Decided on July 24,2008

Agro Chem Industries Respondents


- (1.) THE present appeals are filed by the State of Gujarat against the acquittal recorded by learned Sessions Judge, Valsad in Criminal Case (Essential Commodities) Nos. 1 of 1986 and 2 of 1986 vide common order dated 12.11.1986.
(2.) THE respondents were charged for the offences punishable under Sections 3 and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act. The complaint was filed by the Agricultural Inspector, Valsad, who was working in the office of Quality Control Inspector, in respect of breach of Fertilizers (Control -1) Order, 1957. The said Inspector had visited the business place of fertilizers popularly known as single super phosphate variety being sold in the market in the brand name of 'Bharat Fertilizers'. The chemical composition of the said fertilizer is P2 O5 and upon examination of the said sample it was found that its concentration was 12.5% by weight and the normal standard is 16%. Upon this facts, the complaint was filed and the accused were put to the trial.
(3.) IN the course of trial, the learned District and Sessions Judge has found in para -33 as follows : "Non -fixation of seal of the purchaser in both these cases is clearly a violation of the aforesaid requirement. This is not to suggest that the Inspector who collected the sample or any one in his office or as in the case of No. 1 of 1986, his successor in his office had in any way tampered with the sample collected. However, in this long process of handling till it was analyzed because of the absence of the seal of the purchaser, the possibility always remains of it being tampered with and therefore the sample actually analyzed by the said laboratory cannot be said to be free from doubt in this regard. In view of the matter, as per the established principle of law, the benefit of doubt should go to the accused." We have gone through the record and proceedings and found that findings arrived at by the learned Sessions Judge are just and proper. He has raised doubt about procedural irregularity which cannot be said to be a unreasonable, when the samples were taken without the seals of the seller, it cannot be said that the same can be attached the sanctity, as is required in law. Without the sanction of law recording of conviction will be defying the mandate of law. Thus, we do not find the case worth interfering and hence both the appeals dismissed.;

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