10 June 2024


High Court of Bombay

The State of Maharashtra V. Ashishkumar Dineshkumar Patel




When accused secures acquittal, presumption of his innocence is further reinforced

Present is an appeal filed by the State impugning an order and judgment passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, acquitting accused of charges under Section 7 (i) read with Section 2 (ia) (a), 2 (ia) (m) punishable under Section 16 (Penalties) of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 (PFA).

The learned Amicus for Respondent submitted that, the Court need not go into the facts of the case because it is settled law that the Food Inspector should take the samples in clean and dried containers or bottles. Further, the Respondent, relied on a judgment of this Court in B.A. Samant V/s. The State of Maharashtra and submitted that, the failure on the part of PW-1, the Food Inspector, to take samples in clean and dried bottles, which to his knowledge were clean and dried, would certainly affect the credibility of prosecution's case.

In State of Maharashtra V/s. Vilas Madhavrao Tundulwar, the Court has held that the provisions under Rule 14 of PFA Rules 1955 are mandatory and the non compliance of the said rule will vitiate the prosecution.

There is an acquittal and therefore, there is double presumption in favour of accused. Firstly, the presumption of innocence available to accused under the fundamental principle of criminal jurisprudence that, every person shall be presumed to be innocent unless he is proved guilty by a competent court of law. Secondly, accused having secured acquittal, the presumption of his innocence is further reinforced, reaffirmed and strengthened by the Trial Court. For acquitting accused, the Trial Court observed that the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

In the circumstances, the opinion of the Trial Court cannot be held to be illegal or improper or contrary to law. The order of acquittal cannot be interfered with. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Acquittal Legality

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