time   when   the   search   was  conducted.  

At   this   juncture  it   would   be   relevant  to   mention  that the Indian Penal Code is a general Penal Code  for India. Section 2 IPC deals with the punishment  of   offences   committed   within   India   and   provides  that   every   person   shall   be   liable   to   punishment  under this Code and not otherwise for every act or  omission   contrary   to   the   provisions   thereof,   of  which  he   shall   be   guilty  within  India.   Section  5  IPC says that nothing in the Code shall affect any  provisions of any Special or local law and it reads  as   under:­   “5. Certain laws not to be affected by this Act ­  Nothing in this Act shall affect the provisions of  any   Act   for   punishing   mutiny   and   desertion   of  officers,   soldiers,   sailors   or   airmen   in   the  service   of   the   Government   of   India   or   the  provisions   of   any   special   or   local   law.”  

Thus, from perusal of provisions of Section 5 IPC,  one   thing   is   crystal   clear   that   nothing   in   the  Penal   Code   shall   affect   any   provisions   of   any  Special Act and when for any act or omission in a  particular   subject,   a   special   set   of   rules   have  been framed, in that situation, the provisions of  the IPC have to be ignored or overlooked. In the   cases   at   hand   FIRs   have   been   registered   under  sections 272 and 273 IPC pursuant to the impugned  Government   Order   although   adulteration   of   Food  Stuff   is   covered   by   a   Special   Act   i.e.   The   Food  Safety   and   Standards   Act,   2006.  

It is pertinent to add that the PFA Act was enacted  for the prevention of adulteration of food, being a  special  Act,  it   eclipsed  sections  272  and  273   of   IPC. In other words, the said Act made  sections 272  and   273   of   IPC   redundant   as   punishment   provided  under the PFA Act  was much more stringent than what  was   provided   under   Sections   272   and   273   IPC.  

In   North   East   Pure   Drinks   Pvt   Ltd   vs.   State   of  Assam(Criminal Petition No. 300 of 2007),  on which  reliance   has   been   placed   by   the   petitioners’  Counsel, the Gauhati High Court  after examining the  gravity of the charge under Section 272 IPC held as  under:­   “Thus apart, even if one presumes that the seized  products   had   been   rendered   noxious   or   were   unfit  for human consumption, the fact remains that mere  possession or storage of such articles of food or  drink would not be an offence under section 273 IPC  unless one, who is in possession of such an article  of   food   or   drink,   sells   the   same   or   offers   or  exposes the same for sale or knows or has reason to  believe that such article of food or drink would be  sold   or   offered   or   would   be   exposed   for   sale.”  

In Jatinder Kumar Jain vs. State of Punjab; 2008(2)  FAC 437, on which reliance has been placed by the  Counsel for the petitioners, the Punjab and Haryana  High   Court   held   in   paragraph   3   as   under:­   “Ground for quashing, put forward on behalf of the  petitioner,   is   that   for   the   offence   of   food  adulteration,   procedure   is   prescribed   under  sections   10   and   11   of   the   PFA   Act,   for   taking   a  sample   and   for   getting   the   same   tested.   Separate  procedure   for   trial   has   also   been   prescribed.   In  these   circumstances,   registering   of   FIR   without  following   the   procedure   laid   down   in   the   special  statute   is   not   permissible   in   law.”  

The Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of   Jatinder   Kumar   Jain   held   that   registering   of   FIR  without   following   the   procedure   laid   down   in   the  special   statute   is   not   permissible   in   law.   In  Jeewan Kumar Raut [supra] the question before the  Apex   Court   was   regarding   applicability   of   sub­ section(2) of Section 167 of the Code of Criminal  Procedure, 1973 in a case where cognizance has been  taken   under   Section   22   of   the   Transplantation   of  Human Organs Act, 1994 (TOHO) on a complaint filed  by   the   CBI.   The   Apex   Court   after   examining   the  matter in detail hold that TOHO being a special Act  and   the   matter   relating   to   dealing   with   offences  thereunder having been regulated by reason of the  provisions thereof, there cannot be any manner of   doubt whatsoever that the same shall prevail over  the   provisions   of   the   Code.   It   also   held   in  unequivocal   terms   that   if   a   Special   statute   lays  down   procedures,   the   ones   laid   down   under   the  general statutes shall not be followed. In the case  of   Jamiruddin   Ansari   [supra],   the   Apex   Court  reiterated   its   earlier   view   and   held   that  provisions of MCOCA would have an overriding effect  over the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.  For the reasons aforesaid, we are of the view that  the   Union   of   India   is   not   a   necessary   party   and  that   too   when   there   is   no   ambiguity   in   the  notification   dated   29th   July,   2010.  

As regard the assertion of the State Counsel that  the   recovered   article   i.e.   cold   drink   is   not   a  “Food” and as such the provisions of FSSA would not  be applicable, we would like first to recapitulate  the   definition   of   word   “Food”   and   “substance”   as  defined under Section 3 of the Act,  which reads as  under:­   “(j) “food” means any substance, whether processed,  partially   processed   or   unprocessed,   which   is  intended for human consumption and includes primary  food,   to   the   extent   defined   in   clause   (ZK)  genetically   modified   or   engineered   food   or   food  containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged  drinking water, alcoholic  drink, chewing gum, and  any substance, including water used into the food  during   its   manufacture,   preparation   or   treatment  but does not include any animal feed, live animals  unless they are prepared  or processed for placing  on the market for human consumption, plants prior  to   harvesting,   drugs   and   medicinal   products,  cosmetics,   narcotic   or   psychotropic   substances:  

Provided that  the Central  Government  may declare,  by notification in the Official Gazette, any other  article as food for the purposes of this Act having  regards to its use, nature, substance or quality;”  “(zw) substance” includes any natural or artificial  substance or other matter, whether it is in a solid  state or in liquid form or in the form of gas or  vapour;  

It is not the case of the State Counsel that the  carbonated drinks or juice based beverages are not  intended for human consumption or that they are not  substances for the purposes of Section 3 (zw). In  PFA Act, standards were prescribed for various food  articles   in   the   Appendix   B.   In   Appendix­B,  carbonated   water   is   defined   in   Entry   A.01.01.   By  virtue of Section 98, the rules including Appendix  B has been temporarily transported to FSSA till the  regulations under the FSSA are notified. Therefore,  we are unable to agree with the arguments advanced  on behalf of the State that the provisions of the  FSSA   are   not   applicable   in   the   instant   case.  

In   view   of   the   aforesaid   crystal   clear   legal  proposition   and   particular   provisions   under   the  FSSA   we   are   in   agreement   with   the   arguments  advanced   by   the   petitioner’s   Counsel   that   for  adulteration  of food or  misbranding,  after coming  into   force   of   the   provisions   of   FSSA   vide  notification dated 29th July, 2010, the authorities  can   take   action   only   under   the   FSSA   as   it  postulates   an   over   riding   effects   over   all   other  food related laws including the  PFA Act. In view of  the   specific   provisions   under   the   FSSA,   the  offences relating to  adulteration of food  that are  governed under the FSSA after July 29,2010 are to  be treated as  per the procedures to be followed for  drawing   and   analysis   of   samples   as   have   been  provided   for.   The   provisions   of   penalties   and  prosecution   have   also   been   provided   therein.  Therefore, before launching any prosecution against  an   alleged   offence   of   food   adulteration,   it   is  necessary for  the concerned authorities to follow  the   mandatory   requirements   as   provided   under  Sections 41 and 42 of the FSSA and, therefore, the  police   have   no   authority   or   jurisdiction   to  investigate   the   matter   under   FSSA.   Section   42  empowers the Food Safety Officer  for inspection of  food business, drawing samples and sending them to  Food Analyst for analysis.  The Designated Officer,  after scrutiny of the report of Food Analyst shall  decide   as   to   whether   the   contravention   is  punishable   with   imprisonment   or   fine   only   and   in  the   case   of   contravention   punishable   with  imprisonment, he shall send his recommendations to  the   Commissioner   of   Food   Safety   for   sanctioning  prosecution.   Therefore,   invoking   Sections   272   and  273 of the Indian Penal Code in the matter relating  to   adulteration   of   food   pursuant   to   the   impugned  government order is wholly unjustified and non est.  Furthermore,   it   appears   that   the   impugned  Government   Order   has   been   issued   without  application of proper mind and examining the matter  minutely   and   thus   the   State   Government   travelled  beyond the jurisdiction.”

14. Almost   in   line   with   the   decision   of   this  Court   in   the   case   of  Shambhu   Dayal   Agrawal  (supra)  a   learned   Single   Judge   of   the   Punjab  HC-NIC Page 34 of 74 Created On Sat May 06 01:23:41 IST 2017 and Haryana High Court in the case of Inderpal  and   another   v.   State   of   Haryana,  CRM.   M.  No.11688 of 2011 decided on 18th December, 2013  read as under:­ “This   petition   under   Section   482   Cr.P.C.   has  been   filed   forquashing   of   FIR   No.132   dated  20.6.2010 registered under Sections272, 420, 34  IPC   at   Police   Station,   Kalanaur,   District  Rohtak   and   allsubsequent   proceedings   arising  out of the said FIR.

Heard learned counsel for the parties.

Apart   from   the   aforesaid   FIR,   criminal  complaint   No.336dated   30.7.2010   under   Sections  7 and 16 of The Prevention of Food Adulteration  Act,   1954   has   been   filed   (Annexure   P­3).   The  Food Inspector had taken in his possession eight  plastic   drums   containing about   150   litres   of  mixed   milk.   After   making   necessary  samples,sample   was   sent   to   the   Public   Analyst  for  analysis,  who  annexed  his  report  that  the  sample contains 4.0% of Milk Fat and 5.88% of  Milk   solids   not   fat   against   the   minimum  prescribed limit of 4.5% and 8.5% respectively.  The   sample   was   found   to   be   adulterated.   The  allegations in the FIR are identical but after  getting   the   public   analyst’s   report,   challan  was   presented   and   charges   have   been   framed  under   Sections   272/273   and   420   IPC   and   the  petitioner is facing trial in the FIR as well  as   the   criminal   complaint.   The   issue   whether  police   can   register   an   FIR   for   offence  punishable   under   Sections   420/269/270/271   IPC  had come up for consideration before this Court  in the case of  Shiv Kumar Vs. State of Punjab  2009(1) FAC 238. In that case, ASI Bhagwan Dass  on a secret information went to the shop of the   accused and purchased Paneer and the Paneer was  sent for public analysis and it was found to be   adulterated. FIR was registered under Sections  420/269/270/271 Indina Penal Code and merely a  complaint No.59 dated 3.5.2008 under Section 16  of Prevention of Food and Adulteration Act was  filed by the Food Inspector. While quashing the  FIR, the Court has observed that it was not a   case that the Paneer was fake or there was any  intention   on   the   part   of   the   accused   for  cheating   public.   The   Paneer   was   found   to   be   adulterated   and   therefore,   complaint   under  Section   16   of   Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration  Act could be filed and FIR cannot be lodged. In   paragraph 8 the Court observed as under:

“So   far  as  the  fact   that   Paneer   is   fake  one,   there is no report to this effect on the file.  The Patna High Court in the authority in case  Satish Mishra Versus State of Bihar and others,  2007(1) FAC 393  has held that when there is a   special   statute   under   the   Prevention   ;of   Food  Adulteration Act, 1954 then by adding sections  of IPC, FIR cannot be launched. Keeping in view  the fact that Paneer was not found to be fake   but   was   found   to   be   not   conforming   to   the   prescribed standard, the proceedings under the  Criminal   Act   cannot   continue.   So,   FIR   No.305  dated   6.11.2007   under   Sections   420/269/270/271  IPC, Police   Station,   City   Samana   and   further  proceedings arising therefrom stand quashed.”

This  proposition  of  law  could  not  be  disputed  by   the   learned   State   counsel,   however,   he  informs the Court that the petitioner has been  appearing   regularly   before   the   trial   Court   in  FIR   No.132   dated   20.6.2010   registered   under  Sections 272, 420, 34 Indina Penal Code but in  the   complaint   case   he   has   been   declared  proclaimed offender on 30.11.2012.

Keeping   in   view   the   fact   that   for   selling  substandard   milk,   the   petitioner   was   not  required   to   face   two   criminal   proceedings,  therefore,   FIR   No.132   dated   20.6.2010  registered  under  Sections  272,  420,  34  IPC  at  Police   Station,   Kalanaur,   District   Rohtak   is  being   quashed   qua   the   petitioners.   The  petitioner shall be at liberty to appear before  the trial Court within one month and he shall  be released on bail on furnishing bail bonds to  the satisfaction of trial court.”

15. In the case of  Md. Mahmood and Others v.  The   State   of   A.P.,   2006   CRI   L.J.   3470,  N.V.  RAMANA,   J.   (as   has   lordship   then   was)  considered   almost   an   identical   issue.   I   may  quote the relevant observations:­”6.   Under   the   scheme   of   the   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration   Act,   1954,   the   power   to   inspect,  seize,   arrest   and   investigate   the   cases   falling  under   the   prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Act,  1954, is vested exclusively in the Food Inspector,  appointed for a local area, in whose jurisdiction  the offence is committed. The powers of the Food  Inspector,   appointed   under   Section   9,   are  enumerated in Section 10 of the Prevention of Food  Adulteration Act,  1954, which  inter alia  include  to take samples of any article of food from any   person   selling   article,   conveying,   delivering   or  preparing to deliver such article to a purchaser  or   consignee,   to   send   such   sample   for   public  analyst   for   the   local   area   within   which   such  sample has been taken with the previous approval  of   the   local   (health)   authority   having  jurisdiction in the local area councerned or with  the   previous   approval   of   the   Food  (Health)Authority,   to   prohibit   the   sale   of   any  article of food in the interest of public health.

7.   In   the   interest   of   public   health,   the  Government vide orders issued in G.O. Ms. No.44,  Health,   Medical   and   Family   Welfare   (LT)  Department,   dated   19­2­2002,   has   prohibited   the  sale of pan masala with any emblem of Gutkha. For   enforcement   of   the   prohibition   of   Gutkha   in   the  State   of   Andhra   Pradesh,   the   Directorate   of  Institute   of   Preventive   Medicine,   Public   Health  Labs   and   Food   (Health)   Administration.   Andhra  Pradesh, Hyderabad, has issued  Circular Memorandum  No.4709/F1/2001,   dated   20­2­2002,   to   the   effect  that the Food (Health) Administration, enforcement  officials shall conduct raids with the support of  the   Police   and   officials   of   Vigilance   and  Enforcement   Department   and   seize   such   products  from   retail   and   wholesale   outlets   and  manufacturing units in Andra Pradesh.

8. Gutkha being a food item, under the provisions  of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954,  it is only the Food Inspector, who is empowered to  seize, arrest and investigate the case. The sale  of Gutkha in the State of Andhra Pradesh has been   porhibited   by   the   Government.   As   per   the   orders  issued   by   the   Directorate   of   Institute   of  Preventive Medicine,  Public Health Labs and  Food  (Health)   Administration,   Andhra   Pradesh,  Hyderabad,   in   Circular   Memorandum,   dated   20­2­ 2002,   the   raids   in   relation   to   sale   of   Gutkha,  shall   be   conducted   by   the   Food   (Health)  Administration   Enforcement   Officials   with   the  support   of   the   Police   and   Officials   of   the  Vigilance   and   Enforcement   Department   and   seize  such   products   from   retail   and   wholesale   outlets  and manufacturing units in Andhra Pradesh. In the  instant case, except the local police, none of the  Enforcement   Officials   from   the   Food   (Health)  Administration,   were   involved   in   the   seizure,  arrest and investigation of the case.

9. Having regard to the fact that the Prevention  of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 vests the power to  seize, arrest and investigate the case in the Food  Inspector,   and   having   regard   to   the   Circular  Memorandum, which requires conducting of raids by  the   Food(Health)   Adminstration   Enforcement  Officials, for enforcing the ban on Gutkha, with  the support of Police and Officials of Vigilance  and Enforcement Department, the entire exercise of  seizure   of   Gutkha,   arrest   of   accused   and  investigation of case, done by the local police,  is   without   jurisdiction   and   the   proceedings  initiated in pursuance thereof on the file of VI  Metropolitan Magistrate, Hyderabad in C.C. No.677  of 2002 against the petitioners, are liable to be  quashed.”

16. The learned Single Judge of the Patna High  Court in the case of Satish Mishra v. State of  Bihar  and   others,   Cri.   W.P.C.   No.829   of   2005  dealt with the same issue like one on hand. I  may   quote   the   observations   of   the   learned  Single Judge as under:­ “3.   On   behalf   of   the   petitioner   it   is   submitted  that he was manufacturing protein food supplements  under   licence   duly   issued   by   the   Food   Controller  under   the   Provisions   of   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration Act.  His premises were unauthorisedly  and   illegally   searched   by   the   Sub­ Inspector   of  Police, Sultanganj Police Station, which led to the  institution  of  the  present  case  on  the  allegation  that   the   petitioner   was   found   manufacturing   drugs  without proper licence and/ or authorisation. As the  petitioner   was   manufacturing   food   articles   for  which   they   had   licence,   it   was   alleged   that  provisions   of   Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Act  was also violated.

4.   As   the   petitioner   had   intended   to   cheat   or   mislead   the   people   various   provisions   of   Indian  Penal   Code   were   added,   thus   the   police   usurped  jurisdiction   to   lodge   an   FIR   and   investigate   the   case. It is the correctness of this action of the   police that is in question.

