Decided on May 02,1973

Bonawarilal Agarwalla Respondents


P.K. Goswami, C.J. - (1.) The accused is the proprietor of a grinding mill situated in the town of Gauhati wherein he prepares chilli powder for sale. On 4.6.71 the District Food Inspector inspected the mill and purchased some sample of chilli powder from the stock maintained by the accused to have it analysed by the Public Analyst suspecting the same to be adulterated. In due course the Public Analyst reported that the article was adulterated in so far as it did not conform to the prescribed standard. After obtaining the consent of the Civil Surgeon of Kamrup, who is the competent sanctioning authority, prosecution was launched against the accused under section 16(l)(a)(i) read with section 7(i) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, briefly the Act.
(2.) Two prosecution witnesses were examined and after considering the entire evidence the learned Magistrate held as follows : "On a comparison with the report of the public analyst it is found that alleged chilli powder falls below the above standard of quality only for the reason that "ash insoluble in Hel" is found to be 2.64 per cent in place of "not more than 0.5 per cent." In this view of the matter the alleged chilli powder is to be held as adulterated and the accused has committed the offence which he has been charged." While awarding the sentence, however the learned Magistrate observed as follows: "In the above context it appears to me that the offence proved against the accused is as technical as it is trivial. I hold the accused guilty under section 7(i) read with Section 16(1 )(a) (i) of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and convict him under proviso to Section 16(1) of the said Act. I sentence the accused to pay a fine of Rs. 100.00 (one hundred). In default he shall suffer simple imprisonment for one month."
(3.) The conviction and sentence were reported in the press and this Court called for the records of the case (Case No. 1293C of 1971) and issued a Rule for enhancement. The State has been also served with this Rule.;

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