STATE Vs. PREM PRAKASH JAUHAR
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
STATE THROUGH NAGAR MAHAPALIKA
PREM PRAKASH JAUHAR
Click here to view full judgement.
(1.)THE appellant in the three appeals before me is stated to be: "state through Nagar Mahapalika, Varanasi through its Up Nagar Adhikari". Each of the three appeals is directed against a common order of acquittal by a Magistrate First Class, Varanasi in three cases under Section 7/16 of Prevention of Adulteration of Food Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act ). The complaint in each case was filed by the Food Inspector of the Nagar Mahapalika, Varanasi. The accused in each of the three cases is common. The facts which gave rise to the prosecution in each case seem to have come to the notice of the Food Inspector on the same visit of the Food Inspector on the morning of 7th May, 1962, at about 10 A. M. to the shop of the respondent who was found selling some aerated water, some ice-cream, and some bread without having taken out licences from the Mahapalika for selling these articles of food. Three prosecutions were instituted in respect of the three articles of food separately. The respondent pleaded that he had submitted applications for renewal of licences for selling the articles of food he was selling, and that he had deposited the renewal fees also on 9. 5. 1962, but, as the applications made by the respondent were not on the prescribed printed forms, the respondent was directed by an order of 7. 5. 1962 to make fresh applications when printed forms for applications, which were out of stock, would became available. The respondent had the necessary licences for the previous year and had filed them before the Magistrate. His defence witness proved that he had made the necessary renewed application. But, as the applications were not on proper forms and had not been granted by 10-30 A. M. on 7. 5. 1962, the offences of selling the above-mentioned articles of food were according to the view taken by the learned Magistrate, not committed.
(2.)THE learned Magistrate also found that the complaint had been instituted, in each case, by the Food Inspector on 16. 7. 1962 without the sanction of the proper authority although the Food Inspector had wrongly stated, in his evidence on 20. 11. 1962, that the complaints bore the signatures of the Health Officer to signify the required sanction to prosecute. The Food Inspector, however, produced before the learned Magistrate, on 29. 12. 1962, the actual sanctions dated 8. 5. 1962, purporting to bear the signatures of the Health Officer under the two words written by somebody else: "prosecution sanctioned". The Food Inspector proved on 31. 12. 1962 the signatures of the Health Officer made on 8. 5. 1962. The learned Magistrate held that as there was no sanction before the Magistrate when the complaints were filed, the cases had to be dismissed and the accused was acquitted in each case.
(3.)THE learned Magistrate relied upon the provisions of Section 20, Sub-section (1) which runs as follows: 20 (1) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except by, or with the written consent of, the State Government or a local authority or a person authorized in this behalf by the State Government or local authority. The view taken by the learned Magistrate was that even if sanctions subsequently produced before the court, were in existence on 16. 7. 1962 when the complaints were filed by the Food Inspector, the sanctions not having been placed before the court itself could not retrospectively validate the proceedings taken on 16. 7. 1962. The learned Magistrate also held that the signature of the Health Officer, even though proved on 31. 12. 1962 to exist underneath the words "prosecution sanctioned" written by somebody else, did not show that the officer concerned had applied his mind to the facts of the case before granting sanction. Another finding given by the learned Magistrate was that the sanctions were invalid as they did not authorise any specified person to file the complaints. This also indicated, according to the learned Magistrate, that the sanctioning officer had not applied his mind to the facts of the case before him.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.