MURLIDHAR MEGHRAJ LOYA Vs. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
LAWS(SC)-1976-7-6
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on July 19,1976

MURLIDHAR MEGHRAJ LOYA Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

MANOHAR GUNAJI ANUBHAWNE VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2003-8-78] [REFERRED TO]
VISHNUPRASAD G. DODIYA VS. KHODIDAS DAHYABHAI & OTHERS [LAWS(GJH)-1991-11-12] [REFERRED TO]
LALIT JALAN VS. BOMBAY GAS COMPANY LIMITED [LAWS(SC)-2003-4-73] [REFERRED]
BALRAM KUMAWAT VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(SC)-2003-8-2] [REFERRED]
SURINDER SINGH VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(SC)-2013-11-30] [REFERRED TO]
KAMATCHI VS. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN [LAWS(SC)-2022-4-36] [REFERRED TO]
JULIE SINGH VS. UNION OF INDIA (AS REPRESENTED BY OFFICER-IN-CHARGE) NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU [LAWS(BOM)-2017-4-216] [REFERRED TO]
R K SAKSENA VS. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2005-1-113] [REFERRED TO]
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam VS. Chief Election Commissioner Election Commission of India [LAWS(MAD)-2005-12-45] [REFERRED TO]
FOOD INSPECTOR PUNALUR MUNICIPALITY VS. K HARIKUMAR [LAWS(KER)-1989-11-43] [REFERRED TO]
NATVARLAL AMARSHIBHAI DEVANI VS. STATE OF GUJARAT [LAWS(GJH)-2017-1-16] [REFERRED TO]
Balram VS. State of M.P. [LAWS(MPH)-1998-12-30] [REFERRED TO]
INDIAN BANKS ASSOCIATION BOMBAY VS. DEVKALA CONSUTANCY SERVICE [LAWS(SC)-2004-4-132] [REFERRED TO]
SHIVRAJ TOBACCO COMPANY PVT LTD VS. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [LAWS(MPH)-1989-11-8] [REFERRED TO]
PEPSI CO. INDIA HOLDINGS LTD. AND ORS. VS. STATE OF GUJARAT AND ORS. [LAWS(GJH)-2014-12-172] [REFERRED TO]
P RAMA RAO VS. C B I [LAWS(DLH)-2011-12-230] [REFERRED TO]
HIRA SINGH AND ANOTHER VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(SC)-2020-4-22] [REFERRED TO]
STATE (NCT OF DELHI) VS. BRIJESH SINGH @ ARUN KUMAR AND ANR. [LAWS(SC)-2017-10-15] [REFERRED TO]
BALU VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN [LAWS(RAJ)-1986-12-25] [REFERRED TO]
JAGANNATH SINGH VS. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH [LAWS(MPH)-2011-4-31] [REFERRED TO]
STANDARD CHARTERED BANK VS. DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT [LAWS(SC)-2005-5-27] [REFERRED TO]
JEETU ALIAS JITENDERA VS. STATE OF CHHATTISGARH [LAWS(SC)-2012-12-9] [REFERRED TO]
COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(TRIP)-2021-6-15] [REFERRED TO]
R K Saksena VS. State of Maharashtra [LAWS(BOM)-2006-1-10] [REFERRED TO]
ISHWAR DASS VS. THE STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-1977-11-18] [REFERRED TO]
RUNU GHOSH AND ORS VS. C B I [LAWS(DLH)-2011-12-479] [REFERRED]
PANKAJ VS. STATE [LAWS(DLH)-2020-1-14] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA VS. AJAY JAGDISH PANDE [LAWS(BOM)-2014-6-94] [REFERRED TO]
SARAH MATHEW VS. INSTITUTE OF CARDIO VASCULAR DISEASES BY ITS DIRECTOR K.M.CHERIAN [LAWS(SC)-2013-11-23] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF GUJARAT VS. PITOLWALA AUTO CENTRE CO [LAWS(GJH)-1978-10-10] [REFERRED TO]
MANOHAR GUNAJ ANUBHAWNE VS. STATE MAHARASHTRA [LAWS(BOM)-2003-8-124] [REFERRED TO]
RAJESH KASHIRAM KARAD & ANR. VS. STATE OF MAHARASTRA & ORS. [LAWS(BOM)-2016-10-161] [REFERRED TO]
HYDERABAD BEVERAGES PRIVATE LIMITED VS. STATE OF A P [LAWS(APH)-2006-4-1] [REFERRED TO]
SALAMAT ALI VS. STATE [LAWS(MPH)-1990-9-19] [REFERRED TO]
MS. EERA THROUGH DR. MANJULA KRIPPENDORF VS. STATE (GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI) [LAWS(SC)-2017-7-8] [REFERRED TO]
RAJINDER SINGH VS. STATE OF PUNJAB [LAWS(SC)-2015-2-99] [REFERRED TO]
IQBAL SINGH MARWAH VS. MEENAKSHI MARWAH [LAWS(SC)-2005-3-19] [REFERRED TO]
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH VS. CHANDRIKA [LAWS(SC)-1999-10-97] [REFERRED]
UNION OF INDIA SOUTH CENTRAL RAILWAYS VS. KURUKUNDU BALAKRISHNIAH [LAWS(APH)-2003-12-100] [REFERRED TO]
M K BABU VS. FOOD INSPECTOR KAKKANADU [LAWS(KER)-2003-3-80] [REFERRED TO]
ISHWAR DASS VS. STATE OF HARYANA [LAWS(P&H)-1977-11-16] [REFERRED TO]
ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM VS. CHEIF ELECTION COMMISIONER ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA NW DELHI [LAWS(MAD)-2005-12-37] [REFERRED TO]
RITESH SINHA VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH [LAWS(SC)-2012-12-20] [REFERRED TO]
COMMISSIONER OF INCOM TAX VS. CANFIN HOMES LTD [LAWS(KAR)-2008-4-36] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Krishna Iyer, J. - (1.)Judicial fluctuations in sentencing and societal seriousness in punishing have combined to persuade Parliament to prescribe inflexible, judge-proof, sentencing minim in the Food Adulteration law. This deprivatory punitive strategy sometimes inflicts harsher-than-deserved compulsory imprisonment on lighter offenders, the situation being beyond judicial discretion even if prosecution and accused consent to an ameliorative course. The two appeals, by special leave, partially illustrate this proposition. Khurasani oil is an edible oil extracted by crushing oil seeds in mills. Groundnut oil, also edible, is expressed likewise. A firm by name Balmukand Hiralal Loya and Co., in a minor town in Maharashtra runs an oil mill where khurasani oil and groundnut oil are manufactured by the firm. Sometimes they crush oil seeds for others on hire who pay milling charges.
