Decided on February 13,1967



- (1.) THE question which is required to be answered in this reference has been formulated by a learned Single Judge as follows.--"whether a local authority can be regarded as a complainant entitled to prefer appeal under Section 417 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code against an order of acquittal in cases instituted on complaints filed by persons authorised by it in this behalf or with its written consent. "
(2.) IN order to appreciate the question, it is necessary to state the facts of the present case, which are not in dispute. One Abhinandan Prashad Goyal, a Food inspector, filed a complaint against respondent Prabhu Narain in the court of the municipal-Magistrate of Jaipur, on October 30, 1963 for the alleged commission of an offence under Section 7 read with Section 16 of the Preyention of Food adulteration Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), the allegation being that Prabhu Narain had sold adulterated 'ghee' to the Inspector on April 1, 1963. The learned Magistrate held that the prosecution had not succeeded in proving its allegation, and acquitted the accused by his judgment dated June 18, 1964. The municipal Council then preferred the present appeal under Section 417 (3) of the code of Criminal Procedure after obtaining the special leave of this Court. At the hearing of the appeal, a preliminary objection was taken before a learned Single judge, that the Municipal Council was not competent to tile the appeal as it was not the complainant in the case. As this was an important point of law which was common to several other pending appeals, it was thought proper that it may be decided by a division bench. This is how the reference has arisen.
(3.) WE have heard learned counsel for the parties. It has been argued by Mr. Mehta, learned counsel for the Municipal Council, that as Food Inspector abhinandan Prasad Goyal was authorised by the Municipal Council to file the complaint under Section 20 (1) of the Act, it was the Council which was the real complainant in the case. He has also argued that Abhinandan Prasad Goyal was only the agent or delegate of the Council even though in the body of the complaint he (Abhinandan Prasad Goyal) had mentioned his personal name as the complainant. The learned counsel has cited M. J. Powell v. Municipal Board of mussoorie (1900) ILR 22 All 123 (FB), Mahdo Chowdhury v. Turab Mian, AIR 1915 cal 263, Emperor v. Bahawal Singh, AIR 1918 All in (1), Kannan Devan Hills produce Co. , Ltd. v. T. N. Madhavan Pillai, AIR 1956 TC 189 and Ramsagar Singh v. Chan-drika Singh, AIR 1961 Pat 364 to support his contention. On the other hand, it has been argued by Mr. Tikku, on behalf of the respondent, that since the complaint was filed by the Food Inspector in his personal name, by virtue of the authority which had been given to him under Section 20 (1) of the act, Abhinandan Prasad Goyal had his own entity which was quite separate and distinct from that of the Municipal Council and that the Municipal Council could not be held to be the complainant in the case for any purpose whatsoever. The learned counsel has placed reliance on Nagar Mahapalika, Kanpur v. Sri Ram, AIR 1964 All 270, State through Medical Officer of Health, Moradabad v. Ishwar Saran. AIR 1964 All 497, Ra. ia Ram v. Ram Achal AIR 1962 All 6, Catholic Union Bank Ltd. , v. Inasu Antony, ILR (1960) Ker 1123, Public Prosecutor v. Kappam Satyanaravana, air 1960 Andh Pra 27. In re Syed Ibrahim, AIR 1959 Mad 32, Prasannachary v. Chik-kapinachar, AIR 1959 Mys 106, S. Parama-nanda Nadar v. Karunakara Dass air 1914 Mad 387 (1), S. P. Dubey v. Narsingh Bahadur AIR 1961 All 447, radhika Mohan Das v. Hamid All, AIR 1927 Cal 405, Muhammad Hashim v. Emperor AIR 1940 Sind 134 (FB) Isa v. Musammat Ranon (1912) 13 Cri LJ 136, queen-Empress v. Chenchayya (1900) ILR 23 Mad 626. Partha-sarathi Naickar v. T. Krishnaswami Avvar, AIR 1928 Mad 169 (1), Mian Tei Singh v. Kalloo, AIR 1946 oudh 15, and State through Nagar Mahapalika Varanasi v. Prem Prakash Jauhar air 1966 All 504.;

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