GURDYAL SINGH Vs. DELHI ADMINISTRATION
HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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Charanjit Talwar, J. -
(1.)By the impugned order passed on 22nd Feb., 1983, Mr. S. M. Chopra, Metropolitan Magistrate, has directed the prosecution to lead pre-charge evidence in support of the allegation that the petitioner had committed an offence under section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. A reading of that order shows that the learned Magistrate was of the opinion that the petitioner is entitled to be discharged in view of the Director of Central Food Laboratory's certificate wherein it has been held that the sample of tea was not adulterated. But he did not do so as, according to him, in view of the judgment of this Court in State Vs. Charanjit Singh, 1982 (2) FAC 174 , the jurisdiction to do so vests only with the High Court. The very first paragraph of the impugned order reads as follows :
"A strange situation has developed in this case inasmuch as although the prosecution against the accused may not be sustainable in view of the judgment of Honourable Mr. Justice Charanjit Talwar of Honourable Delhi High Court in the case of State Vs. Charanjit Singh reported in 1982 (2) FAC 174 but, an order of discharge if passed by this Court shall be liable to be set aside in terms of the aforesaid judgment and only the Honourable High Court by invoking its inherent powers can save the accused from the present prosecution against him".
(2.)In the above-cited case of Charanjit Singh, the learned Magistrate had discharged the accused on the ground that the Delhi Administration had no jurisdiction to file the complaint. That learned Magistrate found that the two circulars issued by the Government of India recommending to the State Governments that prosecutions be launched only in cases where the sample of the tea was found to contain iron filings of more than 2 mm. in size subject to the condition that total content of those filings was not more than 250 parts per million, were enforceable and as such it was held that the complaint filed by the Delhi Administration was not competent. The State had challenged the said order. This Court held that the said circulars have no statutory force and thus not binding on the Delhi Administration. Consequently the finding of the learned Magistrate that the Delhi Administration was not competent to file the complaint, was set aside. The ratio of the said decision does not apply to the present case In the instant case, learned Magistrate is apparently of the view that the petitioner-accused ought to be discharged on the basis of the certificate of the Director of Central Food Laboratory. It is within the jurisdiction of the learned Magistrate to act on the certificate and discharge the accused. It is not appropriate for me to discuss this case on merits as while setting aside the impugned order dated 2lst Feb., 1983, I am remanding it for further consideration by the learned Magistrate.
(3.)With the above observation, the petition is allowed and the case is remanded to the learned Magistrate concerned to be decided in accordance with law. Petition allowed.
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