5.   Having   heard   counsel   for   the   parties;   in   my  view,   Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Act   is   a  complete Code in itself with regard to manufacture,  sale of food articles and  contravention in respect  thereof. It has its own set of authorities, which   are   authorised   to   conduct   investigation,   search,  seizure   and/or   launch   prosecution   in   respect  thereof including  enquiry into the matter. Same is  the provision of Drugs and Cosmetic Act. Both are   special statutes  making out special statues making  out special  offence  and  providing  for  its  enquiry  and  prosecution.

6.   In   that   view   of   the   matter,   in   view   of   the   provision   of   Section   4((2)   Cr.P.C.,   the   procedure  as prescribed in these special statute will have to  be   followed   in   derogation   to   the   procedure,   as  prescribed   under   Cr.P.C.   Special   authorities   have  been   conferred   on   special   officers   under   the   two   acts,   which   authorities   are   not   on   the   police  officer. The action of the police is wholly without  jurisdiction,  in  all  aspect  of  the  matter.  Merely  by   writing   Section   420   and   other   Sections   of   IPC  the police cannot make out an offence where there   is   none,   in   fact,  in   terms   of   those   sections  and  intendment   to   cheat   and   intendment   to   commit  criminal   breach   of   trust   is   not   enough   to   be   an   offence   under   IPC   and   preparation   to   commit   an  attempt   to   make   offence   is   not   punishable   under  IPC.

7. In the case of Malkiat Singh v. State of Punjab   the Apex Court has held that as a matter of law a   preparation for committing an offence is different  from attempt to commit an offence.

8. Considering all aspect of the matter I find that  if   what   the   police   alleges   is   violation   of   Drugs  and   Cosmetic   Act,   then   it   is   only   Inspector   of  Drugs   who   had   the   authority   to   inspect,   search,  seizure   or   institution   of   prosecution.   If   they  allege   that   the   provision   of   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration   Act   is   violated   then   it   was   the  authority of the Food Inspector alone and not the   police   officer   to   inspect,   seizure   or   ceased.   So   far as the offences alleged under IPC are concerned  none is made out on the facts of the case.

9.   In   this   connection   I   may   refer   to   an   earlier   judgment   of   this   court   in   the   case   of   Hindustan  Lever Ltd. v. State of Bihar & Ors. which has been   followed in  subsequent  decision  by this Court. 

10.   In   that   view   of   the   matter,   the   present  prosecution   as   initiated   on   the   basis   of   the   FIR  aforesaid   and   all   subsequent   acts   thereunder   are  held   to   be   wholly   without   jurisdiction   and   are  quashed.”

17. Let   me   at   this   stage   look   into   the  provisions   of   the   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration   Act,   1954   the   statement   of  objects and reasons reads as under:­ “Laws existed in a nuber of States in India   for the prevention of adulteration of food­ stuffs,   but   they   lacked   uniformity   having   been   passed   at   different   times   without   mutual consultation  between States. The need   for   Central   legislation   for   the   whole   country in this  matter has  been felt since   1937   when   a   Committee   appointed   by   the   Central Advisory Board of Health  recommended   this step. ‘Adulteration of food­stuffs and   other   goods’   is   now   included   in   the   Concurrent List (III) in the Constitution of  India.   It   has,   therefore,   become   possible   for the Central Government to enact an all  India legislation on this subject. The bill   replaces   all   local   food   adulteration   laws   where they exist and also applies to those   States where there are no local laws on the   subject. Among others, it provides for ­ 

(i) a Central Food Laboratory to which food   samples can be referred to for final opinion   in disputed cases (clause 4), 

(ii) a Central Committee for Food Standards   consisting of representatives of Central and   State   Government   to   advise   on   matters   arising  from   the   administration  of   the   Act   (clause 3), and

(iii) the vesting in the Central Government   of the rule making power regarding standards   of   quality   for   the   articles   of   food   and  certain other matters (clause 22).”

18. Section   20   provides   for   cognizance   of  trial of offences. It reads as under:­ “(1)   No   prosecution   for   an   offence   under   this Act, not being an offence under Section   14   or   section   14A     shall   be   instituted   except   by,   or   with   the   written   consent   of,   the   Central   Government   or   the   State   Government   or   a   person   authorized   in   this   behalf, by general or special order, by the   Central Government or the State Government.  Provided   that   a   prosecution   for   an   offence   under   this   Act   may   be   instituted   by   a   purchaser or recognized consumer association   referred   to   in   section   12,   if   he   or   it  produces   in   court   a   copy   of   the   report   of   the public analyst along­with the complaint.  

(2)   No   court   inferior   to   that   of   a   Metropolitan   Magistrate   or   a   Judicial   Magistrate of the first class shall try any   offence under this Act. 

(3)   Notwithstanding   anything   contained   in   the   Code   of   Criminal   Procedure,   1973,   an   offence   punishable   under   sub­section   (1AA)   of   section   16   shall   be   cognizable   and   non­ bailable.”

19. Unlike   Section   89   of   the   Food   Safety   and  Standards   Act,   2006   there   is   no   provision   in  the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954  given an overriding effect over all other food  related laws. 

20. At   this   stage,   let   me   now   look   into   the  decision of the Kerala High Court in the case of Abdul Khader (supra). The Kerala High Court  was   dealing   with   a   matter   arising   from   the  Food   Safety   and   Standards   Act.   The   Court   was  called   upon   to   decide   almost   identical   issue  like   the   one   on   hand.   In   the   said   case,   the  accused   persons   were   charged   for   the   offence  punishable   under   Sections   273,   328   read   with  Section 34 of the IPC and  Section 59(iii) of  the Food Safety and Standards Act. 

21. The   accused   therein   were   running   a  restaurant   by   name   “Salwa   Cafe”.   The  allegation   was   that   on   10.07.2012   the   second  accused   prepared   the   food   article   by   name  “Shavarma”, which was injurious to health and  that   was   sold   to   several   persons,   who  developed   complications   and   that,   around   10  persons   had   to   be   admitted   in   the   different  hospitals   in   Thiruvananthapuram.   It   was  alleged   that   a   person   by   name   Sachin   Mathew  Roy, aged 21 years also purchased and consumed  ‘Shavarma’ from the restaurant of the accused  persons   and   he   also   developed   serious   gastro  problem,   which   resulted   in   his   death   at  Bangalore. 

22. The   Police   registered   the   offence  accordingly.   It   was   argued   on   behalf   of   the  HC accused persons therein that after the coming  into force the Food Safety and Standards Act,  the   general   provisions   in   the   IPC   regarding  the same subject matter is impliedly repealed  and they cannot be dealt with under both the  enactment.   It   was   also   argued   that   different  procedure   and   different   punishment   have   been  provided   under   the   Act,   2006   and   severe  punishment   has   been   provided   for   selling  unsafe food causing death and the Act 2006 had  repealed   the   prevention   of   Food   Adulteration  Act,   1954   and   taken   care   of   all   type   of  offences   relating   to   the   sale   of   food   and  consequences and ensued on account of sale of  such   food.   It   was   argued   that   under   such  circumstances   the   accused   persons   could   not  have   been   proceeded   against   under   two  enactments and accordingly it was prayed that  the proceedings be quashed.

23. The   learned   single   Judge   while   rejecting  such arguments observed and held as under:­ “14. Section 3(zz) of the Act defines “unsafe food”   which reads as follows:

Section   3(zz)   “Unsafe   food”   means   an   article   of  food   whose   nature,   substance   or   quality   is   so  affected as to render it injurious to health:

(i) by the article  itself, or its package thereof,  which  is  composed,  whether                wholly  or   in  HC-part, of poisonous or deleterious substances; or

(ii) by the article consisting, wholly or n part,  of   any   filthy,   putrid,   rotten,   decomposed   or  diseased   animal   substance   or   vegetable   substance;  or

(iii) by virtue of its unhygienic processing or the  presence in that article of any harmful substance;  or

(iv) by the substitution of any inferior or cheaper  substance whether wholly or in part; or

(v) by addition of a substance directly or as an   ingredient which is not permitted; or

(vi) by the    abstraction,    wholly or in part,  of any of its constituents; or

(vii) by the article being so coloured, flavoured  or  coated,  powdered  or   polished,  as   to  damage  or   conceal the article or to     make it appear better  or of greater value than it really is; or

(viii) by the presence of any colouring matter or  preservatives other than that specified in respect  thereof; or

(ix)   by   the   article   having   been   infected   or  infested with worms, weevils or insects; or

(x) by virtue of its being prepared, packed or kept  under insanitary conditions; or

(xi)by   virtue   of   its   being   mis­branded   or   sub­ standard or food containing extraneous matter; or

(xii) by virtue of containing pesticides  and other  contaminants in excess of quantities specified by  regulations”.

15. Section 59 of the Act deals with punishment for  unsafe food, which reads as follows:

59.   Punishment   for   unsafe   food:­   Any   person  who, whether by himself or by any other person on  his behalf,    manufactures for sale or      stores  or   sells  or       distributes or imports    any   article of     food for human consumption which is   unsafe, shall be punishable:­

(i) where   such failure or contravention does not  result   in   injury,   with   imprisonment   for   a   term  which may extend to six months and also with fine  which may extend to one lakh rupees;

(ii) where such failure or contravention results in   a non­grievous injury, with imprisonment for a term   which may             extend to one year and also with   fine which may extend to three lakh rupees;

(iii)   where       such   failure   or   contravention  results in a grievous injury, with imprisonment for   a term which may extend to six years and  also   with   fine   which   may   extend   to   five   lakh  rupees;

(iv) where such failure or contravention results in   death, with imprisonment for a term which shall not  be less than seven years but which may extend to   imprisonment   for   life   and   also   with   fine   which  shall not be less than ten lakh rupees.

16. Section 89 of the Act giving overriding effect  of this Act over all other food related laws which  reads as follows:

Section 89 overriding effect of this Act over all  other   food   related   laws:­   The   provisions   of   this  Act shall have effect     notwithstanding   anything  inconsistent        therewith  contained  in  any  other   law   for   the   time   being   in   force   or   in   any   instrument having effect by virtue of any law other  than this Act.

17. Section 97 deals with Repeal and savings which  reads as follows:

97. Repeal and savings:­ (1) With effect from such  date as the Central Government may appoint in this  behalf, the enactment and orders specified in the  Second Schedule        shall stand repealed:

Provided that such repeal shall not affect:­

(i)   the   previous   operations   of   the   enactment   and  orders under repeal or anything        duly done or   suffered thereunder; or

(ii)   any   right,   privilege,   obligation         or  liability acquired,  accrued or  incurred under any  of the enactment or Orders under repeal; or

(iii)   any   penalty,   forfeiture   or   punishment  incurred   in   respect   of   any   offences   committed  against the enactment and Orders under repeal; or 

(iv) any investigation or remedy in respect of any  such   penalty,   forfeiture   or   punishment,   and   any  such  investigation,  legal  proceedings  or  remedy may be instituted,     continued or  enforced   and any such penalty, forfeiture or punishment may  be imposed, as if this Act had not been passed:

(2) If there is any other law for the time being in   force in any State, corresponding to this Act, the  same shall upon the commencement of this Act, stand  repealed        and in such case, the provisions of   section 6 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of  1897)   shall   apply   as   if   such   provisions   of   the  State law had been repealed.

(3)   Notwithstanding           the       repeal     of   the  aforesaid enactment and Orders, the licences issued  under   any   such   enactment   or   Order,   which   are   in  force on the date of             commencement of this  Act, shall continue to be in force till the date of  their expiry for all purposes,  as if they had been  issued       under the provisions of this       act or  the  rules or regulations made  thereunder.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other  law   for   the   time   being   in   force,   no   court   shall  take cognizance of any offence under the repealed  Act or Orders after the expiry of a period  of three  years   from   the   date   of   the   commencement   of   this  Act.”

18.   The   second   schedule   to   the   Act   shows   the  enactments   which   were   repealed   after   coming   into  force of this Act which do not include any of the  provisions   of   the   Indian   Penal   Code   which   deals  with the acts covered under these provisions.

19.   Chapter   XIV   of   Indian   Penal   Code   deals   with  offences   affecting   the   public   health,   safety  convenience,   decency   and   morals   and   sections   272  and 273 deal with sale of adulterated food or drink  and noxious food or drink which read as follows:

Section   272:­   Adulteration   of   food   or   drink  intended for sale:­ Whoever adulterates any article  of   food   or   drink,   so   as   to   make   such   article   noxious  as   food  or  drink,  intending  to  sell  such   article as food or drink, or        knowing it to  be   likely   that   the   same   will   be   sold   as   rood   or  drink,   shall   be   punished   with   imprisonment   or  either description for a term which may extend to  six months, or        with fine which may extend to   one thousand rupees,  or with both.  Section 273: Sale of noxious food or drink:Whoever  sells, or offers or exposes for sale, as food or   drink, any article which has been rendered or has  become noxious, or        is in a state unfit for  food or drink, knowing or having reason to believe  that   the   same   is   noxious   as   food   or   drink,  shall   be   punished   with   imprisonment   of   either  description   for   a   term   which   may   extend   to   six  months,   or   with   fine   which   may   extend   to   one  thousand rupees, or with both.

20. Chapter XVI of the Indian Penal Code deals with  offences affecting the human body  and Section 304  deals   with   punishment   for   culpable   homicide   not  amounting to murder, which reads as follows:

304. Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting  to   murder:­   Whoever   commits               culpable  homicide  not amounting to murder         shall be   punished  with  [imprisonment for  life],  or  imprisonment of either       description for a term  which may extend to ten years, and shall also be   liable to fine, if the act by which the death is  caused is done with the intention of causing death,  or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to   cause   death,   or   with   imprisonment   of   either  description   for   a   term   which   may   extend   to   ten  years, or with fine, or with               both, if the   act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to  cause   death,   but   without   any   intention   to   cause  death,   or   to   cause   such   bodily   injury         as   is   likely to cause death.

21. Section 6 of the General Clauses Act deals with  the   effect   of   repeal   of   Act   making   textual  amendment   in   Act   or   Regulation   which   reads   as  follows:

6.Effect   of   repeal:­   Where   this   Act,   or   any  [Central   Act}   or   Regulation   made   after   the   commencement   of   this   Act   repeals   any   enactment  hitherto made or hereafter to be made, then, unless  a   different   intention   appears,   the   repeal   shall  not­

(a) revive anything not in force or existing at the  time at which the repeal takes effect; or

(b)    affect   the previous      operation of any   enactment so   repealed or   anything     duly done   or suffered thereunder;or (c ) affect    any right, privilege, obligation or   liability   acquired,  accrued or incurred under any  enactment so repealed; or

(d)   affect   any   penalty,   forfeiture   or   punishment  incurred   in   respect   of   any   offence   committed  against any enactment so repealed; or

(e) affect  any investigation, legal proceeding or  remedy   in   respect   of   any   such   right,   privilege,  obligation,        liability,penalty, forfeiture or  punishment   as   aforesaid,   and   any   such  investigation,   legal   proceeding   or   remedy   may   be  instituted,   continued   or   enforced,   and   any   such  penalty, forfeiture or punishment may be imposed as   if   the   repealing   Act   or   Regulation   had   not   been  passed”

22. Section         26 of the        General Clauses  Act deals with provisions as to offences punishable  under   Section   of   two   or   more   enactments,   which  reads as follows:

26. Provision as to offences punishable under two  or   more   enactments:­   Where   an   act   or   omission  constitutes   an   offence   under   two   or   more  enactments, then the offender shall be liable to be  prosecuted and punished          under either or any  of those enactments, but shall not be liable to be  punished twice for the same offence.

It is clear from the above that             though  certain   provisions   of   the   Indian   Penal   Code   and  Food Safety and Standards Act overlap on the same  subject,   it   will   have   to   be   considered   as   to  whether   a   person   committed   the   offence   can   be  proceeded against, if the act complained of may be  an   offence   under   two   enactments,   independently  will depend upon as to whether the offences alleged  are   distinct   and   different   or   the   same   and   by  virtue   of   the   special   Act   being   enacted   on   the  subject  matter whether general  provisions  will be  impliedly repealed etc and those things have to be  considered on facts of each case.

23. It is true that if there is any provision made  covering a particular offence in respect of which  there is a general law and a       special law was   enacted   subsequent   to   the   general   law,   then  normally the special law will prevail over the same  and       even   if           there   no         specific   exclusion,  if     from  the  circumstances,  it   can  be   revealed   that   it   is   impliedly   repealed,   then   the  provisions   in   the   special   law   will   prevail   over  that subject matter.

24.   In   the   unreported   decision   in   Writ   Petition  No.8254   (MB)   of   2010   M/s   Pepsico   India   Holdings  (Pvt)   Limited   and   another   v.   State   of   U.P   and  others, the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad,  Lucknow Bench considered the question as to whether   the provisions of the Food Safety Act has impliedly  repealed the offences under sections 272 and 273 of  the Indian Penal        Code    which   deals with   sale of adulterated food or drink or noxious food  or drink and held in the affirmative and held that  a person cannot be prosecuted under both enactments  separately   or   only   under   the  latter Act namely Food Safety and Standards Act.

