26 May 2020


Judgments

High Court of Allahabad

Amrit Lal Vs. State of U.P.

MANU/UP/3379/2018

05.10.2018

Criminal

Evidence of Food Inspector need not necessarily corroborate from independent witnesses

The revisionist-accused has preferred present revision under Sections 397 and 401 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) against the judgment passed by Special Judicial Magistrate under Sections 7 and 16 of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. He has also assailed the order passed by Special/Additional Session Judge dismissing Criminal Appeal confirming conviction under Sections 7 and 16 of Act, 1954 and sentenced for rigorous imprisonment of six months and fine of Rs. 1,000 in case of default, three months additional rigorous imprisonment.

The objective of Section 10 (7) of Act, 1954 is to ensure that actual or genuine transaction of sale of sample and its formalities have been observed. The provision is mandatory. Food Inspector must make genuine efforts to get the corroboration of one or more persons present on the spot to witness his act of taking sample and completion of other formalities. Once such an effort has been made, but in vain, it cannot be said that, there is any non-compliance of Section 10(7) of Act, 1954.

Once the efforts have been made by Food Inspector to call for one or more independent witnesses but none agreed or cooperated, then it cannot be said that there is any breach of requirement of Section 10(7) of Act, 1954 and it will not vitiate the prosecution at all. The Apex Court in State of U.P. v. Hanif, said that there is no such law that the evidence of Food Inspector must necessarily need corroboration from independent witnesses. His evidence is to be tested on its own merits and if found acceptable the Court would be entitled to accept and rely on to prove prosecution case..

The act of adulteration need be viewed with absolute strictness and stringent measures must be taken to prevent it, else Society in general would continue to suffer in the hands of adulterators, who are minting money playing with health of public at large without taking care whether suffering consumer would be an innocent child, a pregnant lady, a patient in Hospital struggling for life or any such other needy person. In the present case, the prosecution has proved the case beyond doubt. Accused has been found guilty of adulteration of Bejhar. Court below has already taken a lenient view by imposing punishment of only six months rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs. 1000.

From the perusal of record, it transpires that complainant was able to prove the offence labelled against the revisionist beyond reasonable doubt and facts. Even otherwise, punishment imposed by Courts below after finding charge proved beyond doubt is not to be interfered lightly unless the Court finds adequate and appropriate reason therefor. In Pathumma and another v. Muhammad, reiterating the above view the Court said that in revisional jurisdiction the High Court would not be justified in substituting its own view for that of a Magistrate on a question of fact. The revision is, accordingly dismissed.

Relevant

U.P. v. Hanif, MANU/SC/0206/1992
: AIR 1992 SC 1121, Pathumma and another v. Muhammad, MANU/SC/0196/1986
: 1986(2) SCC 585

Tags : Conviction Provision Compliance

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