ABDUL RAHIM Vs. STATE OF ASSAM AND ANOTHER
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
State Of Assam And Another
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Baharul Islam, J. -
(1.) This is an application under Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The petitioner was convicted under Section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act hereinafter referred to as 'the Act') for violation of Section 7 of the Act and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/-, in default, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three months more, by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (J), Karimganj. On appeal the conviction was maintained by the learned Sessions Judge but the sentence was reduced to imprisonment for six months, but the fine of Rs, 1000/- was retained. The prosecution case, briefly, was that the petitioner was selling in his shop Khesari Dal, which is prohibited by law.
(2.) The only point urged by Shri M. A. Laskar, learned Counsel for the petitioner, is that the complainant in the case, Shri Showakat Ali, was not the Food Inspector within the meaning of .Section 9 of the Act. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submits that Showakat Ali was appointed as the Health Inspector and not a Food Inspector. The point was raised before the Magistrate as well as before the Sessions Judge. Both the Courts below have concurrently found that Showakat Ali was appointed Food Inspector at the relevant time. This is a finding of fact not to be interfered with in a revision.
(3.) Shri Laskar submits that this is a fit case in which the sentence should be further reduced, under the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 16 of the Act.
The relevant portion of Section 16 may be quoted :
"16. Penalties. - (1) If any person -
(a) Whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf imports into India or manufactures for sale, or stores, sells or distributes any article of food -
(i) Which is adulterated or misbranded or the sale of which is prohibited by the Food (Health) authority in the interest of public health,
(ii) ..... ......... ........ .......
(b) ..... ........ ....... ........
(c) ..... ......... ........ .........
(d) ..... ......... ........ .........
(e) ..... .......... ........ ..........
(f) ..... ........... ........ ..........
he shall, in addition to the penalty to which he may be liable under the provisions of Section 6, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to six years, and with fine which shall not be less than one thousand rupees : Provided that -
(i) if the offence is under sub-clause (i) of clause (a) and is with respect to an article of food which is adulterated under sub-clause (I) of clause (i) of Section 2 or misbranded under sub-clause (k) of clause (ix) of that section ; or
(ii) if the offence is under sub-clause (ii) of clause (a),
the court may, for any adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months or of fine of less than one thousand rupees or of both imprisonment for a term of less than six months and fine of less than one thousand rupees.";
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