25. In the decision reported in  Jeevan   Kumar   Raut   &   Anr.   v.   Central   Bureau   of  Investigation   (AIR   2009   SC   2763)   the   Hon’ble  Supreme Court has held that by virtue of section 22  of   Transplantation   of   Human   Organ   Act   where   a  particular   procedure   has   been   given   for   dealing  with   offences   under   that             Act,   the   general   provisions   regarding       the   investigation   as  provided   under   the  Code   of   Criminal   Procedure will not be applicable  as it will have a  overriding   effect   over   the   general   procedure  provided   under   the   Criminal   Procedure   Code  regarding   investigation.   In   paragraph  19 of the decision,  the Hon’ble Supreme Court has  observed as follows:

“19. Section    22 of TOHO prohibits        taking   of   cognizance   except   on   a   complaint   made   by   an  appropriate authority or the person who had made a   complaint   earlier                 to   it   as   laid   down  therein.         Respondent,   although   ,   has   all   the   powers of an investigating  agency,  it expressly has   been statutorily prohibited from filing a   police report.  It could file a complaint petition  only  as  an  appropriate  authority  so   as  to  comply   with   the   requirements   contained   in   Section   22   of  TOHO.   If   by   reason   of   the   provisions   of   TOHO,  filing of a police report by necessary implication  is necessarily forbidden, the question of   its submitting a report in terms of sub­section (2)  of Section 173 of the Code did not and could not  arise. In other words, if no police report could be  filed, sub­section (2) of Section 167 of the Code  was not attracted.”

26.   In   paragraph   29   of   the   same   judgment   it   has  been further observed as follows:

“In   this   case   however,   the   respondent   has   not specifically been empowered both under the  1946 Act   as also under the Code to carry out investigation  and file charge sheet as           is precluded from   doing   so   only   by   reason   of   section   22   of   Transplantation of Human Organs Act.  It is doubtful  as   to   whether   in   the   event   of     authorization   of  officer   of   the             department   to   carry   out  investigation   on   a   complaint   made   by   the   third  party  he  would  be  entitled  to  arrest  the  accused   and   carry   on   investigation   as   if   he   is   a   police  officer            he hope  that  parliament  would  take  appropriate   measure   to   suitably   amend   the   law   in  the near future”.

27. In the decision reported in Jamiruddin Ansari  v.   Central   Bureau   of   Investigation   (2009   (6)   SCC 

316),   while   construing   the   provisions   of  Maharashtra   Control   of   Organised   Crime   Act,   1999  (hereinafter   referred   to   as   MCOCA),   the   Hon’ble  Supreme Court has held that:

“Although   the   special   judge   is   entitled   to   take  cognizance  of   the   offences  under   MCOCA   even   on   a   private  complaint,  but, after  due compliance  with  either of a private nature or on a police report.  Hence, on receipt of a private complaint, Special  Judge   has   to   forward   the   same   to   the   officer  indicated   in   section   23(1)(a)   to   have   an   inquiry  conducted   into   the   complaint   by   a   police   officer  mentioned   in   section   23(1)(b).   It   is   only  thereafter that Special Judge  can take cognizance  of   the   offence   complained   of,   if   sanction   is  accorded to the special court to cognizance of such  offence under section 23 (2). Special Judge cannot  invoke         provisions of section 156 (3) Cr.PC to  order a special inquiry on such private complaint  and   take   cognizance   thereupon,   without   traversing  the  route  indicated  in   S.23.  It  is  also   observed   therein   that   section   9             cannot   be   read   or   invoked   independent   of   S.23   and   both   these  provisions must be read harmoniously.

28. In the decision reported in State of M.P. v.   Kedia Leather and Liquor Ltd. and others (2003 (7)  SCC 389), the Hon’ble Supreme Court had considered  the effect of section 133 of the Code of Criminal  Procedure and the  provisions  of  Water (Prevention  and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (Chapter 5 and  sections 32 and 33) and Air (Prevention and Control  of   Pollution)   Act,   1981   (Chapter   IV   and   sections  18,   20   &   22   A   and   considered   the   question   as   to  whether by virtue of the above provisions under the  above   said   Acts,   Section   133   of   the   Code   of  Criminal   Procedure   is   impliedly   repealed   and   the  Supreme Court has held that  as section 133  of the  Code  and the two acts were mutually exclusive and  there was no impediment to their existence side by  side   two   acts   did   not   impliedly   overrule   section  133 of the Code. While considering the provisions,  the Supreme Court has observed as follows:

“There is     presumption       against       a     repeal   by   implication;   and   the   reason   of   this   rule   is  based   on   the   theory   that   the   legislature   while  enacting a law has                 complete knowledge of   the existing       laws on the same subject­matter,  and therefore, when it does not provide a repealing  provision, the intention is clear not to repeal the  existing legislation. When the new Act contains a  repealing section         mentioning the     Acts   which         expressly         repeals,         the   presumption    against   implied   repeal of other  laws is further   strengthened   on   the   principle   expressio  unius         (persone   vel           rei)   est   exclusio  alterius (The     express                 intention of one   person   or           thing   is   the         exclusion       of  another).   The   continuance   of   the   existing  legislation,   in                   the       absence   of   an  express   provision   of       repeal   by  implication lies on the party asserting the same.  The         presumption is, however, rebutted and  a         repeal   is                 inferred   by   necessary  implication  when  the   provisions  of                  the  later Act are so inconsistent with or repugnant to  the         provisions of the earlier Act that the   two cannot stand         together. But, if the two   can be read together and some         application   can   be   made   of   the   words   in   the   earlier   Act,   a  repeal will not be inferred.                

The necessary questions to be asked are:

(1)Whether there is direct conflict     between the  two provisions.

(2). Whether the legislature intended to lay down  an   exhaustive       Code           in     respect   of     the   subject ­matter replacing the earlier law.

(3)   Whether   the   two   laws   occupy   the   same   field.  When   the   court   applies   the   doctrine,   it   does   no  more   than   give   effect   to   the   intention   of   the  legislature by         examining the scope and the  object of the two enactments and by a comparison of  their provisions. The matter in each case is one of  the construction and comparison of         the two  statutes.   The   court   leans   against   implying   a  repeal.   To   determine   whether   a   later   statute  repeals by implication   an      earlier  statute,  it is necessary to         scrutinize the terms and   consider the true meaning and effect of the earlier  Act.         Until     this   is     done,   it   is   impossible   to   ascertain   whether   any   inconsistency  exists between the two enactments.”

29. The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in  Deep   Chand   v.   State   of   U.P   (AIR   1959   SC   648)   considered the question of repugnance between two  statutes and how this will have to be considered as  follows:

“Repugnancy     between       two   statutes may be   ascertained   on   the   basis   of   the   following   three  principles:

(1)Whether there is direct   conflict  between the  two  provisions;

(2)Whether   Parliament   intended   to   lay   down   an  exhaustive   code   in   respect   of   the   subject­matter  replacing the Act of the State Legislature; and (3)Whether the law made by Parliament and the law  made   by   the   State   Legislature   occupy   the   same  field.”

30.   The   same   view   has   been   reiterated   in   the  decision reported in Tansukh Rai Jain v. Nilratan  Prasad Shaw and others (AIR 1966 SC 1780). Further  in the  decision reported in Municipal Corporation  of   Delhi   v.   Shiv   Shanker   (AIR   Crl.M.C.No.1266   of  2013              1971 SC 815) while considering   the                              question as  to  whether  the  provisions   of   the   Essential   Commodities   Act   or  Fruit Products Order made thereunder can impliedly  repealed   Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Act   and  observed as follows:

“The object and purpose of the Adulteration Act is  to  eliminate  the  danger  to  human  life  and  health   from the sale of unwholesome articles of food. The  Essential         Commodities Act on the other hand   has for its object the control of the production,  supply and distribution of, and trade and commerce  in, essential commodities. In spite         of this   difference       the         two   provisions   may   have  conterminous fields of operation. The provisions of  the Adulteration Act and of the Fruit     Order are  supplementary and cumulative in their operation and  they        can stand together. If the Adulteration  Act   or   Rules   impose   some   restrictions   on   the  manufacturer,   dealer   and   seller   of   vinegar   then  they have to comply with them irrespective of the  fact that the Fruit Order  imposes lesser number of  restrictions   in   respect   of   these   matters.   The  Parliament did not intend by enacting the Essential  Commodities   Act   or   the   Fruit   Order   to   impliedly  repeal the provisions of the Adulteration Act and  the Rules in         respect of the vinegar. Both  the statures can function with   full vigour   side   by side in their     own parallel channels. Even if  they happen to some extent to overlap, Section   26   of   the   General   Clauses   Act   fully  protects the guilty parties against double jeopardy  or   double   penalty.   Both   the   Adulteration   Act   and  the   Essential                 commodities   Act   have   been   amended   from   time   to   time   after   their   enactment.  The subsequent amendments of  the  Adulteration Act  and   of   the   Essential   Commodities   Act   by   the  Parliament and the   amendment of the Adulteration  rules would also tend to negative   any legislative  intendment   of     implied   repeal   of   the  Adulteration Act  by  the Essential Commodities Act  or the Fruit Order.”

31. In the decision reported in Zaverbhai Amaidas  v. The State of Bombay (1955 SCR 799) it has been  observed   that   if   there   is   conflict   between   the  Central   enactment   and   the   State   enactment   on   the  same   subject,   then   Central   enactment   will  prevail.The   same   principle   has   been   laid   down   in  the decision           reported in the Dharangadhra   Chemical       works v. Dharangadhra  Municipality   and   another   (AIR   1985   SC   1729).   In   the   decision  reported in State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Khan and   others   (AIR   1957   SC   458   =   1957   KHC   608),  the   Hon’ble       Supreme   Court   has   considered   the  question   as   to   whether   Sections   5   and   6   of  Prevention   of   Corruption   Act   has   impliedly  repealed, Section 405 and       409  of the Indian  Penal   Code     dealing   with   misappropriation   by   a  public servant and observed  that if he two offences  are distinct and separate, then one will not repeal  the another.  The same view has been reiterated in  the  decision  reported  in   State  of  Bombay  v.  S.L.   Apte (AIR 1961 SC 578 = 1961 KHC 537) wherein the  question   as   to   whether   the   provisions   of  Insurance  Act and   the offence under Section 105  of the Insurance Act and section 409 of the Indian  Penal   Code   are   similar   and   proceedings   against   a  person  under  both  the  acts  will  amount  to  double   jeopardy under Article 20(2) of the Constitution of   India   and   Hon’ble   Supreme   Court   has   held   that  they   are   distinct   and   separate   and   one   will   not  override   the   other   and   proceedings   against   the  person under both         the     enactments will not   amount   to   double   jeopardy   under   Article   20(2)   of  the Constitution of India. Further in the decision  reported in State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Khan and   others        (AIR 1989 SC 1= 1988 KHC 1071), the  Hon’ble   Supreme       Court has considered       the   question    as to whether   the offences under the  Wild   Life   (Protection)   Act,   1972   dealing   with  section 9(1) and Section 51 regarding wild life and  section   429   of   the   Indian   Penal   Code   will   be  mutually exclusive and whether the earlier Act will   override the general provisions of the Indian Penal   Code   deals   with   the   same   subject   matter   observed  that   they   are   distinct   and         separate   and   that  cannot be         quashed     under section 482 of the  Code. With this principles in mind the case in hand  has to be considered.

32.   Further   in   the   decision   reported   in   Vishal  Agarwal   and   another   v.   Chhattisgarh   State  Electricity Board and another (2014 (1) KHC 319),  the  Hon’ble    Supreme  Court  has  held  that  Section   151   of   Electricity   Act,   2003   will   not   cause   any  fetter on the right of the police to investigate a  case   under   the   Code   of   Criminal   Procedure   in  respect   of   any   cognizable   offence   has   been  committed which is an offence under the provisions  of the Indian Penal Code as well.

33.   The   same   view   has   been   reiterated   in   the  decisions   reported   in   State   (NCT   of   Delhi)   v.  Sanjay,   Jaysukh   Bavanji     Shingalia   v.   State   of  Gujarat and another, Malabhai Shalabhai Rabari and  others   v.   State   of             Gujarat   and   others,  Kalubhai Dulabhai Khachar v. State of Gujarat and another and Sondabhai Hanubhai Bharwad v. State of  Gujarat  and   another  (2014   (9)   SCC  772),  where  it   has been observed that provisions under the Mines  and Mineral  (Development              and    Regulation)  Act,       1957 is only barring investigation of an  offence   under   Section   4(1­A)   read   with   section  21(1) of MMDR Act and Magistrate taking cognizance  of the offence if it is an offence otherwise under  the Indian Penal Code that will not be a bar for  the police to investigate and file final report and  Magistrate   taking   cognizance   of   the   offence   for  that offence.   It is clear from the provisions of  the General Clauses Act that if the act committed  is   an   offence   under   two   enactments,   there   is  nothing  barring for  proceeding  against them  under  two    enactments but they cannot be sentenced for  the same separately. Further if they are distinct  and   different   offence,   then   there   is   no   bar   for  imposing separate sentence as well as it will not  amount to double jeopardy as provided under Article   20(2) of the Constitution of India.

34.   It   is   seen   from   the   allegations   in   the  complaint   filed   by   the   Food   Safety   Officer  under  the  Food  Safety  and  Standard  Act  that  only   the   first   petitioner   had   committed   the   offence  under that Act, as he being the licensee and owner  of the restaurant,  others who are involved in the  commission   of   the   act   have   not   been   implicated.  But in the case registered by the police apart from  the first petitioner, others   who are responsible  for running the restaurant and preparation of the  food and sale of the same were also implicated. The  procedure to be followed, nature of evidence to be  collected, points to be proved and ingredients of  the offence in both are entirely different. One is  a technical offence and other is an offence to be  proved   based   on   evidence   to   be   collected   by   the  investigating   agency.   Even   if   technical   offence  fails, the substantive offence investigated by the  police   on   the   basis   of   materials   collected   will  prevail over the other.

35.   If   the   intention   of   the   Legislature   is   to  repeal   or   remove   the   provisions   under   the   Indian  Penal Code also in respect of the offence relating  to     food,   then   they   ought   to   have   deleted   those  provisions   also   as   has   been   done   in   respect   of  giving   bribe   from   the   Indian   Penal   Code   when  Prevention   of   Corruption   Act   was   enacted   dealing  with those acts. That was not done in this case.   Further the Legislature was    very clear     when  a   schedule was added, they only repealed certain  enactments   which   were   dealing   with   sale   and  manufacture   of   food   earlier   and   not   all   the  provisions   which   were         dealing   with   the   same   subject   matter       in   the   other   enactments   like  Indian   Penal   Code   also.   The   above   view   is   clear  from the decision of the Supreme Court in State of  Bombay v. S.L. Apte (AIR 1961 KHC 537), Om Praksh  Gupta v. State of U.P (1957 KHC 608) and State of  Bihar v. Murad Ali Khan and others (1988 KHC 1071)  as   well.   So   in   view   of   the   authoritative  pronouncement of the Supreme Court, I am with great  respect   disagreeing   with   the   dictum   laid   down   by  the   Allahabad   High   Court   in   Writ   Petition  No.8254(MB)/2010  M/s. Pepsico India Holdings (Pvt). Ltd and another v. State of U.P and others.

36. Further it is also seen from the court  before  whom the case is pending, which was instituted on  the basis of a complaint under the Food Safety and   Standard Act  though higher punishment  was provided  that   court   has   no   jurisdiction   to   award   such   a  punishment,     whereas       under   the   police  investigation   case,   it   will   be   committed   to   the  Sessions Court and     the Sessions     Court  has   power to  award severe punishment as provided under  the Indian Penal Code. Further if it is proved by  the   prosecution   that   the   persons   who   are   selling  the food articles were aware of the consequences of  the   food   being   sold,   which   is   likely   to   cause  injurious   to   health   and   even   cause   death,   then  apart   from   the   same   being   falling   under   the  provisions of the Food Safety and Standard Act, it  will  fall  under  the  provisions  of  Section  304  of   the Indian Penal Code as well, which is a distinct  and separate offence,  for which prosecution can be  independently proceeded with by the police on the  basis of a  complaint given by the affected party.  So only the offence under Section 59(3) of the Act  alone   can   be   proceeded   with   by   the   Food   Safety  Officer as an empowered officer and other offences  which   will   not   fall   under   that   Act   and   persons  against   whom prosecution can  be launched for the  same   offences,   who   are   not   covered   by   the   Food  Safety and Standard Act, the only remedy available  to the affected person is to move the police for   regular   investigation   under   the   Code   of   Criminal  Procedure and proceed against them  for the offence  provided under the general law namely Indian Penal  Code.  So, under the  circumstances, the submission  made  by  the  counsel  for  the   petitioners  that  the   police case initiated on the basis of the complaint  is   barred   in   view   of   the   provisions   of   the   Food  Safety and Standard Act is not sustainable and the  same is liable to be rejected  and the petitioners  are not entitled to get the relief quashing Crime  No.732/2012   of   Museum   police   station,  Thiruvananthapuram claimed in the petition and the  same is liable to be dismissed.”

24. Thus,   the   learned   Single   Judge   of   the  Kerala High Court took the view that although  certain   provisions   of   the   IPC   and   the   Act,  2006 overlap on the same subject, yet it was  necessary   to   consider   as   to   whether   a   person  committed   the   offence   can   be   proceeded  against,   if   the   act   complained   of   may   be   an offence   under   two   enactments   independently,  would depend upon whether the offences alleged  are distinct and different or the same and by  virtue of the special Act being enacted on the  subject  matter  whether  the  general  provisions  would stand implidely repealed etc.

