THE STATE Vs. RAM PARKASH
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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Kapur, J. -
(1.) THIS is a rule directed against an order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar, reducing the sentence passed against one Ram Parkash from three months to a fine of Rs. 50 only.
(2.) I have been taken through whatever is the record of this case. Under heading 6 dealing with the value of the property in dispute the Magistrate seems to have put down "the accused sold milk wholly composed of separated milk" and under heading 8 it is stated 'pleads guilty', under heading 10 "convicted on own plea" and under heading 11 "sentenced to three months rigorous imprisonment". Section 263, Criminal P.C., which deals with the record in cases where there is no appeal, is as follows:
In cases where no appeal lies, the Magistrate or Bench of Magistrates need not record the evidence of the witnesses or frame a formal charge; but he or they shall enter in such form as the Provincial Government may direct the following particulars:
(f) the offence complained of and the offence (if any) proved;
(g) the plea of the accused and his examination (if any);
(h) the finding, and, in the case of a conviction, a brief statement of the reasons therefor;
(i) the sentence or other final order;
In the present case the alleged offence of Ram Parkash was that he had committed an offence punishable under Section 13, which provides:
13. (1) No person shall
(a) sell any adulterated food unless he has complied with such rules as may be prescribed in this behalf." Sub -section (5) probably deals with punishment for this offence. Adulterated food has been defined in Section 4 as food from which any substance or ingredient has been extracted ... and by reason of such extraction the nutritive or other beneficial properties of the food as sold are less than those of the article in its pure and normal state or it may be such food which does not comply with the standard prescribed by any rule made under this Act.
(3.) THE learned Magistrate's summary shows that under the heading 'value of the property in dispute' he has said 'the accused sold milk wholly composed of separated milk.' What this sentence means is absolutely impossible to understand. Separated milk may be good milk, may be milk without butter and fat, or may not contain other ingredients, but the sale of separated milk does not seem to be any offence. Merely because the trial is a summary one and the accused is not in a mood or is unable to contest the allegations made against him does not seem to be any reason in a criminal case for not following the procedure laid down and specifying the offence which a person is being tried for. I have had an occasion before to say that it is the duty of the Magistrates not only to do justice but also to demonstrate that justice is being done and slipshod and slovenly manner of trying cases brings the whole judicial administration into contempt.;
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