RAMALINGAM Vs. CLASS MAGISTRATE MUNICIPAL COURT HYDERABAD
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
CLASS MAGISTRATE (MUNICIPAL COURT), HYDERABAD
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(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
(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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