25. Even   in   a   case   of   a   provision   in   a  particular   Act   beginning   with   a   non   obstante  clause (“notwithstanding anything inconsistent  contained   therein   in   any   other   law   for   the  time   being   in   force”)   must   be   enforced   and  implemented by giving effect to the provisions  of the Act and by limiting the provisions of  the   other   laws.   But,   it   cannot   be   gain­said  that sometimes one may come across two or more  enactments   containing   a   similar   non   obstante  clause   operating   in   the   same   or   similar  direction. Obviously, in such cases, the Court  must attempt to find out the intention of the  Legislature   by   examining   the   nature   of  controversy,   object   of   the   Act,   proceedings  initiated,   relief   sought   and   several   other  relevant   considerations.   From   the   various  decisions of the Apex Court, it is clear that  the   Courts   have   applied   several   workable  tests.   They,  inter­alia,   include   to   keep   in  view   whether   the   Act   is   ‘general’   or  ‘special’,   whether   the   Act   is   a   subsequent  legislation, whether there is reference to the  former   law   and   the   non   obstante   clause  therein.   The   above   tests   are   merely  illustrative   and   by   no   means   they   should   be  considered as exhaustive. It is for the Court  when   it   is   called   upon   to   resolve   such  conflict   by   harmoniously   interpreting   the  provisions of both the competing statutes and  by giving effect to one over the other. 

26. In   the   aforesaid   contest   I   may   refer   to  rely   upon   the   observations   of   the   Supreme  Court in the case of Central Bank of India v.  State of Kerala and Others, reported in 2009 4  SCC 94:­ “28.A non obstante clause is generally incorporated  in   a   statute   to   give   overriding   effect   to   a   particular section or the statute as a whole. While   interpreting   non   obstante   clause,   the   Cuourt   is  required   to   find   out   the   extent   to   which   the  legislature  intended   to   do   so   and   the   context   in  which the non obstante clause is used. This rule of  interpretation   has   been   applied   in   several  decisions.   In   State   of   West   Bengal   v.   Union   of  India,   it   was   observed   that   the   Court   must   ascertain   the   intention   of   the   legislature   by  directing its attention not merely to the clauses  to be construed but to the entire statute; it must   compare the clause with the other parts of the law   and   the   setting   in   which   the   clause   to   be  interpreted occurs. 

29. In  Madhav  Rao  Jivaji  Rao  Scindia  v. Union of  India and Anr. Hidayatullah, C.J. observed that the    non   obstante   clause   is   no   doubt   a   very   potent  clause   intended   to   exclude   every   consideration  arising from other provisions of the same statute  or other statute  but”for that reason alone we must   determine   the   scope”   of   that   provision   strictly.  When   the   section   containing   the   said   clause   does  not   refer   to   any   particular   provisions   which   it  intends to override but refers to the provisions of   the   statute   generally,   it   is   not   permissible   to  hold that it excludes the whole Act and stands all   alone   by   itself.   A   search   has,   therefore,   to   be   made   with   a   view   to   determining   which   provision  answers the description and which does not. 

30.   In   R.S.   Raghunath   v.   State   of   Karnataka   and   Anr., a three Judge Bench  referred to the earlier  judgments in Aswinin Kumar Ghose v. Arabinda BoseDominion  of   India  v.   Shrinbai  A.   Irani,   Union   of  India v. G.M. KokilChandavarkar Sita Ratna Rao v.   Ashalata S. Guram and observed:] …The   non­obstante clause   is   appended   to   a  provision with a view to give the enacting part of   ithe  provision  an   overriding  effect   in   case   of   a   conflict.   But   the   non­obstante   clause   need   not  necessarily   and   always   be   co­extensive   with   the  operative part so as to have the effect of cutting   doen   the   clear   terms   of   an   enactment   and   if   the   words of the enactment are clear and are capable of  a clear interpretation on a plain and grammatical  capable   of   a   clear   interpretation   on   plain   and  grammitcal   construction   of   the   words   the   non­ obstante   clause   cannot   cut   down   the   construction  and   restrict  the  scope  of   its   operation.  In   such  cases   the   non­obstante   clause   has   to   be   read   as   clarifiying   the   whole   position   and   must   be  understood   to   have   been   incorporated   in   the  enactment   by   the   legislature   by   way   of   abundant  caution and not by  way  of limiting  the ambit and  scope of the special Rules.”

31. In A.G. Varadarajula v. State of Tamil Nadu,  this Court relied on Aswinin Kumar Ghose s. case.  The   Court   while   interpreting   non   obstante   clause  contained   in   Section   21­A   of   Tamil   Nadu   Land  Reforms   (Fixation   of   ceiling   on   Land)   Act,   1961  held:

It  is  well  settled  that  while  dealing  with  a non  obstante  clause  under  which  the   legislature  wants  to give overriding effect to a section, the court  must   try   to   find   out   the   extent   to   which   the  legislature   had   intended   to   give   one   provision  overriding   effect   over   another   provision.   Such  intention of the legislature in this behalf is to  be gathered from the enacting part of the section.  In   Aswini   Kumar   Ghose   v.   Arabinda   BosePatanjali  Sastri, J. observed:

The enacting part of  a  statute  must,  where  it is  clear, be taken to control the non obstante clause  where both cannot be read harmoniously;”

27. Sections 272 and 273 of the IPC, reads as  under:­ “Section 272:­ Adulteration of food or drink   intended   for   sale:­   Whoever   adulterates   any   article of food or drink, so as to make such   article noxious  as food or drink, intending   to   sell   such   article   as   food   or   drink,   or   knowing   it   to   be   likely   that   the   same   will   be sold as rood or drink, shall be punished   with   imprisonment   or   either   description   for   a   term   which   may   extend   to   six   months,   or   with   fine   which   may   extend   to   one   thousand   rupees, or with both.

Section   273:   Sale   of   noxious   food   or   drink:Whoever   sells,   or   offers   or   exposes   for   sale,   as   food   or   drink,   any   article   which   has   been   rendered   or   has   become   noxious, or               is in a state unfit for   food   or   drink,   knowing   or   having   reason   to   believe that the same is noxious as food or   drink,   shall be punished with imprisonment   of   either   description   for   a   term   which   may   extend to six months, or with fine which may   extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

28. Section   272   talks   about   adulteration   of  food   or   drink   intended   for   sale   and   Section  273 talks about sale of noxious food or drink.

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29. The offence under Section 272, IPC has the  following essentials:

(i)  Selling  or  offering  for  sale  as  food   or drink some article;

(ii) Such article must have become noxious   or   must   be   in   a   state   unfit   for   food   or   drink;

(iii) The sale or exposure must have been   made with a knowledge or reasonable belief   that   the   article   is   noxious   as   food   or   drink.

30. To bring home a charge under Section 273,  IPC the prosecution is to prove: (1) that the  accused sold or offered or exposed for sale an  article of food or drink; (2) that article of  food of drink has been rendered noxious or has  become   unfit   for   food   or   drink;   (3)   that  during   the   sale   or   offering   for   sale   or  exposing for sale he knew the article of food  or   drink   to   be   noxious   or   has   reason   to  believe so.

31. I am of the view that the ingredients to  constitute the offence under Sections 272, 273  of   the   IPC   viz­a­viz   the   offence   under   the  Food  Adulteration  Act  are  absolutely  distinct  and   it   is   difficult   to   take   the   view   that  Sections 272 and 273 of the IPC would never go   together   with   the   provisions   of   the   Food  Adulteration Act. In such circumstances, there  can be appropriate  complaint filed by the Food  Inspector   under   the   Provisions   of   the   Food  Adulteration   Act   and   simulteneously   if   there  is   sufficient   materials   the   accused   can   be  prosecuted for the offence  under Sections 272  and 273 of IPC on a Police report. 

32. The view taken by the Kerala High Court is  much more commendable and I propose to follow  the same.

33. However,   so   far   as   the   case   on   hand   is  concerned,   the   question   is   whether   there   is  any   materials   on   record   to   even   prima   facie  indicate   that   the   accused   persons   have  committed the offence under Sectins 406, 420,  272 and 273 of the Indina Penal Code. In the  facts of the case none of the ingredients to  constitute   the   offences   punishable   under  Sections 406, 420, 272 and 273 of the IPC are  spelt out.

34. The facts before the Kerala High Court in  the   case   of   Abdul   Khadar   (supra)   were   quite  different.

35. The   distinction   between   an   offence   under  Section   272,   IPC   and   offence   under   Section  16(1)   (a)   (i)   read   with   Section   7(i)  Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Act,   1954   is  that when sale of adulterated food or drink is  punishable   under   the   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration   Act,   adulteration   rendering   it  noxious with intention that it may be sold or  with   knowledge   that   it   may   be   sold   is   an  offence   under   Section   272   IPC.   Similarly   the  distinction   between   section   273,   IPC   on   the  one hand and on offence under Section 16(1)(a)

(i)   is   that   the   sale   of   adulterated   food  simpliciter   attracts   section   16(1)(a)(i)   read  with   Section   7(i)   P.F.A.   Act,   sale   of  adulterated   food   or   drink,   the   impugned  adulteration rendering it noxious and the sale  being   made   with   the   knowledge   that   it   is  noxious etc. attracts section 273, IPC.

36. It may be apposite to recall Section 2(ia)  Prevention   of   Food   Adulteration   Act,   1954  defining   adulterated   article   of   food   runs   as  under:­ (ia)   “adulterated”­an   article   of   food   shall be deemed to be adulterated­

(a)   if   the   article   sold   by   a   vendor   is    not   of   the   nature,   substance   or   quality   demanded  by the  purchaser  and is  to his   prejudice,   or   is   not   of   the   nature,   substance or quality which it purports or   is represented to be;

(b)   if   the   article   contains   any   other   substance   which   affects,   or   if   the   article   is   so   processed   as   to   affect,   injuriously   the   nature,   substance   or   quality thereof;

(c) if any inferior or cheaper substance   has been substituted wholly or in part of   the   article   so   as   to   affect   injuriously   the nature, substance or quality thereof;

(d) if any constituent of the article has   been  wholly  or  in part  abstracted  so as   to   affect   injuriously   the   nature,   substance or quality thereof;

(e)   if   the   article   had   been   prepared,   packed   or   kept   under   insanitary   conditions   whereby   it   has   become   contaminated or injurious to health;

(f) if the article consists wholly or in   part   of   any   filthy,   putrid,   rotten,   decomposed   or   diseased   animal   or vegetable substance or is insect ­infected   or   is   otherwise   unfit   for   human   consumption,;

(g)   if   the   article   is   obtained   from   a   diseased animal;

(h) if the article contains any poisonous   or   other   ingredient   which   renders   it  injurious to health;

(i)   if   the   container   of   the   article   is   composed,   whether   wholly   or   in   part,   of   any   poisonous   or   deleterious   substance   which   renders   its   contents   injurious   to   health;

(j)   if   any   colouring   matter   other   than   that   prescribed   in   respect   thereof   is   present in the article, or if the amounts   of the prescribed colouring matter which   is present in the article are not within   the prescribed limits of variability;

(k)   if   the   article   contains   any   prohibited   preservative   or   permitted   preservative in excess of the prescribed   limits;

(l)   if   the   quality   or   purity   of   the   article   falls   below   the   prescribed    standard or its  constituents  are present   in    quantities   not   within   the   prescribed   limits of variability, but which renders   it injurious to health;

(m)   if   the   quality   or   purity   of   the   article   falls   below   the   prescribed   standard or its constituents are present   in   quantities   not   within   the   prescribed   limits of variability but which does not   render it injurious to health;

Provided   that,   where   the   quality   or   purity   of   the   article,   being   primary   food,   has   fallen   below   the   prescribed   standards or its constituents are present   in   quantities   not   within   the   prescribed   limits   of   variability,   in   either   case,   solely   due   to   natural   causes   and   beyond   the   control   of   human   agency,   then,   such   article   shall   not   be   deemed   to   be   adulterated   within   the   meaning   of   this   sub­clause. 

37. The expression, “noxious” has been defined  in   Section   2(xv),   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration Act as follows:

(xv)   the   words   “unwholesome”   and   “noxious”   when   used   in   relation   to   an   article   of   food   mean   respectively   that   the   article   in   harmful   to   health   or   repugnant to human use. 

38. The   word   noxious   appears   in   Rule   49,  Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955. 

39. Rule 49(2) Prevention of Food Adulteration  Rules, 1955 lays down as one of the conditions  of sale of food or drink that no person shall  use   for   manufacturing   preparing,   or   storing  any   food   or   ingredient   of   food   intended   for  sale   any   utensil   or   container   which   is  imperfectly enamelled or imperfectly tinned or  which is made of such materials or is in such  a state as to be likely to injure such food or  render if noxious. 

40. Rule 49(4) further says that no utensil or  container   used   for   the   manufacture   or  preparation   of   or   containing   any   food   or  ingredient of food intended for sale shall be  kept   in   any   place   in   which   such   utensil   or  container is likely by reason of impure air or  dust or any offensive, noxious or deleterious  gas   or   substance   or   any   noxious   or   injurious  emanations, or exhalation, or effluvium, to be  contaminated   and   thereby   render   the   food  noxious. 

41. These   are   the   two   places   where   the   word  “noxious”   has   been   used   in   the   Act   and   the  Rules,   apart   from   s.2(xv)   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration Act referred to above. 

42. So, it emerges that actual adulteration of  food   or   drink   rendering   it   noxious   has   not  been contemplated by those Rules. 

43. Section 7, Prevention of Food Adulteration  Act,   laying   down   the   prohibition   of  manufacture, sale etc. of certain article lays  down the following in Clause (v) namely that a  sale of an article of food in contravention of  any   provision   of   the   Act   or   Rules   is  prohibited. It lays down in Clause (i) further  that sale of adulterated food is prohibited. 

44. Section   16(1)(a)   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration   Act   enacts  inter­alia,   that  whoever   sells   or   distributes   any   article   of  food,   sale   of   which   is   prohibited   under   any  provision of the Act or any rule thereunder is  liable to be visited with penalty. 

45. But, it may be found that Rule 49 does not  prohibit   actual   adulteration   rendering   the  food or drink noxious. So, Section 7(v) of the  Act   and   consequently,   Section   16(1)(a)(i)   is  not   attracted   when   the   food   or   drink   is   so  adulterated as to render it noxious. 

46. In this limited field Section 272, IPC has  its operation.

47. But,   at   the   same   time   to   bring   home  Section 272, IPC first and foremost ingredient  is that the accused must have adulterated the  food or drink.

48. Section   7(i),   Prevention   of   Food  Adulteration Act reads:

“S.7.   Prohibitions   of   manufacture,  sale etc. of certain articles of food –   No   person   shall,   himself   or   by   any  person   on   his   behalf,   manufacture   for  sale or store, sell or distribute­ 

(i) any adulterated food.”

49. So, it emerges that on proof of very first  ingredient of Section 272, IPC an accused may  be brought to book under Section 16(l)(a) read   with   Section   7(i)   of   the   Act.   If   the  prosecution   prosecutes   the   offender   for   more  adulteration,   the   matter   ends   there.   But   the  prosecution   on   proof   of   other   ingredients   of  Section   272,   IPC   discussed   above   can   also  bring   the   offender   to   justice   under   Section  272, IPC.

50. There   is   no   question   of   repeal   by  implication   as   it   cannot   be   said   that   the  aforesaid provisions of the Prevention of Food  Adulteration   Act   and   Section   272   occupy  entirely   the   same   field.   It   is   undoubtedly  true   that   the   legislature   can   exercise   the  power of repeal by necessary implication. But  it   is   equally   settled   that   there   is   a  presumption   against   an   implied   repeal.   Upon  the   assumption   that   the   legislature   enacts  laws with a complete knowledge of all existing  laws   pertaining   to   the   same   subject,   the  failure   to   add   a   repealing   cluase   indicates  that   the   intent   was   not   meant   to   repeal  existing  legislation.  The  presumption  will  be  rebutted if the provision of the new Act are  so inconsistent with the old one, that the two  cannot stand together vide the cases.

51. An analysis of Section 272, IPC shows that  to   bring   home   an   offence   under   Section   272,  IPC   the   prosecution   must   establish   the  following   :   (a)   an   article   of   food   or   drink  was   adulterated   by   the   accused.   (b)   this  adulteration   rendered   the   food   or   drink  noxious;   (c)   that   this   adulteration   was  intended   to   sell   the   food   or   drink   or   the  accused   knew   it   to   be   likely   that   the  adulterated and noxious food or drink would be  sold as food or drink. 

52. To bring home a charge under Section 272,  IPC the prosecution is to prove: (a) that the  accused adulterated a food or drink; (b) that  such   adulteration   rendered   the   food   or   drink  noxious; (c) that during the adulteration the  accused   intended   to   sell   the   said   article   of  food or drink or knew that it was likely to be  sold as pure food or drink.

53. There   is   nothing   on   record   at   this   stage  to   reach   to   the   conclusion   that   the  adulteration   of   the   “Ghee”   rendered   the   same  noxious.   The   report   of   the   Public   Analyst  dated 16th February, 2008 is as under:­

                        Sl.      Quality Characteristic                                   Result                                  Prescribed std. 

         No. of                                                            As per 
         T.R.                                                              Provision of 
                                                                           Act & Rules
         3        B.R. Reading at 40 c           50.4                      40 to 43.5
         4        Baudouin Test for              Positive                  Negative
                  Vanaspati
         5        Reichert Value                 7.2                       Min. 24
         6        Added Colour                   Turmeric                  Absent
                                                 Detected 
               

54. The   plane   reading   of   the   same   indicates  that the sample of “Ghee” in all respects was  found to be sub­standard and adulterated.

