Decided on February 15,1972



- (1.) This Appeal is by the State against the acquittal of the accused of the charge under Sec. 16 (1) (b) of the Prevention of Foods Adulteration Act, hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'. A-1 and A-2 are partners in a business dealing in foodgrains like turmeric, jaggery, palsesy flours and oils at door No. 10-1-172 on Vinukonda road in Narasaraopet, The case for the proseution is that on 16-5-67 at about 9-00 A. M. P. W. 1, the Food Inspector Narasaraopet Municipality along with his Maistry, P. W. 2 went to the shop of the accused and found two bags of turmeric powder kept in the shop for purposes of sale. P. W. 1 demanded A-l to give sample of turmeric in one of the bags for purposes of analysis but A-l refused and when A-2 was asked he also refused. Then P. W. I told them that such refusal is wrongful under the provisions of the Act. A-1 asked A-2 to lock the shop and after A-2 had done so of both them went away, P. Ws. 1 and' 2 waited there for some time and when the accused did not torn, in the presence of P. W. 2 one Khaderveli, he drafted a panchanama and then filed the charge' sheet under See. 16 (l) (b) of the Act for preventing the Food Inspector from taking sample as authorised by the Act; In support of this case the prosecution had examined P. Ws. 1 to 3.
(2.) The accused denied the offence and contended that the Food Inspector never visited their shop and he was not prevented from taking any sample of the turmeric powder and examined five witnesses in his defence.
(3.) The Magistrate on an examination of the evidence found the accused not guilty of the charge and acquitted the accused of the charge. Hence this appeal by the State. It is strenuously contended on behalf of the accused here that even if the prosecution story is true merely refusing to give a sample and locking the door and going away does not amount to preventing the Food Inspector from taking the sample as contemplated by Sec 16 (1) (b) of the Act that the Food Inspector is authorised and empowered under the Act itself to take the sample by force and if necessary by breaking open the lock of the shop in so far as he was not physically prevented from doing any such act, he cannot be said to have been prevented from taking the sample. This contention is not tenable. The word 'prevents' only means 'to hinder effectively' from , taking the sample. It does not necessarily mean that there should be actual prevention by using physical force against the Food Inspector who intends to take sample. As pointed in Municipal Board Vs. Jhamman Lal if a person selling the article leaves the shop when the Food Inspector had come and bad asked for sample even then he should be construed to have prevented the Food Inspector from taking the sample and if a person disappears from the shop he has done an overt act by means of which he has made it impossible for the Food Inspector to obtain a sample from him. In that case there were two persons, the first person who was asked to give a sample left the shop saying that he will come shortly and did; not return and when the second person in the shop was asked to supply the sample he stated that only the first person that could give and saying that he would fetch him left the place and both of them did not return for an hour and a half ; the Food Inspector left the place and gave a report In those circumstances the accused were found to have prevented the . Food Inspector from taking the sample. In Public Prosecutor Vs. Murugesan the accused who was carrying milk was asked to give the milk for sample, but he went into a hotel nearby and had the milk poured into a milk pan in which milk was also boiling. It was held therein that the accused by his action had effectively prevented the officer from taking sample, and that ne further overt act was necessary to make out 'preventing' under the section. In the present case the Accused if P. W. 1 is believed had gone further. A-1 and A-2 refused to give sample and at the instance of A-1, A-2 locked the shop and both of them Had left the place. Thus they had effectively pre-. vented P. W. 1 from taking any sample. So, if the prosecution version is accepted the case against the accused under Sec. 16 (l)-(b) is made but.;

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