(1.) This Appeal takes exception to the Judgment and Order dated 2nd September 2002, passed by the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Kopargaon in R.T.C. No.366 of 1993, by which Respondent Arvind Shriram Lad came to be acquitted from the offence punishable under Sections 7(i) read with Section 2(ia)(a) and 2(ia) (c) and 7(v) read with 2 (ia)(m) and Rule 44(h) punishable under Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
(2.) The prosecution case, in nutshell, is as under:
A) The complainant A.D. Ajansondkar, Food Inspector, Food and Drugs Administration, Ahmednagar, filed the private complaint before the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Kopargaon. He was an authorised officer to file such complaint. The Respondent i.e. original accused was proprietor of a firm M/s. Prashant Provision Stores, situated at Kolpewadi, TqKopargaon, Dist-Ahmednagar and he was doing the business of stocking for sale and selling the food articles. He had valid license to run such business to sale food articles. In the complaint filed by the Food Inspector, there is mention of the premises from which the Respondent was doing his business.
B) On 31st January, 1992 the complainant along with an independent witness Shri Balnath Kondaji Pagar, resident of Velapur, TqKopargaon, visited the premises of the Respondent accused at about 12.30 p.m., where the accused was present. Complainant disclosed his identity to the accused and made his intention clear that he wants to draw samples of food articles for test and analysis under the provisions of the Food Adulteration Act and the Rules thereunder. The complainant inspected the premises thoroughly and purchased 600 gm. Turmeric (Haldi Powder), which was kept in an open and unlabeled tin containing about 2 Kg. Haldi powder. The complainant paid the amount of purchase of said Turmeric. The complainant gave an intimation in Form No.6 to the accused for drawing the said samples for test and analysis. The complainant also issued a notice under Section 14(a) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and the Respondent was asked to disclose his name, address of the supplier, and receipt was obtained from the accused. The accused replied the said notice. The complainant divided the sample then and there into three equal parts and each part was filled into clean, dry and empty polythene bag, and after sealing of those bags containing Turmeric and after taking proper care, complainant affixed paper-slip bearing the signature of local authority and Assistant Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra State, Ahmednagar on each part of the sample from bottom to top. Thereafter the complainant tied each part by a twin horizontally and vertically and each part was then sealed with sealing wax with four seals. Thereafter the complainant obtained signature of accused on the samples and accordingly panchnama was drawn.
C) It is the case of the prosecution that on 1st February, 1992, one part of the sample along with Form No.XVII in sealed packet, was sent to Public Analyst, Public Health Laboratory, Pune through special messenger. On the next day, remaining two part of samples were deposited by the complainant with Local Health Authority and Assistant Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra State, Ahmednagar. The complainant received Public Analyst's report from the Local Health Authority, Assistant Commissioner, Ahmednagar on 9th March, 1992 along with covering letter of Public Analyst, Pune. It was disclosed in the report that the sample does not conform to the standards of Turmeric Powder as per the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955. The complainant after receiving such report, completed the necessary investigation and submitted all the relevant papers to the Joint Commissioner, Nashik Division, Food and Drug Administration for sanction as per Section 20 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and accordingly necessary consent was received and thereafter complaint was filed.
D) As per the prosecution case, Haldi (Turmeric Powder) is an article of food within the meaning of Section 2(v) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and Rules thereunder. It was alleged that the accused on 31st January, 1992, stored for sale and sold adulterated article of food namely, Haldi Powder and thereby contravened provisions of Section 7 read with 2(ia)(a) and 2(ia)(c) and 7(v) read with 2 (ia)(m) and Rule 44(h) punishable under Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and Rules thereunder.
(3.) Thereafter the concerned Court framed the charge against the Respondent accused and after conducting fullfledged trial, acquitted the Respondent accused. Hence this Appeal by the State.;