SUKUMARAN Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.) THE revision petitioner was charged with the offence punishable under S. 16 (1) (a) (i) read with S. 7 (1) of the Prevention of Food adulteration Act, and was found guilty of the same.
(2.) THE case against him is as follows: On 11-8-1965 at about 11. 30 a. m. pw. 1, the Food Inspector of Kulasekharapuram Panchayat, went to the accused's shop and purchased from the accused 600 gms. of Thomara Parippu' for 75 paise from the stock kept for sale in the shop after giving due notice that it was intended for analysis. THE accused gave Ext. P2 cash bill after receiving the price. As enjoined by law pw. 1 then divided the Thomara Parippu' into three equal parts and packed each part in a separate bottle and labelled and sealed it. One bottle was entrusted with the accused who gave Ext P1 (a) receipt for the same, another bottle was sent to the Public Analyst and the third bottle was retained by pw. 1. Ext. P3 is the mahazar drawn up for the purchase of the article and sampling and it was attested by the accused and two other witnesses. THE report of the analyst is that the sample consisted of lac dhall otherwise known as Kesari dhall, and was therefore a prohibited article for sale. On the basis of the report of the analyst pw. 1 filed the complaint against the accused.
On behalf of the complainant pws. 1 to 5 were examined and Exts. P1 to P7 produced. Since a prima facie case was made out against the accused a charge for offence punishable under S. 16 (1) (a) (i) read with S. 7 (1) of the Act referred to above was framed against him and after trial it was found that the accused was guilty of the offence and he was convicted and sentenced to undergo six months' rigorous imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000/ -. Against this conviction and sentence he filed an appeal before the sessions Judge. The Sessions Judge dismissed the appeal and this revision petition has been filed challenging the above orders.
The contention of the petitioner is that the proceedings taken by pw. 1 and resulting in his conviction are bad, since there are no notifications as enjoined by S. 2 (7) and S. 9 (1) of the above Act. S. 2 (7) says: "'local area' means any area, whether urban or rural, declared by the State Government by notification in the Official gazette, to be a local area for the purposes of this Act;" Sec. 9 (1) provides: "subject to the provisions of S. 14 the State government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint persons in such number as it thinks fit, having the prescribed qualifications to be Food inspectors for purposes of this Act, and they shall exercise their powers within such local areas as that Government may assign them: '. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Counsel for the petitioner contended that there was no notification under the subsection to S. 2 by the Government defining the local areas and therefore pw. 1, the Food Inspector had no authority to take up the case against the petitioner. He also submitted that since no notification was published under S. 9 (1) the Food Inspector was not a person appointed by the state Government to take up cases under the Act. The contention based on these sub-sections does not appear to have been taken in the trial court. In the appellate court it was contended that there was no general or special order under S. 20 authorising pw. 1 to file the complaint. That point was considered elaborately by the learned Sessions Judge, and he came to the conclusion that pw. 1 was authorised by the appropriate authority to file the complaint under s. 20 of the Act referred to above. We are referring to this fact to show that the accused did not raise any contention that the proceedings taken by pw. 1 were invalid for the reason that there were no notifications under S. 2 (7) and 9 (1 ). Whatever that be we are of opinion that the notification dated 27 71964 will satisfy the requirement of law. That notification reads: "in exercise of the powers conferred by S. 9 of the prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (Central Act 37 of 1954) and in supersession of the notification issued under G. O. (MS) 953/health dated 6 11-1959 and published in the Gazette dated 24 111959, part I page 2455, the Government of Kerala hereby appoint the following officers to be Food Inspectors, within their respective local jurisdiction for the purposes of the said Act (5) In the case of a Panchayat not having a sanitary Inspector, Health Inspector or Food Inspector, the Health Inspector exercising jurisdiction in that Panchayat. P. W. 1 has sworn that she is the Health Inspectress attached to the Ochira Block and as such the Food Inspectress of the kulasekharapuram Panchayat, which is situate within the Block. The purpose of a notification under S. 2 (7) is to define the local areas for the purpose of the act. We do not think that the lack of a separate notification under S. 2 (7) is necessarily fatal to the prosecution. In our opinion, the notification referred to above was sufficient to invest P. W. 1 with authority to function as Food inspectress within the panchayat area and that area can be ascertained by the notification constituting the panchayat. We are not satisfied that even if there was any technical defect in not publishing a notification specifically under S. 2 (7), that would in any way affect the authority of P. W. 1 to take proceedings under the Act within the jurisdiction of the panchayat.
(3.) THE next point argued by counsel was that the accused had not sold Kesari dhall to P. W. 1 and that the evidence to that effect cannot be acted upon. THE accused denied his signatures in Ext. P1 (a), the receipt for the sample given to him, in Ext. P2, the cash bill for the purchase of dhall, and in Ext. P3 mahazar. On a comparison of the handwriting the lower appellate court came to the conclusion that the signatures in these documents are those of the accused. P. W. 1 has sworn that the accused signed them. P. W. 2 turned hostile, but he had admitted his signature in Ext. P3 mahazar. In his evidence he said that he bad not witnessed the sale of the article or of the sampling. But the courts below were satisfied that he was not speaking the truth when he said that he had not witnessed the sale of the article or the sampling. P. W. 3 is a sweeper attached to the panchayat office and he had accompanied P. W. 1 to the shop in question. He has sworn in clear terms about the truth of the contents of Ext. P3 mahazar. He has been believed by both the courts below. THE attack made against the evidence of this witness is that he is under the influence of P. W. 1. THE courts below were not satisfied that this was a sufficient ground for disbelieving him. Sitting in revision we see no reason for a different conclusion. THE argument that the requirement of S. 10 (7) has not been satisfied in this case is without any merit. We dismiss the revision petition. Dismissed.;
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