(2.)The appellants in Criminal Appeal No. 314 are the managing partner and the manager of the mill and the appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 315 is the operator of the expeller in the mill who actually sold the offending commodity. On February 16, 11972 the Food Inspector of Bhagur Municipaliry walked into the sales section of the Mill, asked for 375 grams of khurasani oil from accused No. 8, appellant in Criminal Appeal No. 315. The quantity required was supplied and, thereafter, the Food Inspector went through the statutory exercises preparatory to an analysis by the Public Analyst. After receiving the report of the analyst to the effect that the sample of khurasani oil sent for analysis contained 30% of ground-nut oil which amounted to a contravention of Rule 44 (e) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules (for short, the Rules) a complaint was lodged for selling adulteration food within the meaning of Section 2 (i) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (hereinafter called the Act) read with Section, 7 (1) and 16 (1) (a) and Rule 44 (e). Evidence was led to make out a prima facie case. The accused were questioned under Section 342, Cr. P.C., and the appellants confidently pleaded guilty to the charge whereupon the trial Magistrate, perhaps agreeably to expectations, sentenced them each to a piffling fine of Rs. 250/-. Although the whole process in court is strongly suggestive of a tripartite consensual arrangement and reminds one of plea-bargaining procedures in the United States of America, the State Government appears to have taken a serious view of the matter, outraged as it was by the Magistrate's adroit avoidance of those penal provisions which obligate him to inflict a minimum prison sentence viz., Section 2 (i) (a) and Section 16 (1) with a view to apply the proviso to Section 16 (1). This is, at best, a conjecture about the Magistrate and might as well be imputed to the prosecutor and the food inspector. However, the State filed a revision to the High Court against the illegal and ultra-lenient impost. The revisional Judge converted the offence into one under Section 2 (i) (a) read with Section 16 (1) and enhanced the sentence to the minimum of six months and Rs. 1,000/- by way of fine on the ground that the offence committed by the accused squarely fell within Section 16 (1) (a) and did not fall within the proviso of that provision which vests a guarded discretion in the Court to soften the sentence to special cases. The appellants, shocked by this drastic reversal of fortune at the High Court's hands, have sought restoration of the Magistrate's conviction and sentence. If this aggravated conviction is correct, the enhanced punishment is inescapable.
(3.)The circumstances leading up to and constitution the offence have been briefly set out already and the divergence between the trail Court and the High Court turns on the legal inference to be drawn from the factual matrix. Has there been adulteration of food, in the sense imputed to that expression by Section 2 (i) (a) Assuming it falls under Section 2 (i) (1) of the definition, does that factor exclude it from Section 2 (i) (a) Even if Section 2 (i) (a) does apply, is the benignant proviso to Section 16 (1) attracted on the scorethat the crime in this case constitutes a violation of Rule 44 (e) prescribing minimum standards These questions are crucial to the submission made by Shri Bhandare for the appellants, his argument being that the scheme of Section 2 is to erect separate compartments for the many types of adulteration so that if a food article is adulterated within the meaning of Section 2 (i) (1) more appropriately, if falls outside the ambit of Section 2 (i) (a). Otherwise, he argues, there is no point in itemising the various sub-divisions even though he concedes that marginally there may be overlapping among the sub-clause. He further contends that even assuming that Section 2 (i) (a) is all-comprehensive, it must be read as the genus and thereafter sub-clauses (b) to (1) fall under two board categories, viz., adulteration where injurious substances have been admixed and adulteration where innocent additions have been made or the substance sold merely violates a standard or degree of purity prescribed. If there were force in this submission, the culpa, according to counsel, could reasonably fall under the non-injurious type of adulteration covered by Section 2 (i) (1). The statute, says Shri Bhandare, sensibly dichotomises the sentence and invests a discretion in the Court in the second category to reduce the sentence below the minimum stipulated, if special reasons exit for such clemency. Of course, counsel concedes that if the adulteration is of the injurious brand, judicial sympathy is statutorily supplanted. This, he reasons, fits into and explains the scheme of Section 16 which is a penal provision with dual limbs.
;


Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.