55. As noted above, for the offence under the  Food   Adulteration   Act,   the   applicants   are  independently being prosecuted pursuant to the  complaint   lodged   by   the   Food   Inspector  culminated in the Criminal Case No.841 of 2008  pending in the Court of learned Chief Judicial  Magistrate,   Amreli.   The   Criminal   Case   No.841  of 2008 shall proceed further expeditiously in  accordance   with   law   without   being   influenced  in any manner by any of the observations made  in this judgment.

56. In the course of the trial of the Criminal  Case   NO.841   of   2008   i.e.   for   the   prosecution  under the prevention of Food Adulteration Act,  if   any,  prima­facie  evidence   surfaces   as   regards   the   commission   of   the   offence  punishable   under   Sections   272   and   273   of   the  IPC,   then   in   such   circumstances,   it   shall   be  open for the trial Court to add the charge for  the offence under  Sections 272 and 273 of the  IPC in exercise of its power under Section 216  of the Cr.P.C.

57. In the aforesaid context, let me refer to  rely on a decision of the Supreme Court in the  case   of  Rajiv   Kumar   Gupta   V.   State   of   Maharashtra, reported in 2006 Cr.LJ 581. I may  quote   the   observations   as   contained   in   para­ 26:­ “26.  The  learned  Counsel  further  contended  that  by  invoking   the   provisions   of   the   IPC   like   Sections  272, 273 and 420,  it amounts to exceeding  heir power  and   jurisdiction   as   the   Food   Adulteration   Act   and   the   said   Rules   made   thereunder   nowhere   give   them  such authority to launch prosecution under the IPC.  The   learned   Counsel   is,   however,   unable   to   submit   any supporting foundation to this proposition. There  is   no   bar   under   the   Food   Adulteration  Act   and   the  said   Rules   made   thereunder   that   the   concerned  authorities   under   the   Act   have   no   jurisdiction  and/or authority  to prosecute the guilty person for  the   offences   under   the   IPC   based   on   the   same  averments  along  with  the  provisions  of  the  special  statutes. All such authorities have jurisdiction to  launch a prosecution by invoking various provisions  of the IPC, along with the special statutes.” 

58. So far as the Criminal Case No.580 of 2008  pending   in   the   Court   of   the   learned   Chief  Judicial   Magistrate,   Amreli   arising   from   the  First Information Report being C.R. No. I­8 of  2008 registered with the Amreli Taluka Police  Station   is   concerned   the   same   is   quashed   on  the ground that the same is not in accordance  with law.

59. At   this   stage   it   is   appropriate   for   this  Court   to   state   that   if   proper   investigation  would   have   been   conducted   in   the   right  direction   and   in   accordance   with   law   then  probably   there   could   have   been   materials   on  record   to   show   that   the   food   article   was  noxious. 

60. In   the   result,   this   application   succeeds  and   is   hereby   allowed.   The   proceedings   of  Criminal   Case   No.580   of   2008   pending   in   the  Court   of   the   learned   Chief   Judicial  Magistrate,   Amreli   arising   from   the   First  Information Report being C.R. No. I­8 of 2008  is hereby quashed. Rule is made absolute.

(J.B.PARDIWALA, J.) Manoj HC-Sat May 06 01:23:41 IST 2017

Hyderabad HC shoots down TSRTC move to promote Bisleri

HYDERABAD: Suspending for now the decision of the TSRTC officials to allow only Bisleri water bottles at all its bus stations in Telangana, the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday allowed all the stall owners in the bus stations to sell all branded water bottles that are approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The bench of acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Shameem Akther pronounced this interim order in an appeal filed by Jahed Bhasha of Hyderabad and scores of licensed shop owners who were aggrieved with the diktat of the authorities who are coercing them to sell only Bisleri brand water. RTC has been maintaining that it brought in the new method to reach out to the public who have been raising several complaints about the stall owners regarding the quality and price of the water. A single judge earlier found nothing wrong in this and allowed the RTC management to go ahead with its tie-up with Bisleri. Aggrieved by this, the shop keepers preferred an appeal over the single judge order.
C Ramachandra Raju, counsel for the licensed shop owners, during his arguments charged the higher authorities of TSRTC with entering into a nexus with Bisleri for enriching themselves through discreet methods. It will be a discriminatory approach if only a particular brand is allowed and other brands are denied entry, he said and added that this will deprive the passengers too to pick up their choice of water bottles. Moreover, this will allow the officials to increase the price of the water bottles and will eventually lead to a monopoly which should never be permitted, he said.

The bench found prima facie force in the argument of the licensees. The restraint order will be in force till a final judgment is pronounced in the case or till the life of the current licence period, the bench said.

PFA – Delhi Dt.Court – F I Vs Ashok Kumar – Sub standard Paneer case – April 27-2017

                    IN THE COURT OF SH. ASHU GARG,
          Addl.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate - II (New Delhi),
                    Patiala House Courts, New Delhi

CC No. 27/11
Unique Case ID No. 02403R0009082011

Date of Institution:              02.02.2011
Date of reserving judgement:      27.04.2017
Date of pronouncement:            29.04.2017

In re:

Delhi Administration / Food Inspector
Department of PFA,
Govt. of NCT of Delhi
A-20, Lawrence Road Industrial Area,
Delhi-110035                                   ...     Complainant

               versus

Ashok Kumar
S/o. Sh. G. R. Yadav
R/o. C-10, Shastri Park, Main Road,
Delhi-110053                                   ...     Accused


JUDGEMENT:

1. The present is a complaint filed under section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (PFA Act), alleging that the accused has violated the provisions of the PFA Act and Rules. The accused Ashok Kumar is stated to be the vendor-cum-proprietor of M/s. Ganga Dairy, from where the food article, that is, ‘Paneer’ was lifted for sampling.

2. As per the complaint, on 30.05.2010, the food officials consisting of Food Inspector (FI) Ranjeet Singh and Field Assistant (FA) Bhopal Singh under the supervision of Local Health Authority (LHA) / SDM Sh. Vipin Garg reached along with their staff at the premises of M/s. Ganga Dairy at C-10, Shastri Park, Main Road, Delhi-53, where the accused was found conducting the business of various food articles, which were lying stored for sale for human consumption. The FI disclosed his identity and expressed his intention to purchase a sample of Paneer from the vendor lying in an open steel tray bearing no label declaration, meant for sale, to which he agreed. A sample of 750 grams of Paneer was then lifted as per procedure prescribed under the PFA Act and Rules, and was divided into three parts. Each sample was separately packed, fastened, marked and sealed and necessary documents were prepared at the spot, including the notice as per Form-VI, panchnama, etc. The price of sample was paid to the vendor. Thereafter, one counterpart of the sample was sent to the Public Analyst (PA) in intact condition and the other two counterparts were deposited with SDM/LHA. Vide report dated 24.06.2010, the PA found the sample to be not conforming to the standards on the ground that milk fat of dried matter was less than the prescribed minimum limit. Upon receipt of report, the SDM/LHA ordered investigation which was carried out by FI. After completion of investigation, sanction under section 20 of the PFA Act was obtained from the Director PFA. The complaint was then filed in the court on 02.02.2011 alleging violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of PFA Act, as punishable under section 7/16(1)(a) of PFA Act.

3. As the complaint was filed in writing by a public servant, recording of pre-summoning evidence was dispensed with and the accused was summoned vide order dated 02.02.2011. The accused appeared and filed an application under section 13(2) of PFA Act thereby exercising his right to get the second counterpart of the sample analysed from the Central Food Laboratory (CFL). The application was allowed and a counterpart was sent for analysis to CFL. The CFL examined the sample and its Director gave Certificate dated 03.03.2011, opining the sample to be not conforming to the standards of Chhanna or Paneer as per PFA Rules as milk fat content was less than the prescribed minimum limit.

4. Based on the CFL report, notice of accusation under section 251 CrPC was framed against the accused on 06.06.2011 for commission of the offence punishable under section 7/16(1)(a) PFA Act, being violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m), to which he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

5. At the trial, prosecution examined four witnesses in support of its case. PW-1 FI Ranjeet Singh, PW-3 Sh Vipin Garg (SDM/LHA) and PW-3 FA Bhopal Singh were part of the team that had visited the spot for sample proceedings. All these witnesses deposed about the proceedings conducted by them on 30.05.2010 and narrated the steps undertaken by them during the sample proceedings, including disclosing their identity, expressing intention to purchase sample for analysis, lifting the sample of 750 gms of Paneer from an open steel tray bearing no label declaration, cutting the same in smallest possible pieces with a clean and dry knife, mixing the same properly in another clean and dry tray with a clean and dry spoon, dividing it in three parts by putting in three separate clean and dry sample bottles, adding 20 drops of formalin in each bottle as preservative, sealing, fastening, packing and marking the samples and obtaining signatures of vendor and witnesses. They also proved the necessary documents including the vendor’s receipt Ex. PW-1/A, Notice as per Form-VI Ex. PW-1/B, Panchnama Ex. PW-1/C and raid report Ex. PW-1/D. On the next working day, one counterpart of sample along with Memo as per Form-VII were sent to PA for analysis vide PA Receipt Ex. PW-1/E and two such counterparts with copy of Memos were deposited with LHA/SDM vide receipt Ex. PW-1/F. PA report dated 24.06.2010 was received and further investigation was carried out by PW-4 FI Shyam Lal. During investigation, letters Ex. PW-4/A and PW-4/B were sent to the DHO and reply Ex. PW-4/C was received. Another letter Ex. PW-4/D was sent to VAT Officer. After conclusion of investigation, consent/sanction Ex. PW-4/E was taken from the Director PFA and the complaint Ex. PW-4/F was filed in the court. Copy of PA report and intimation letter were sent to the accused through post. These witnesses were duly cross-examined by Ld. Defence Counsel wherein they denied that proper method was not adopted for taking the samples or that the shelf life of paneer was only one month after adding formalin, or that representative sample was not taken.

6. Statement of the accused under section 313 CrPC was recorded on 06.03.2017 wherein he denied the allegations and pleaded innocence. Though he admitted the proceedings dated 30.05.2010, yet he claimed that no payment was made to him, that no formal proceedings were conducted in his presence and that his signatures were obtained on five to six papers. He disputed the CFL and PA reports and asserted that the paneer was as per standards. He chose not to lead evidence in defence.

7. It is in these circumstances, Ld. SPP for the complainant has argued that the complainant has been able to establish its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, on the ground that the accused has not been able to rebut the findings in the CFL report dated 03.03.2011. It is submitted that all the witnesses have supported its case and no major contradiction can be seen in their testimony.

8. On the other hand, Ld. Defence Counsel has submitted that the sample proceedings were not conducted properly and that there are various contradictions and missing links in the testimony of witnesses. Ld. Counsel has contended that the complaint was filed after seven months of lifting the sample and on this score, the right of the accused under section 13(2) PFA Act stood frustrated because paneer is a perishable item and by that time, it would have become unfit for consumption. It is also submitted that that sample proceedings were not proper as the knife or tray were not made clean and dry at the spot. Pointing out towards the variations in the PA and CFL reports, it is argued that the reports are not reliable which would show that the sample was not representative. It is finally contended that the laboratories in which the samples were analysed were not notified under the Rules and therefore the prosecution is bad in law.

9. I have heard the arguments advanced by Ld. SPP for the complainant and Ld. Defence Counsel for the accused and have carefully perused the material available on record.

10. The notice framed against the accused is for violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of the PFA Act. Under section 2(ia)(a) of PFA Act, the prosecution has to establish that the purchaser had demanded a food article of a specific nature, substance or quality and the article sold was, to his prejudice, either not of the nature, substance or quality demanded, or was not of the nature, substance or quality which it purported or represented to be. Section 2(ia)(m) specifically deals with situation where the quality or purity of the food article falls below the prescribed standards or its constituent are present in quantities not within the prescribed limits of variability but which does not render it injurious to health.

11. The commodity in the present case is Chhenna/Paneer which is a milk product falling under Item No. A.11.02.05 of Appendix-B of PFA Rules. Minimum standards have been prescribed under the Rules for this food article. The case of the prosecution is based on PA and CFL reports which have opined violation of such minimum standards.

12. To begin with, the court does not find itself in agreement with the contention of Ld. Defence Counsel that the reports of PA and Director CFL cannot be relied upon as they have not been examined in the court. It is to be understood that reports of chemical experts are admissible in evidence without formal proof under section 293 CrPC read with section 13(5) of PFA Act. As per section 13(5) of PFA Act, “Any document purporting to be a report signed by a public analyst, unless it has been superseded under sub-section (3), or any document purporting to be a certificate signed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory, may be used as evidence of the facts stated therein in any proceeding under this Act or under Sections 272 to 276 of the Indian Penal Code: Provided that any document purporting to be a certificate signed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory shall be final and conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein.”

13. But that does not mean that such reports cannot be questioned on any point on which they are silent. If an accused wishes such reports to be clarified or questioned, he has an option available to him to apply to the court under section 293 CrPC and cross-examine the analyst. Despite such option being available, if the accused fails to exercise the same, he cannot then chose to question the report on assumptions, presumptions and hypothesis, without according any opportunity to the examiner to clarify or explain the things. The court cannot impose its views and refuse to disbelieve a report of PA or CFL, without giving the analyst any opportunity to explain any point on which the report is silent. In the present case, the report of PA has already been superseded by the Certificate of the Director, CFL. In such a case, if the accused was genuinely feeling aggrieved by mentioning or non-mentioning of any details, there is no reason why he did not opt to cross-examine the CFL analyst and ask him/her about anything on which the report is silent. The CFL (and even PA) maintains all the details of the tests conducted, calculations made, values derived and methods used on the basis of which final results are given as mentioned in its certificate. The report and certificate on record are only the final figures as given in the formats prescribed under the PFA Rules. They do not contain all the details of the entire analysis from beginning to end and such data can always be called by the accused if desired. The accused cannot be allowed to take benefit of his failure to apply and cross-examine the CFL when this opportunity was available to him, and then to raise the issue at final hearing on something on which the final report may be silent. This was obviously not the responsibility of the prosecution as the report of the CFL is admissible is evidence and is rather final and conclusive as to the facts stated therein. In Richpal v. State (Delhi Administration) [1988 (2) DLT 422] and Mohd. Hussain v. State (Delhi) [1989 (1) FAC 206}, it was observed that “the contents of the CFSL report have to be treated as correct and in case defence wanted to challenge the said report, the defence should have prayed to the trial court for calling the expert with the record for the purposes of cross-examination to enable the defence to prove that the contents of CFSL report are in any manner incorrect.”

14. The said issue was put at rest by the 5-Judge Constitution Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India long back, in the authoritative judgement titled as Mangaldas Raghavji Ruparel v. State of Maharashtra [(1965)2 SCR 894, AIR 1966 SC 128]. The following extract is worth noting [It may be noted that section 510 CrPC referred to in this judgement pertains to the CrPC of 1898 (as amended in 1955), a part of which is now Section 293 in the currently applicable CrPC of 1973]:

“As regards the failure to examine the Public Analyst as a witness in the case no blame can be laid on the prosecution. The report of the Public Analyst was there and if either the court or the appellant wanted him to be examined as a witness appropriate steps would have been taken. The prosecution cannot fail solely on the ground that the Public Analyst had not been called in the case. Mr Ganatra then contended that the report does not contain adequate data. We have seen the report for ourselves and quite apart from the fact that it was not challenged by any of the appellants as inadequate when it was put into evidence, we are satisfied that it contains the necessary data in support of the conclusion that the sample of turmeric powder examined by him showed adulteration. The report sets out the result of the analysis and the tests performed in the public health laboratory. Two out of the three tests and the microscopic examination revealed adulteration of the turmeric powder. The microscopic examination showed the presence of pollen stalks. This could well be regarded as adequate to satisfy the mind of a Judge or Magistrate dealing with the facts. Mr Ganatra then said that the report shows that the analysis was not made by the Public Analyst himself but by someone else. What the report says is “I further certify that I have caused to be analysed the aforementioned sample and declare the result of the analysis to be as follows.” This would show that what was done under the supervision of the Public Analyst and that should be regarded as quite sufficient.

This provision clearly makes the report admissible in evidence. What value is to be attached to such report must necessarily be for the court of fact which has to consider it. Sub-section (2) of Section 13 gives an opportunity to the accused vendor or the complainant on payment of the prescribed fee to make an application to the court for sending a sample of the allegedly adulterated commodity taken under Section 11 of the Act to the Director of Central Food Laboratory for a certificate. The certificate issued by the Director would then supersede the report given by the Public Analyst. Thiscertificate is not only made admissible in evidence under sub- section (5) but is given finality of the facts contained therein by the proviso to that sub-section. It is true that the certificate of the Public Analyst is not made conclusive but this only means that the court of fact is to act on the certificate or not, as it thinks fit. …

Sub-section (1) of Section 510 permits the use of the certificate of a Chemical Examiner as evidence in any enquiry or trial or other proceeding under the Code and sub-section (2) thereof empowers the court to summon and examine the Chemical Examiner if it thinks fit and requires it to examine him as a witness upon an application either by the prosecution or the accused in this regard. It would, therefore, not be correct to say that where the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 510 have not been availed of, the report of a Chemical Examiner is rendered inadmissible or is even to be treated as having no weight. Whatever that may be we are concerned in this case not with the report of a Chemical Examiner but with that of a Public Analyst. Insofar as the report of the Public Analyst is concerned we have the provisions of Section 13 of the Act.”

15. In the case at hand, the defence is then seeking to claim that the samples were not representative due to ‘variations’ in PA and CFL reports. It is pointed out that as per PA report, the BR Reading was 43, moisture was 62.07% and the milk fat content was 46.94% (which should be not less than 50.0% as per Rules). As against this, as per CFL report, the BR Reading was 42.6, moisture was 59.17% and the milk fat content was 42.56% (which should be not less than 50.0% as per Rules).

