Decided on December 26,1969



- (1.)The petitioner had been convicted by the 1st Class Magistrate, Municipal Court, Hyderabad in C. C No. 40/59 on his file under Section 16 (1) read with Section 7 (1), 2 (i) and Rule 5, Appendix B.A. 17.01 and rule 44 (a) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 ; for having sold cocoanut oil adulterated with 30% of the refined oil. The accused in the lower court had pleaded guilty to the charge and the Magistrate being under the impression that the minimurn sentence prescribed has to be imposed, has convicted him of the offence and sentenced him to undergo six months R. I, and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/- in default to undergo R. I. for a further period of six months. On appeal, the learned Chief City Magistrate, being also of the opinion that the minimum punishment prescribed under law bad been awarded and be could not interfere with it, dismissed the appeal. In this petition we are concerned only with the sentence imposed.
(2.)It is not in every csse of conviction under Section 16 (1) of the Act that the minimum sentence is called for. Proviso (i) to Section 16 (I) says that jf the offence is under-sub-clause (i) of Clause (a) of that section and is with respect to an article of food which is adultered under sub-clause (1) of Clause (i) of Section 2 or misbranded under Sub clause (K) of Clause (ix) of that section, a lesser sentence could be imposed. In this case, the report of Analyst shows that the sample seat by the Food Inspector, which was purchased from the accused, did not conform to the standard prescribed for cocoanut oil under rule 5, Appendix B. A, 17.01 as it was found adulterated with 30% of refined oil.
(3.)With regard to the provisions of Section 2 (i) of the Act, the present case does not come under any other provisions of that Section except (a) and (1). Sub-clause (a) to Section 2 (i) does not preclude the present case falling under sub-clause (1) under which if the quality or purity of the article falls below the prescribed standard or its constitutents are present in quantities which are in excess of the prescribed limits or variability, it should be deened to have been abulterated. In a number of cases, it was found that 'Milk' adulterated with water comes under this clause; In this case also, cocoanut oil was found adulterated with refined oil, which is not a deliterious substance and which is also edible. As such it falls under sub-clause (1) to section 2 (i). The object of the Act is obviously to penalise more severely ad nixture of substances injurious to health or otherwise unfit for human consumption The Accused is therefore entitled to the benefit of the proviso (i) to Section 16 (1) of the Act, He is reported to be a petty dealer. I therefore find that ends of justice will be met by impising a fine of Rs. 1000/- alone or in default to undergo R.I. for six months.

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