16. The argument strongly put forth by the Ld. Defence Counsel on the basis of which acquittal has been sought at the threshold in this matter is that ‘since there is variation of more than 0.3% in the reports of PA and CFL, the samples were not representative’. Pointing out the above said ‘variations’, it is contended that the same would be sufficient to conclude that samples were not taken by the FI in proper manner and were not representative, for which benefit should be given to the accused.

17. In this regard, the defence relies upon the judgement titled as Kanshi Nath v. State [2005(2) FAC 219], which has been constantly followed by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in State v. Ramesh Chand [2010 (2) JCC 1250], Food Inspector v. Parvinder Malik [2014(2) FAC 306], State v. Vinod Kumar Gupta [2010(2) JCC 957], State v. Virender Kohli [2014(2) FAC 223], State v. Kamal Aggarwal [2014(2) FAC 183], State v. Vidya Gupta [2014(1) FAC 291], State v. Dinesh Goswami [2014(1) FAC 302], State v. Mahabir [2014(1) FAC 286], State v. Santosh Sharma[2014(1) FAC 296], Raja Ram Seth & Sons v. Delhi Administration [2012(2) FAC 523], State v. Sunil Dutt [2011(4) JCC 2377] and State v. Rama Rattan Malhotra [2012(2) FAC 398].

18. I have carefully gone through the said judgments based on the star judgement in Kanshi Nath v. State [2005(2) FAC 219], which needs detailed discussion. It is necessary to understand the concept of reports of PA and CFL and variations therein.

19. As per section 13(3) of the PFA Act, the certificate issued by the Director of CFL shall supersede the report of the PA. As per proviso to section 13(5) of the Act, such certificate shall be final and conclusive evidence for the facts stated therein. Thus, as far as the findings of the CFL are concerned, the same are final and conclusive and no evidence can be given to disprove the same (section 4 of the Indian Evidence Act).

20. In Calcutta Municipal Corporation v. Pawan Kumar Saraf [AIR 1999 SC 738], it has been authoritatively laid down that the legal impact of a certificate of the Director of CFL is three fold: (a) it annuls or replaces the report of the PA, (b) it gains finality regarding the quality and standard of the food article involved in the case and (c) it becomes irrefutable so far as the facts stated therein are concerned.

21. In Subhash Chander v. State, Delhi Administration [1983(4) DRJ 100], it was observed by Hon’ble High Court of Delhi that “It has repeatedly been held by the supreme court that the certificate of the Director supersedes the report of the public analyst and is to be treated as conclusive evidence of its contents. The Director is a greater expert and therefore the statute says that his certificate shall be accepted by the court as conclusive evidence. For all purposes the report of the public analyst is replaced by the certificate of the Director…. Superseded is a strong word. It means obliterate, set aside, annul, replace, make void, inefficacious or useless, repeal. The Director’s certificate supersedes the report given by the public analyst. Once superseded it does not survive for any purpose. It will be anomalous to hold that for some purpose it survives and for other purposes it is superseded.”

22. The scheme of Act would show that CFL has been, in a way, given the status of an appellate expert over the findings of PA. In the landmark judgement titled as MCD v. Bishan Sarup [ILR1970 (1) Delhi 518], the full bench of Hon’ble High Court of Delhi observed that “According to the scheme of the Act, the Director of Central Food Laboratory is constituted to be a sort of greater expert than the Public Analyst and his certificate supersedes the report of Public Analyst under sub-section (3) of section 13“. The Hon’ble Court also took a note of the ruling in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Ghisa Ram [AIR 1967 SC 970] wherein it was observed that the right has been given to the vendor for his satisfaction and proper defence, to get the sample analysed be a “greater expert whose certificate is to be accepted by court as conclusive evidence”.

23. What is important to be noted is, that no such finality and conclusiveness has been attached to the report of PA and it has been only attached to the report of CFL. Reliance can be placed on Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Zahiruddin [ILR (1972) 1 Del 630]. Thus, evidence can be given by the accused to disprove the report of PA, but once the accused exercises his right under section 13(2) of the Act upon which Certificate is given by CFL, such a certificate of CFL would supersede the PA report and would become final and conclusive.

24. The question is, whether the PA report can still be looked into for any purpose? Well, no precedent prior to Kanshi Nath’s case (supra) has been shown by the defence where such PA report, as superseded by the CFL report, has been considered for any purpose, particularly for finding the guilt or innocence of the accused on the basis of variations therein.

25. In Food Inspector, Corporation of Cochin v. T.V. Habeeb, [1984 (1) FAC 41], it was observed that “It can thus be seen that it is settled law that the report of the Public Analyst is superseded by the certificate of the Director which has conclusive effect also. Analysis in the two cases is done by different persons at different laboratories. It would not be surprising if, assuming the best conditions there is some difference in the results of the two analysis. Even in cases where sampling and analysis is done to the satisfaction of the most exacting standards, there could be variation in the percentage of different components arrived at in the two laboratories. But, once the report of the Public Analyst is superseded by the report of the Director of the Central Food Laboratory, there is no report of the Public Analyst available in the eyes of law for comparison with the certificate issued by the Director. The court cannot, therefore, legitimately make such a comparison and conclude that there are divergences and therefrom draw an inference that the sampling must have been done improperly. To arrive at such a conclusion would amount to flying in the face of settled position of the law and the terms of sub- sections (3) and (5) of Section 13 of the Act”.

26. Similarly, in Prahlad Bhai Amba Lal Patel v. State of Gujarat [1984 (2) FAC 26], the Full Bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat while relying upon the decision of the Hon’ble Apex court in Andhra Pradesh Grain & Seeds Merchant Association v. Union of India [AIR 1971 SC 246] and Chetumal v. State of M.P., [AIR 1981 SC 1387] discussed the issue of ‘variation’ and held that “Proviso to section 13(5) also indicates that what is stated in the later certificate issued by theDirector would be final and conclusive evidence of the facts stated in the said certificate. It is obvious that the facts stated would be with respect to the result of the analysis by the Director and the findings reached therein regarding relevant ingredients of the part of the sample sent for analysis and analysed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory. Once this type of conclusive evidence emerges on record, whatever might have been contra-indicated regarding the concerned ingredients of the sample as found in the prior report of the public analyst would be totally pushed out of the arena of contest and cannot be looked at. If that is so, there would be no question of considering any variance between the results of the tests carried out by the public analyst on the one hand and the Director of the Central Food Laboratory on the other vis-a-vis two parts of the same sample. Any variation or variance between the different ingredients mentioned in these two reports would presuppose comparison between two existing reports on record. But if one of the reports is wholly pushed out of record as enjoined by S. 13(3) read with S. 13(5), there is no question of resorting to the exercise of comparison between the contents of these two reports with a view to finding out the supposed variance between the existing and operative report of the Director and earlier report of the public analyst which has ceased to exist on record.”.

27. In the case of MCD v. Bishan Sarup [supra], the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi (Full Bench) was dealing with a sample of milk. The PA had reported the sample to be adulterated as it contained fat in the sample 6.7% and non-fatty solids 8.03% against prescribed minimum 8.5%. After lapse of about three years, CFL gave report again opining the sample to be adulterated observing that fat contents were 7.2% and milk solids other than fats were 6.4%. (The variations were thus of 0.5% and 1.63% respectively). On such reports, the accused persons were acquitted and their acquittal was upheld even in first appeal. After discussing the law on the point, the Hon’ble Court reversed the acquitted into conviction and observed as under:

(a) The accused is entitled to get benefit of doubt if on account of delay or lapse on the part of prosecution to institute a prosecution, the Director CFL is unable to analyse the sample because of delay or of the sample undergoes a change for this reason. In Ghisa Ram’s case (supra), the Director, CFL had reported that the sample had become highly decomposed and no analyses was possible. In that case, on the basis of evidence, the court found that sample of curd could not have survived for more that four months. At the same time, there was no rule laid down that in every case of frustration of such right, the vendor cannot be convicted on the basis of PA report and different considerations may arise. Similarly in Ram Mehar v. Delhi Administration (Criminal Revision No. 618-D/1965, Delhi High Court, dated 28.07.1969), after the delay of none months, the sample was sent to CFL but the Director reported that the sample had become highly decomposed and its analyses was not possible. Further, in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Om Prakash [Criminal Appeal N. 7- D/1966, Delhi High Court, dated 28.07.1969], the evidence had been led in that case to show that the difference between the two reports was mainly due to lapse of time.

(b) The consideration of time-lapse is relevant only for a limited purpose. “Once the Director has examined the sample and has delivered his certificate, under proviso to sub-section (5) of section 13 of the Act, the certificate is final and conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein. The presumption attaching to certificate again is only in regard to what is stated in it as to contents of the sample actually examined by the Director and nothing more. Even after this certificate, it is open to the accused to show that in the facts of a given case and on the concrete objective grounds that he may prove on record the sample sent for analyses to the Director could not be taken to be a representative sample of the article of food from which it was taken.”

(c) “If prejudice is caused to the accused on account of the delay in the institution of proceedings, as when the sample is rendered unfit for analyses in the meanwhile, then the accused is entitled to the benefit of doubt… But in case no prejudice is caused to the accused he cannot be allowed to escape the consequences under the law for such anti-social act…”

(d) Despite the difference in reports, there was no effort to show that the sample sent to the Director, CFL was not representative of the milk from which it was taken or that it had even otherwise undergone any chemical changes. Proviso to section 13(5) would be attracted in full force as certificate of Director was final and conclusive evidence of the contents of the sample.

28. This judgment was also relied upon by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in Salim and Co. v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi [1978 Cri LJ 240], where it was observed that “It is correct that there is wide variation in the two reports, but according to sub-sec. (3) of S. 13 of the Act, the report of the Director of Central Food Laboratory supersedes the report of the Public Analyst. The Statute has clearly provided as to what value should be attached to the report of the Director of Central Food Laboratory qua that of the Public Analyst. Thus the report of the Public Analyst loses all its value after supersession by the certificate of the Director”.

29. In Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Zahiruddin [ILR (1972) 1 Del 630], the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that “It is ridiculous that the learned Magistrate should have compared the report of the Public Analyst with the certificate issued by the Director. Under Section 13(5) of the Act the certificate issued by the Director has to be final and conclusive evidence of the facts stated therein, although no such presumption attached to the report of the Public Analyst. The certificate granted by the Director cannot therefore be dis-regarded.” Similar was the observation of Hon’ble High Court in Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Manohar Lal [1975 (1) FAC 182].

30. A careful study of the said precedents would therefore show that mere differences or variations in report of PA and CFL would not, by themselves, lead to a direct conclusion that the samples were not representative. When a sample is analysed by two different persons, the possibility of variations cannot be ruled out. And precisely for this reason, the report of CFL has been given preference over the report of PA, considering the Director, CFL to be the better expert. Not only this, the report of CFL is given finality and is declared to be conclusive evidence, after superseding the earlier report of PA. The sample would become all the more prone to variations as there would always be some time gap between the analyses carried out by PA and CFL. But mere delay in analyses by CFL and consequent variations would not be a reason to discard its report, which is otherwise final and conclusive, unless the accused is able to show that the variations are on account of delay in analysing the sample or that some chemical changes during the intervening period had resulted in such variations. Again, this is not a matter or assumptions or presumptions. There is no rule prescribed anywhere that after a particular delay, a sample would be rendered unfit for analysis. The court cannot assume such facts on hypothetical basis and observe that delay would in any case would have frustrated the right of the accused so as to cause prejudice to him. But if the accused is able to lead sufficient evidence or is able to otherwise establish that prejudice was in fact cause to him on account of any such delay, benefit would certainly go to him. One such situation in favour of the accused would be when the sample is sent to CFL but it is found to be “unfit for analysis” in which case it can be assumed that the right of the accused stood frustrated. But where despite the delay, the sample did not get decomposed and remained fit for analysis, or where the accused did not opt to get the sample analysed from CFL, in such cases, there would be no assumption that the sample would have become unfit for analysis or caused prejudice to the accused. It would always be a matter or evidence adduced by the prosecution and defence and not a matter or assumptions.

31. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in Kashi Nath’s case (supra), was dealing with a situation where there were certain variations in the reports of PA and CFL while analysing a sample of ‘dhania powder’. Hon’ble Court considered the ratio in Bishan Sarup’s case (supra) and held that it would still be open for the accused to establish that the sample tested was not a representative one, and if the variation in the two reports is substantial enough, then the PA report can certainly be looked onto to establish this variation.

32. It is thus clear that the Kanshi Nath and Bishan Sarup judgements are on the same lines. There can be no dispute that if there are such variations on the basis of which the accused is able to show that the samples were not representative, the accused would be given benefit. However, the important point to be noted is, that there is no rule prescribed under the statute to conclude what variation would be “substantial enough” to be considered in favour of the accused. The Actor Rules do not prescribe that there any variation of more than a specific value / percentage would be a substantial variation so as to disregard the report of the CFL which has otherwise been given finality and conclusiveness. In the absence of any such standard prescribed, the matter would be governed only by the evidence adduced by the parties, which includes cross-examination of complainant’s witnesses and/or examination of defence witnesses. If the accused on the basis of evidence can show that any particular variation, to a particular extent, in any particular matter and for a particular ingredient, would be “substantial enough”, then certainly he would be given benefit. But the argument that in case of any and every variation in the two reports, in any ingredient (incriminating or not) without even considering its nature, irrespective of the extent of preservative used, irrespective of the time gap between two reports, on any count whatsoever, would straight away lead to conclusion that the samples were not representative, would certainly be not tenable.

33. If PA has failed to detect some ingredient, or had detected something improperly or by using invalid method, the accused can always lead evidence to disprove the said report, even on the ground that the sample was not representative of the food article, because no finality has been given to the report of PA and this report is not conclusive proof of evidence. Alternatively, accused can exercise his right to get the sample analysed from CFL under section 13(2) of the Act, but in that case, section 13(3) and proviso to section 13(5) of the Act would come in to play and the report would be now conclusive and final.

34. In Kanshi Nath’s case, the prosecution had examined the Director CFL as a witness. During cross-examination, he was specifically asked about possible variation in the content of Sodium Chloride when the sample is representative and analysed by two experts. To this, he had opined that if the sample was representative and was examined by two different experts under ideal conditions, the total analytical variation may be ± 0.3%. It was on the basis of such deposition of an expert witness that the Hon’ble Court ruled in favour of the accused and acquitted him.

35. Thus, the point to be noted is, that the law laid down in Bishan Sarup’s case still holds good. No benefit can be granted to the accused merely because there are variations in two reports. If the accused is able to show, through evidence, that the variations are substantial enough so as to conclude that the sample was not representative, he would get benefit. In Kanshi Nath’s case, the accused was able to adduce evidence to the effect that ‘in ideal conditions’, the variations of ± 0.3% would be permissible in the case of Sodium Chloride. The Hon’ble Court in this case never laid down that the said testimony in the form of an opinion of an expert witness, would be applicable to all the future cases to come, irrespective of the fact if ideal conditions were there or not. It was nowhere laid that such variation of ± 0.3% would be applicable to all the ingredients and not only Sodium Chloride for which expert evidence was given in that case. It was nowhere laid down that opinion of that expert witness examined in that case would be binding on all experts with respect to all other ingredients. It was not laid down that in every case of whatever nature, if there is variation of more than ± 0.3% in any of the ingredients, that would lead to direct inference that the sample was not representative. Even in Bishan Sarup’s case, the Hon’ble Court had convicted the accused despite the variations being more than 0.3% and despite huge time gap between the two reports. This was precisely because the accused had failed to show that such variation was due to the sample being not representative. It was held that merely on account of delayed analysis, the trial court was not having an occasion to feel surprise or intrigued over the report in view of section 13(3) of the Act.

36. Such an interpretation as being suggested by the defence is not even logical to be drawn. For instance, if there is deadly poison in sample of a food article and presence of that poisonous matter is confirmed by PA to be 55% and CFL to be 56%, then can benefit be given to the accused on the ground that there is variation of more than ± 0.3% in the two reports, particularly when the CFL report is final and conclusive? Similarly, if the PA and CFL both find the poisonous matter to be 55%, then can the accused get benefit in the ground that some there is variation of more than 0.3% in the two reports with respect to moisture or ash content? Certainly no. This position would not change even if there is huge delay in analysis by two experts. Similarly, if PA fails to detect any poison, and CFL detects such poison, even then no benefit can be granted to the accused on account of variation, unless he is able to establish in evidence that such poison was a result of delay in sending the sample for analysis or of improper sampling. CFL report in all cases supersedes the PA report and variations therein would not lead to irrefutable conclusion that the samples were not representative. If the two reports are to be so compared with each other, then it would lead to giving finality and conclusiveness as to the contents even to the report of PA, which is against the scheme of the Act that gives such finality and conclusiveness only to the report of CFL. The comparison, if any, can only be to ascertain if the variations are substantial enough, provided that there is evidence to show that any particular variation might be because of sample not being representative.

The CFL report is given precedence over PA report irrespective of the results therein. If PA detects some adulteration but CFL does not find any such adulteration, the benefit goes to the accused straight away and in that case, the law does not permit the two reports to be compared. Similarly, if PA detects some ingredient present in some quantity and CFL detects presence or absence of another ingredient or presence of that ingredient in different quantity, the finality clause in CFL report cannot be left redundant solely on the ground that variation in reports is more than 0.3%. Since CFL is better equipped, have better means of analysis, is having more experienced analysts, advanced technology, its report has to be given precedence over report of PA in every case where the accused exercises his right to get the sample analysed from CFL. There is no requirement under the Act or Rules that the two reports should be uniform or identical or that any variation of ± 0.3% in any ingredient would nullify the report of CFL. No such limit is prescribed anywhere and therefore, it depends on the evidence led in each case and testimony of expert witnesses, including the analysts, from case to case based on their study, experience and research, and their passing the test of cross-examination by opposite side.

37. The accused cannot simply rely upon the Kanshi Nath’s case (or any other case for that matter) and say that since the variation in one or more ingredients in his case was more than ± 0.3% as opined by an expert in one particular case, the sample in his case would deemed to be not representative. Apparently, the Kanshi Nath’s judgement was based on evidence led by the parties where there was clear evidence as to specific variation, in one specific ingredient (Sodium Chloride), in a specific case.

The accused cannot now rely on the testimony of that expert in that case without leading any further evidence whatsoever. If such interpretation is given, then all the cases of food adulteration would fail, the moment the CFL gives its report which happens to be at variance with the PA report to be more than ± 0.3% on any parameter, whether incriminating or not. This would rather give precedence to the report of PA and not CFL.

38. As mentioned earlier, this judgment has been relied upon time and again by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, where there were variations between the PA report and CFL report more than 0.3%. But these judgements can be easily distinguished in view of the above discussion, primarily in view of the fact that these were appeals, mostly against acquittals, where the scope of interference is limited, as observed in the judgements themselves. [Food Inspector v. Parvinder Malik [2014(2) FAC 306], State v. Vidya Gupta [2014(1) FAC 291], State v. Dinesh Goswami [2014(1) FAC 302], State v. Mahabir [2014(1) FAC 286] and State v. Santosh Sharma [2014(1) FAC 296]].

39. At this stage, it is not out of place to mention that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in State v. Kanshi Nath [Crl. Appeal No. 1158/07 dated 08.09.2011] has dismissed the appeal to Kanshi Nath’s judgement, but at the same time, expressly ordered the question of law to be kept open.

40. The judgements of State v. Virender Kohli [2014(2) FAC 223] and State v. Kamal Aggarwal [2014(2) FAC 183], are exactly on the same lines as that of Food Inspector v. Kailash Chand [2014 (2) FAC 143, in Crl. LP no. 264/14, Delhi High Court, dated 16.04.2014] where the acquittal was upheld on the ground that variations in two reports were more than 0.3%, which has already been set aside by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Food Inspector v. Kailash Chand [Crl. Appeal No. 1138/2015, Supreme Court of India, dated 31.08.2015], and the matter remanded back to consider the statutory provisions under section 13(3) of PFA Act.

41. The judgements in Raja Ram Seth & Sons v. Delhi Administration [2012(2) FAC 523] and State v. Rama Rattan Malhotra [2012(2) FAC 398] had also relied upon State v. Mahender Kumar[2008(1) FAC 170] but this judgement has been set aside in State Delhi Administration v. Mahender Kumar [2012 (2) FAC 642] by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and matter remanded back for fresh consideration, expressly keeping all the issues open.

42. The judgements in State v. Sunil Dutt [2011(4) JCC 2377], State v. Ramesh Chand [2010 (2) JCC 1250] and State v. Vinod Kumar Gupta [2010(2) JCC 957] were based on evidence led by the parties and appreciation thereof, and not that the variation between the two reports was more than 0.3%.

43. Thus, the judgements relied upon by the defence have to be considered in right perspective. The Hon’ble High Court refused to interfere in the judgements of acquittal by subordinate courts that had considered the variations to be substantial enough and passed the judgement on the basis of evidence available on record. But where the evidence does not show that the variations were due to sample being not representative, the matter cannot result in acquittal simply by assuming that any variation more than 0.3% in any factor would make the sample non representative. Certainly, if the variations are established to be substantial enough to conclude that the sample was not representative, the accused would surely get benefit but not otherwise. Recently in Mithilesh v. State of NCT of Delhi [(2014)13 SCC 423], the Hon’ble Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of the vendor despite the variations in the ash content of more than 0.3% in the reports of PA and the Director CFL.

44. In the case in hand, the court cannot, merely on the basis of the above mentioned variations, conclude that the samples were not representative. In view of section 13(3) and proviso to section 13(5) of the Act, the report of CFL becomes conclusive and final, and superseding the report of PA. The CFL report would get precedence over the PA report. In simple terms, the CFL detected what the PA failed to detect.

45. As far as moisture content is concerned, its variation would be immaterial because with passage of time, such changes would be natural as the effect of air, water, heat, internal and external atmosphere, pressure, environment, etc. cannot be ignored on this perishable article. The BR reading as determined by the CFL has to be given overriding effect and nullifying the earlier PA report on this count. Had the sample been failed only on account of moisture content by the CFL, the court might have assumed that the sample failed due to natural causes, but when it is not the position, variation in moisture content would not negate the confirming findings of PA and CFL on other parameters.

46. Now to ascertain if seven months time taken in filing the complaint would be fatal to the prosecution or not. Sample in this case was lifted on 30.05.2010 and it was analysed by PA from 10.06.2010 to 16.06.2010. PA gave report dated 24.06.2010. The complaint was filed on 02.02.2011. The accused claims that the “delay” in filing the complaint had frustrated his right under section 13(2) PFA Act.

47. The question is whether can the period of seven months be called as an unexplained delay so as to automatically frustrate his right, despite the fact that he had exercised his right and had sent the counterpart for analysis by the CFL? Ld. Defence Counsel strongly relies upon the testimony of Dr. B. D. Narang, a scientific expert, as given in the judgement of Chanan Lal v. State [1972 PFA Cases 292 (Delhi High Court)], on the basis of which the Hon’ble High Court observed that due to delay in filing the complaint, the sample of paneer was rendered unfit for analysis. This judgement was relied upon by the Hon’ble High Court in State v. Deepak Bansal [Crl. Appeal no. 197/2006, Delhi High Court, dated 25.03.2014], State v. Ramesh Chand [2010 (2) JCC 1250], State v. Satish Kumar [2012(4) JCC 2688], State v. Vinod Kumar Gupta [2010(2) JCC 957].

48. It would be seen that in Chanan Lal’s case, when the accused had applied for sending the sample to CFL under section 13(2) PFA Act, it was reported by the CFL that sample had been decomposed and could not be analysed. In such a position, the Hon’ble Court examined one Sh. P. P. Bhatnagar, Public Analyst and the accused examined Dr. B. D. Narang, a chemical expert. Sh. Bhatnagar deposed that if formalin was added to paneer, the sample would remain fit for analysis for 8 months. But Dr. Narang deposed on the basis of his reasearch that a sample of panir would remain fit only for one month when formalin was added and was kept in refrigerator. The Hon’ble Court evaluated the testimonies of these witnesses and found that more weight was to be given to testimony of Dr. B. D. Narang. It was thus held “On the basis of the above-mentioned evidence, it is safe for me to assume that the sample of Panir to which requisite drops of formalin have been added and which is kept in a refrigerator would remain fit for analysis for about one month”. The Hon’ble High Court relied upon the precedent titled as MCD v. Ghisa Ram [AIR 1967 SC 970] and it was observed that ordinarily, it should have been possible for the prosecution to obtain the report of PA and institute the prosecution within 17 days of taking the sample. It was opined that after such prosecution, FI was required under Rule 9(j) of PFA Rules to send a copy of PA report to accused to enable him to exercise right under section 13(2) of PFA Act.

49. Well, a lot of issues are involved in the arguments advanced on this count. The defence wants the evidence of Dr. B. D. Narang as given in Chanan Lal’s case to be considered as it is, in this case as well as in all cases of paneer/chhenna. But I do not find it correct to do so. An expert deposes only as a witness and his testimony is subject to cross- examination by the opposite side. It would not be proper to say that evidence of one person given in one case would be applicable to all future cases even without his examination or cross-examination. There can be other experts in the same field who might have different opinions based on their own research, experience and experiments. It is a matter of evaluation of testimony of expert witnesses rather than blindly following the evidence of one expert given in one case. The court will have to weigh the evidence led in a case and ascertain which evidence is more credible. The evidence of Dr. B. D. Narang given in Chanan Lal’s case cannot be therefore accepted in all cases of paneer blindly.

50. It is to be noted that in case titled as MCD v. Shanti Prakash [1974 Cri.L.J. 1086], full bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi while dealing in a different matter under PFA Act, made certain observations with respect to testimony of Dr. B. D. Narang (who also gave evidence in Chanan Lal’s case, which the defence wishes wants the court to rely straight away) as under:

“It was brought to our notice that some of the Magistrates trying cases under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act have been relying upon evidence of Dr. Narang, given as a defence witness, without caring to scrutinize the evidence on merit or without going into the question regarding the weight to be attached to his testimony, if any, in cases where admittedly the samples of food were not examined by him and he possibly could have no knowledge regarding the condition of samples either at the time these were taken or when these were analysed or the conditions under which samples were kept before analysis.

It is the duty of trial Courts to decide cases on merit after careful scrutiny of the evidence. While it is essential that care should be taken to see that no innocent person is convicted but at the same time it is equally important that persons whose guilt is proved beyond reasonable doubt are not let off on flimsy and untenable grounds.”

51. Thus, when his testimony is required to be scrutinised even when he is examined as a defence witness, this court has serious doubt that his testimony given in one case in 1971 can be blindly relied upon after forty five years without even his examination and without the opposite side getting any opportunity to cross examine him in view of the law as it stands today.

52. Even otherwise, the judgement in Chanan Lal’s case was passed in 1971 when the procedure under PFA Act was different as it exists today. The PFA Act was extensively amended in the year 1976 making far reaching charges in procedure. The view of the Hon’ble Court in that judgement that prosecution should be filed with 17 days of lifting the sample, is now impossible to achieve. Rule 9(j) on which the Hon’ble Court relied in 1971, was deleted in 1977 and instead, Rules 9-A an 9-B were added in 1995. As the law stands today, very detailed procedure has been prescribed.

53. As per the scheme of the PFA Act, a sample is lifted and is sent to PA for analysis on next working day. PA would require at least 4 days to analyse the sample (as in the present case), to prepare his report and then communicate report to the LHA which would take a few more days. The LHA would take time to peruse the report and will direct investigation. Such investigation would include sending of notices to accused seeking information (by post or by hand), sending notices to suppliers/packers/manufacturers as disclosed by vendor (through post), seeking their replies mostly through post for which they will also take time, sending notices to VAT office/ Sales Tax office/ LHA office/ ROC ascertaining the composition of firm/proprietorship/company and finding if they have nominees, and then sending notices to them. After completion of investigation, file is required to be sent to the office of Director PFA who takes time in granting sanction and orders filing of case. As noted earlier, a notice under section 13(2) can be only after filing of case. For filing of a case, the investigation has to be complete in all respects as there is no provision under PFA Act akin to section 173(8) CrPC permitting further investigation. Then service on accused through post may take 3 to 7 days. If served, the accused has 10 days time to file application to court. If filed and taken up on the same day, the court would require LHA to produce sample in 5 days (from date of service of summons which would again take some time). If sample is so produced, the sample would take time in reaching the CFL (CFL Pune is the authorized Lab for the state of Delhi). It would be only then that CFL can examine the sample. All this is impossible to achieve in 17 days as per the judgement in Chanan Lal’s case. The court will have to appreciate the law and procedure as it stands today. Thus, the fate of the case would depend on its own set of facts and circumstances. The judgment in Chanan Lal’s case was passed on the basis of the evidence led therein and no rule of law was laid down as such that in every case to come up in future pertaining to a sample to paneer, delay of one month would have to result in acquittal. Thus, this case has to be decided as per the evidence led by the parties in this case.

54. If the interpretation as being given by the Ld. Defence Counsel is to be accepted, then no cognizance can be taken for any adulteration in the any sample of paneer/chhenna, the moment one month lapses from the date of lifting the sample, and if any such case come to the court, the accused would be entitled to be discharged or acquitted straight away without any further evidence whatsoever. Such an interpretation is not logical or probable. No such standard or time frame has been prescribed in the Rules framed under the PFA Act and it is therefore a subject matter of evidence led by the parties.

55. At this stage, it is also necessary to observe that in Chanan Lal’s case, the sample sent to CFL was reported to be decomposed and its contents leaking, rendering it unfit for analysis. Thus, the Hon’ble Court was not dealing with a situation where despite any delay, the CFL finds the sample to be fit for analysis (as in the present case), or those cases where the accused chooses not to send sample for analysis to CFL.

56. In my considered view, mere time taken in filing the prosecution would not give automatic benefit to the accused. If the accused is able to show on concrete grounds that any such delay in filing the prosecution has caused prejudice to him or frustrated his rights, only then the delay can be said to be fatal. The situation largely depends on various factors, including if the delay has been explained or not and whether the delay has resulted in frustration of right of the accused. Again, this would always be a matter of evidence adduced on record and not of hypothesis, assumptions or presumptions. If there is evidence that delay has frustrated the right of the accused, he would certainly be given benefit, but if the accused nowhere takes stand at the trial that he was prejudiced and no question is asked from the witnesses asking for reason of delay, he cannot simply raise the matter at the time of arguments and claim that any particular delay had frustrated his right.

57. As mentioned above, in MCD v. Bishan Sarup [supra], full bench of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi had reversed the acquittal into conviction despite the fact that there was huge delay, holding that there was no occasion for the trial court to have felt surprised or intrigued over it, as the report of CFL was final and conclusive. It is in those cases where the sample is sent for analyses to the CFL and the Director CFL finds that the sample was rendered unfit for analysis or it is proved that the sample deteriorated in the meanwhile that benefit can be granted to the accused. In that case, there was no evidence that the sample of milk was unfit for analysis, despite the analysis having been done by CFL after about 3 years and thus, accused was convicted. The Hon’ble Court discussed the position held in precedent titled as Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Ghisa Ram [AIR 1967 SC 970] where the Director CFL had reported the sample to be highly decomposed and analysis impossible. Even in that case, the Apex Court held that no law was being laid down that every case where the right of the accused stood frustrated and he could not be convicted on the report of PA, though as principle, where the right of the accused is denied, benefit should be given to him. The Hon’ble also distinguished the position in judgement titled as Shri Ram Mehar v. Delhi Administration [Criminal Revision No. 618-D/1965, Delhi High Court, dated 28.07.1969] where again, the Director CFL reported the sample to have become highly decomposed and unfit for analysis. Of course, if the accused is able to show that difference in two reports of PA and CFL was due to lapse of time, he can be given benefit, but again, that would be only in those cases where there is marginal difference, as in case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Om Prakash [Criminal Appeal No. 7-D/1966, Delhi High Court, dated 28.07.1969], as discussed in Bishan Sarup’s case. If despite the delay and differences, the food continues to be adulterated, no benefit could be given to the accused on that count.

58. Even in Chanan Lal’s case, the Director CFL had reported that the sample was decomposed and leaking. The judgement would be distinguishable from those cases where evidence comes on record that the sample had not become unfit for analysis and also where no evidence is there on record to show that delay had in fact frustrated the right of the accused to get the sample analysed from CFL. If there is adequate evidence, including that of testimony of an expert witness subjected to cross-examination by the opposite side, then certainly accused would get the benefit. But the court cannot take a hypothetical view and discard the report of CFL despite its being final and conclusive, as observed in Bishan Sarup’s case, only on the assumption that any particular delay would have frustrated the right of the accused. That would depend on how the sample was lifted, what preservative was used, in what quantity the preservative was used, where it was kept during the intervening period, at what temperature, and what possible chemical variations were possible in such situation. It is quite possible that even if some leverage is given to a product on account of some delay, the product continues to remain sub- standard. To get the benefit, the accused is required to establish that the product was as per standards on the date of taking the sample and the violation observed in the sample by the time it reached CFL was only on account of delay. He has to establish what was the rate of deposition so as to infer that the violation observed by CFL might not be there few months ago when the sample was taken. Thus, mere delay per se would not be fatal unless it is established to have cause prejudice to the accused.

59. In view of this proposition, the accused in this case cannot claim that his right under section 13(2) PFA stood frustrated when the complaint was filed after seven months of lifting the sample. He had exercised his right by moving application under section 13(2) PFA Act and it was only when the CFL report was also in conformity with the PA report that such a defence was raised. Such argument is liable to be rejected.

60. Ld. Defence Counsel has then claimed that the PA report is not reliable on the ground that there has been an unexplained delay of eight days in not signing the same. It is pointed out that the sample was analyzed from 10.06.2010 to 16.06.2010 by the PA but it was signed by him on 24.06.2010.

61. However, there is no merit in the said contention because the said ‘delay’ cannot termed as unexplained when no such explanation has been sought from any witness, particularly the PA. As already stated, if the accused had any genuine grievance or if he wanted to seek any explanation, he had the option to apply under section 293 CrPC and cross- examine the PA, but he never exercised the option. Such delay in signing the PA report could be due to any reason including leave, work-load, official exigencies and even time taken in discussions. But when the PA has not been cross-examined so as to explain any such delay, the said period cannot be termed as ‘unexplained’. In any case, the PA report has been superseded by the certificate of Director CFL and no such irregularity has been pointed out therein. Therefore, no benefit can be given to the accused on this count.

62. If at all it is to be held that the nature of paneer is such that there would be change in its constituents after short period upto one month and it is certain that no sample of paneer, in any circumstances, can be sent for analysis to the CFL under the scheme of PFA Act (as already discussed above), then in that case, the court will have to revert back to the report of PA only which is based on analysis conducted after short duration of lifting the sample. Where due to the nature of food article, it becomes impossible to comply with the statutory provisions, the court should then rely on the report of PA in such extraordinary circumstances when the right of an accused to get sample analysed by CFL cannot be given effect to due to statutory restrictions. In such condition, the leverage given in the judgement of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Ghisa Ram [AIR 1967 SC 970] has to be applied, where the Apex Court held that no law was being laid down that every case where the right of the accused stood frustrated that he could not be convicted on the report of PA, though as principle, where the right of the accused is denied, benefit should be given to him. When the right of accused is impossible to be exercised, if such a view if taken due to nature of food article, then in such extraordinary situation, the PA report has to be considered. If there is nothing to disbelieve the PA report and no infirmity can be seen therein, the accused can be held guilty on its basis. Thus, in present case, if it is held that paneer was incapable of analysis by the time it reached CFL, then the court has to rely on the PA report which is also against the accused. The accused has not furnished any reason how the fat content was found to be less than the prescribed minimum limits, to the extent mentioned, even by the PA. Thus, even from this angle, the food article would be not conforming to the standards.

63. Moving ahead, Ld. Counsel argues that the proper method of taking sample was to grate/crush/mash the paneer, which was not done in the present case. Well, there is no such Rule prescribed anywhere. No such method has been shown to be documented in any recognized literature. Grating or crushing method may be one good method but is not the only method of lifting the sample. No fault is shown to exist in method adopted by food officials in this case. The purpose is only to evenly distribute formalin to preserve the sample. When the sample was fit for analysis, no fault can be attached to the method. Reliance can be placed on the judgement titled as State v. Shiv Shankar [2012 (1) FAC 212] where the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi had set aside the acquittal and remanded the matter for fresh consideration.

64. There is no force in the stand of the accused that the utensils / implements were contaminated as they were not cleaned and dried at the spot. It is to be noted that all the relevant witnesses have categorically deposed about use of clean and dry tray, knife, spoon and bottles and stated that they were not made clean and dry at the spot as they were already clean and dry. With such corroborative testimony given on oath in the court, coupled with the fact that there is no evidence to the contrary, there is no material to show that any utensil/implement was not clean and dry or was contaminated so as to reduce the milk fat content of paneer to such an extent. There is not even a single witness who could step into the witness box and face the test of cross examination to establish that the sample proceedings were not proper or that any surface to which the food article came into contact with, was contaminated. For that matter, it would be seen that not even a single suggestion was given to any PW during cross examination to the effect that the knife or spoon or tray or bottles were not clean and dry or were contaminated. No such stand was taken by the accused even in his statement under section 313 CrPC.

65. Next, Ld. Defence Counsel has also questioned the sample proceedings on the ground that 750 gm of paneer was taken from one brick only and not from all the bricks lying at the spot. It is contended that the entire commodity available at the spot was required to be homogenize together and then sample taken and divided in three counterparts.

66. In the regard, suffice it would be to say that the FI was required to take the sample in the manner which was being ‘sold’ by the vendor (such ‘sale’ should be viewed as per the definition under section 2(xiii) of PFA Act). He was required to homogenize the entire sampled quantity of 750 gms and not the entire commodity available at the spot. Therefore, if 10000 kg paneer is lying in a factory, the FI is not required to mix or homogenize the entire quantity of 10000 kg and then to take out a sample of 750 grms. Since the vendor used to sell the food article by taking out the required quantity from one brick, the FI cannot be said to have committed an irregularity by taking the sample in the manner done. In the present case, there is nothing to show that the paneer was otherwise as per the standards which failed only on the account of alleged improper or irregular sample mythology. This defence is also without merit.

67. The accused has not taken defence that the Paneer in this case was not for sale so as to take it out of purview of PFA Act. He has not claimed any benefit of warranty under section 19(2) of PFA Act by asserting that he had purchased the same from some other supplier. As per the definition of “sale” under section 2(xiii) PFA Act, it includes sale of any article of food for analysis, exposed for sale, attempt to sell, agreement to sell, and having in possession for sale of any such article.

68. In the present case, the witnesses have deposed in one voice and have corroborated the version of each other on material particulars. The fate of the case depends on quality of witnesses and not their quantity or designation or professions. There is no rule of law that requires the evidence of food officials to be viewed with any suspicion. What is required is that attempt is made to join public persons as witnesses as a matter of prudence. The court is not oblivious of reluctance of public persons to join such legal proceedings that involves lengthy procedural formalities and strict future commitments. But non joining of such witnesses would not negate the testimony of official witnesses when they are otherwise truthful and credit worthy and have withstood the test of cross-examination. No motive has shown to exist giving them reason to depose falsely against the accused. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Shriram Labhaya v. MCD[1948-1997 FAC (SC) 483] has categorically held that testimony of the Food Inspector alone, if believed, is sufficient to convict the accused and there is no requirement of independent corroboration by public persons unless the testimony suffers from fatal inconsistencies. No such inconsistency can be seen in this case. No violation of any rule or provision has been pointed out by the defence.

69. The witnesses have corroborated each other on material particulars. All deposed about use of clean and dry implements/tray/knife/bottles, preparation of documents at the spot, payment of price to the accused, mixing the food article properly, There is nothing in their cross- examination which can be termed as major contradiction so as to go to the root of the matter and to negate their depositions given on oath in the court.

70. The judgements relied upon by the accused, that is, State v. Deepak Bansal [Crl. Appeal no. 197/2006, Delhi High Court, dated 25.03.2014], State v. Ramesh Chand [2010 (2) JCC 1250], State v. Satish Kumar [2012(4) JCC 2688], State v. Vinod Kumar Gupta [2010(2) JCC 957] were apparently against acquittals in which the standard of evaluation is different from that against conviction. Similarly, in the judgement titled as Delhi Administration v. Suraj [2014(1) FAC 264], the Hon’ble High Court had dismissed the petition after observing that it was keeping in view the principles applicable to appeal against acquittal. This judgement is also different on facts as there was no evidence to show that knife used was clean and dry. In the case at hand, there is positive evidence in the form of testimonies of PWs on oath to show that utensils, knife, tray and bottles were all clean and dry. Ld. Counsel has failed to explain what other evidence could have been there in addition to corroborative evidence given on oath by the PWs to establish that the utensils/implements/bottles were clean and dry.

71. Lastly, the defence claims that method of analysis and laboratories were not specified by the Rule-making authority and thus, prosecution was bad. It has been argued that the prosecution was launched on 02.02.2011 on the basis of the Public Analyst’s report dated 24.06.2010. Relying upon the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court titled Pepsico India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. v. Food Inspector [2010(2) PFA Cases 310], the Ld.

Defence counsel has argued that the prosecution was bad in law and no prosecution could have been launched because Section 23, which empowered the Central Government to make rules to carry out the provisions of the Act, was amended with effect from 01.04.1976 and Sub Clause (ee) and (hh) were inserted in Clause (1A) of section 23 which included power to define/ designate laboratories competent to analyze the sample as well as define the methods of analysis to be used. It is thus argued that any analysis done based on whatsoever method cannot be made a basis for concluding whether the sample was adulterated or not and consequently to prosecute the accused or not as no methods of analysis were specified which the PA or the Director, CFL could adopt for analysis of the product in question.

72. To this, Ld. SPP has pointed out that the methods of analysis to be adopted had already been specified with effect from 25.03.2008 (prior to the day of sampling) after clause 9 was inserted in Rule 4.

73. Even otherwise, I do not find myself in agreement with the said contention or to the interpretation sought to be given to the above mentioned precedent. If such an interpretation is to be given, then all the cases of whatever nature, of whatever ingredient and of any amount of adulteration, registered after 01.04.1976 would lead to outright dismissal en block, without going into any other evidence, on the ground that laboratories have not been specified, and particularly between 01.04.1976 and 25.03.2008 on the ground that method of analysis was not specified. But such an interpretation is not possible or plausible. There are large number of precedents during this period where the guilty persons had been booked and convicted and their convictions and sentences upheld by the superior courts throughout the country.

74. As far as analysis by the PA and launching of the prosecution on his report is concerned it is to be seen that as per the scheme of the Act the first analysis of the sample/food product is done by the Public Analyst in terms of section 8, 11 and 13 of the Act. The Public Analyst is appointed by the Central or State government by way of notification in the official gazette. Unless the report of Public Analyst is superseded by that of Director, CFL, this report holds good for all purposes and remains effective and valid and can be used as evidence of the facts stated therein. Hence on the day of giving report of analysis of the sample, that is, 24.06.2010, he was a duly / validly appointed Public Analyst. Even his report also mentions that he has been duly appointed and this fact was never disputed at the time of trial. In any case, methods of analysis to be adopted have already been specified with effect from 25.03.2008, which fact has not been disputed by Ld. Defence Counsel.

75. Regarding analysis by the Director, CFL as per the Act and Rules appended therein Section 4empowers the Central Government by way of notification in official gazette to establish one or more Central Food Laboratory or Laboratories to carry out the functions entrusted to the Central Food Laboratory by this Act or Rules made under this Act. Section 13 (2) of the Act gives an option to the accused to challenge the report of PA by getting the counterpart of the sample analysed by the CFL. The analysis at the CFL is done by the Director whose report has been made conclusive and final, thereby overriding the PA report. Rule 3(2) designates various CFLs (at Pune, Kolkatta, Ghaziabad, Mysore) to analyse the samples as per the Act. At the relevant time and even on date, CFL Pune was/has been specified to be the laboratory for Delhi region.

76. At this stage it would be worthwhile to highlight extracts of Preface to the first edition of the DGHS Manual. The same reads as:

The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 came into effect from Ist June 1955. Adulteration has been defined in section 2 of the PFA Act. Under sub-clause (I) of clause (i) of section 2, it has been stated that an article of food shall be deemed to be adulterated, if the quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standards or its constituents are present in quantities which are in excess of the prescribed limits of variability. The specifications prescribed for the purity of various articles of food have been given in Appendix ‘B’ of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules.

The analysts as well as food technologists and Analysts employed in various organisations have been using various method of tests for the determination of different components whose limits have been laid down under these rules. As the methods adopted by Analysts are different, the results obtained may sometime differ even in the case of the same food product analysed at different food laboratories. The Central Committee for Food Standards considered this subject in detail and desired that methods of tests as available with the various institutions like Indian Standards Institution, Directorate of Marketing and Inspection etc. be aligned and published for the guidance of Public Analysts and other analytical chemists so as to have a uniformity in the reports. A sub- committee under the convenership of Dr. Sadgopal, Deputy Director General Indian Standards Institution with Shri R.K. Malik, Senior Marketing Officer, Directorate of Marketing and Inspection and Shri S.N. Mitra, Director, Central Food Laboratory, Calcutta was constituted for the purpose. These methods of tests having been recommended by the Sub-committee and approved by Central Committee for Food Standards are published for the guidance of all concerned.”

77. This Manual was published in the year 1975 and its chief purpose was to lay down the methods to be employed for analysis of different food products. As is evident from its Preface the Central Committee for Food Standards published the same so as to be the guidance for Public Analysts and Analytical Chemists to have a uniformity in the reports. Section 3 of the PFA Act empowers the Central Government to form/constitute the above Committee, that is, Central Committee for Food Standards to advise the Central as well as the State Governments on matters arising out of administration of this Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to it under this Act.

78. Therefore, on the day of analysis of the sample in question, the Public Analyst was competent to analyse the sample and use the method he deemed fit for the purpose of analysis of the sample. There is nothing to show that any method adopted by him was not a sure or reliable test, particularly when he was not even sought to be cross-examined by applying under section 293CrPC on this point. Similarly, on the day of analysis of the counterpart of the sample in question, CFL, Pune was a specified laboratory as per the Act and Rule 3(2) of CFL Rules to analyze the sample and as per the scheme of the Act it was competent to use the method it deemed fit for the purpose of analysis of the sample.

79. As far as Pepsico’s case (supra) is concerned, the judgement cannot be read in isolation or selectively. It has to be read as a whole keeping in mind the purpose and the scheme of the Act which intends to safeguard the public at large from the evil/ menace of food adulteration. The relevant portion of the judgement relied upon by the Ld. Defence counsel reads as:

“34. As far as Grounds 1 and 2 are concerned, the High Court was not convinced with the submission made on behalf of the appellants that in the absence of any prescribed and validated method of analysis under Section 23(1-A)(ee) and (hh) of the 1954 Act, the report of the Public Analyst, who had used the DGHS method, could not be relied upon, especially when even the Laboratories, where the test for detection of insecticides and pesticides in an article of food could be undertaken, had not been specified. The observation of the Division Bench of the High Court that if the submissions made on behalf of the Appellants herein were to be accepted, the mechanism of the Act and the Rules framed thereunder would come to a grinding halt, is not acceptable to us, since the same could lead to a pick and choose method to suit the prosecution. However, in any event, the percentage of Carbofuran detected in the sample of Pepsico which was sent for examination to the Forensic Laboratory is within the tolerance limits prescribed for Sweetened Carbonated Water with effect from 17th June, 2009.

35. The High Court also misconstrued the provisions of Section 23(1-A)(ee) and (hh) in holding that the same were basically enabling provisions and were not mandatory and could, in any event, be solved by the Central Government by framing Rules thereunder, by which specified tests to be held in designated Laboratories could be spelt out. Consequently, the High Court also erred in holding that the non- formulation of Rules under the aforesaid provisions of the 1954 Act could not be said to be fatal for the prosecution.”

80. Thus, in that case, even the laboratories where the tests were to be performed for determining content of pesticides in sweetened carbonated drinks were not specified. But in the case at hand, the analysis was done by CFL, Pune which was a specified laboratory to analyse the sample as per Rule 3(2) of PFA Rules. Again, in Pepsico’s case, the Hon’ble court was dealing with a situation where there were no standards at the relevant time prescribing the tolerance limits of Carbofuran detected in the sample of sweetened carbonated water. Such tolerance limits were specified subsequently wherein the sample was found to be within permissible limits. The prosecution in Pepsico’s case was that for violation of section 2(ia)(h) of the PFA Act. At that time, it was no Rule framed by the government specifying as to what quantity of pesticides was permissible. But in the case at hand, specific Rules are there with respect to standards to be maintained in case of milk products. In this case, prosecution is for violation of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of the Act. The present case would be covered by the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court titled as Prem Ballab v. State (Delhi Administration) [(1977) 1 SCC 173]. This judgement was discussed even in Pepsico’s case, but was never disturbed and was sought to be distinguished on the ground that this was dealing with colouring matter and not with pesticides in carbonated water. But when the present case is also with respect to non-compliance of prescribed standards and not pesticides in carbonated water, the ruling in Pepsico’s case would not help the accused.

81. No other stand has been taken by the accused at the trial or during the arguments advanced.

82. Having said so, it is clear that the paneer lying in possession of accused meant for sale for human consumption was adulterated within the meaning of section 2(ia)(a) and (m) of PFA Act. It has been established on record that the paneer was not of the nature, substance or quality which it purported to be as per section 2(ia)(a). It is also established that quality or purity of paneer was below the prescribed standard as per Item A.11.02.05 of Appendix-B of PFA Rules, as per section 2(ia)(m) of PFA Act.

83. In view of this discussion, it can be said that the complainant / prosecution has been able to establish its case and prove the guilt of the accused beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt. It has been proved that the accused had sold adulterated food in violation of section 2(ia)(a) and

(m) of PFA Act, and has committed the offence punishable under section 7/16(1)(a) of PFA Act.

84. Thus, the accused is held guilty and convicted for the offence punishable under section 16(1)(a) of the PFA Act. Let the matter be listed for arguments on sentence.

Announced in the open court this 29th day of April 2017 ASHU GARG ACMM-II (New Delhi), PHC Judge Code DL0355

Insects in bottle : Consumer Forum asks Bisleri to pay up

Observing that “it should have been serious and concerned about manufacturing of hygienic consumable commodity”, Bisleri International Pvt Ltd has been directed by the Consumer Forum to pay a compensation of Rs. 15,000 to a retailer who found insects in a packaged water bottle he had purchased for sale at his store.

‘Human life at peril’

The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said that though the contents of the bottle were not consumed by anyone, human life was put at risk and directed the company to pay the compensation to the complainant towards harassment and litigation expenses.

“Admittedly the bottle was not consumed by anyone but obviously it contained foreign particulars and the human life was at peril. The O.P-2 (Bisleri International) should have been serious and concerned about manufacturing of hygienic consumable commodity. The complainant suffered mental agony and litigation expenses for which he needs to be adequately compensated,” said the Forum.

Properly sealed bottle

“We are of the opinion that the ends of justice would be met, if the complainant is awarded for a sum of Rs. 15,000 as compensation towards harassment and litigation expenses,” it ordered. The case dates back to 2013.

The complainant in this case ran a small store at Boulward road. In June, 2013, he purchased 10 boxes of Bisleri bottles from an authorised dealer of Bisleri for sale at his store.

On checking the bottles, he found insects and worms in one of the bottles which was properly sealed. He then approached the dealer who did not pay any heed forcing him to approach the company.

Visit by executive

The complainant then filed a complaint before the District Forum. Bisleri appeared before the Forum and said one of its executives had visited the complainant asking him to give the water bottle in question for sample analysis and tests. It said the complainant refused to hand over the bottle and demanded heavy compensation.

The company also told the Forum that it has come to know of the duplicacy of the water bottles in its brand name and is in the process of lodging a complaint against the offenders.

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