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Ashoka Glucose Biscuits By Its Person Incharge S. Kartar Singh v/s S.A. Waheed Shaabaz

    Cri.Misc.Petn Appeal No. 475 of 1981

    Decided On, 28 August 1981

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE A. GANGADHARA RAO

    For the Appearing Parties: M.S.R. Subrabmanyam, Mohd.Gulam Hussain, Advocates.



Judgment Text

A. GANGADHARA RAO, J


(1) THE petitioner, M/s. Ashoka Biscuit Works, manufactures Ashoka glucose Biscuits and other biscuits at its factory at Amberpet. The respondent, or. S. A. Waheed Shaabaz, is a resident of Old Topkhana, Hyderabad. On 3rd June, 1980 the Attender of the respondent, Mr. Rama Rao, purchased a packet of Ashoka Glucose Biscuits for Rs. 3-25 from Seema bakery, Mozamzahi Market, Hyderadad and give it to the respondent. The respondent removed four or five biscuits and gave them to his son. Wasey, who is about five years old. After taking three or four biscuits. Wasey found a needle in a Biscuit and immediately showed it to the respondent. The respondent also observed a needle embedded in the biscuit. Immediately, the respondent complained to the Drug Controller on phone. The Drug Controller entrusted the matter to the Assistant Food controller and Food Inspector of his Department for investigation. They collected the specimen of the pieces of biscuits in which the needle was bund intact and also collected the remains of the biscuit packet. The food Inspector of the Drug Control Department and the Food Inspector of the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, inspected M/s. Ashoka Glucose biscuit Factory at Amberpot in the presence of the Assistant Food Controller as per the directions of the Deputy Director. In the course of investigation and inspection it was found that the biscuit processding as carried on under insanitary conditions resulting in contamination of the product. In these circumstances, the respondent alleges that the needle embedded biscuit was prepared and packed under insanitary conditions and also contained poisonous and injurious ingredients and as such it was adulterated. Since the Food Inspector failed to take any action against the petitioner, the respondent filed a complaint before the VII Metropolitan Magistrate, hyderabad, alleging that the petitioner had committed offences under Section 2 (ia) (e) and 2 (a) (h) of the PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954.


(2) ALONG with the complaint, he also filed a letter written by the. Drug Controller and Food (Health) Authority, Secunderabad to the Commissioner of Hyderbad Municipal Corporation, stating that the petitioner was carrying on the biscuit manufacturing process under insanitary condition and immediate steps should be taken by the Corporation. In that letter, it is stated that the Assistant Food Inspector and the Food Inspector of the drug Control and Food (Health) Authority, who were entrusted with the investigation had collected specimen of the pieces of biscuit in which a needle was found still intact and also that they had collected the remains, of the biscuit packet.


(3) THE learned Magistrate recorded the sworn statement of the respondent Ha also recorded the statements of B. Rama Reo, the Attender of the respondent, who purchased the biscuit packet, Roop K. Dhar, a patient of the respondent and Mirza Yousuf Ali Baig, Assistant Food controller in the office of the Drug Controller, Narayanaguda. All of them deposed that a needle was embedded in the biscuit. The respondent had stated in his sworn statement that the sample bottle containing the biscuit embedded with the needle was with the Drug Controller. After considering this evidence the learned Magistrate held that there was sufficient ground to take cognizance of the case against the petitioner. Accordingly, he took cognizance of the offence under Section 2 (ia) (e) and 2 (ia) (h) read with Saction 16 (1) (a) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act against the petitioner. Questioning these proceedings, the petitioner has filed this petition under Section 482 Cr. P. C


(4) IT is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the 'magistrate erred in taking cognizance of the offence under Section 20 of the PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954 (hereinafter called the Act), because, firstly the respondent is not a purchaser referred to in Section 12 of the Act, and secondly, the report of the public Analyst was rot filed along with the complaint.


(5) IN this case the biscuit packet was purchased by the Attender of the respondent in the market for the respondent. The attender was only his agent who purchased the biscuit packet for his principal. The respondent, the real purchaser Is the respondent. Therefore, I do not agree with the learned counsel for the petitioner that the complainant (respondent) is not a purchaser of the biscuit packet.


(6) IT is true that proviso to Section 20 (1) says that prosecution for an offence under the Act may be instituted by a purchaser referred to in section 12 if he produces in Court a copy of the report of the public Anaiyst along with the complaint. In this case the report of the public Analyst was not f led in the Court along with the complaint. That is because the Assistant Focd Controller and the Food Inspector have collected the specimen of the pieces of biscuit In which a needle was found intact and the remains of the biscuit packet. Evidently the respondent thought that they would send the sample to the public Analyst for analysis and they would file the report in the Court, after they receive it. I am now informed by the learned counsel for the respondent that the sample had not been sent for analysis by the Food Inspector and. therefore, the respondent had filed a petition in the lower court to call for the sample from the Food Inspector, and that petition had been allowed.


(7) I do not agree with the learned counsel for the petitioner that if a copy of the report of the public Analyst is not filed along with the complaint, the magistrate cannot take, cognizance of a case in prosecution by a purchaser. The proviso to sub-section (1) of Sec. 20 of the Act does not say that a Court shall not take cognizance of an offence, unless the report of the Public Analyst is filed along with the complaint. It does not mean that a copy of the public Analyst should not be filed in the Court. If it is not filed along with the complaint, it does not mean that the Court cannot take cognizance of the case. In otherwords, I do not consider it a condition precedent for taking cognizance of the offence, if so, the report can be filed even later on.


(8) IN this connection the learned counsel for the petitioner referred to Basdeo Agarwalla V. Emperor (1) AIR 1945 Federal Court 16 and public Prosecutor V. Satyanarayana (2) AIR 1960 A. P. 27.


(9) IN Public Prosecutor V. Satyanarayana (2) AIR 1960 A. P. 27 it was held by Sanjeeva Row Nayudu, J. that the Commissioner of Municipality does not fall within any if the seven categories of persons or authorities under Section 20 and thus, the complaints filed in those cases were unauthorised and the Judicial First Class Magistrate could not take cognizance of the complaints. But that is not the position here A purchaser can, certainly, file a complaint under Section 20 of the Act.


(10) BASDEO Agarwal V. Emperor (1) Supra, is a case arising under the Drug Control Order, wherein it was held that prosecution for contravention of the provisions of that Order instituted without the previous sanction of the provincial Government is barred under Clause (16). There is no difficulty about that proposition, for Clause (16) reads that any prosecution for any contravention 'of the provisions of the Order shall not be 'nstituted without the previous sanction of the provincial Government. The proviso to Section 20 (1) of the PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954 ijs not in that negative and mandatory form.


(11) IN G. Chandramouli V. State of A. P- (3) 1978 (1) APLJ 233 jayachandra Reddy, J. held that the provisions of Section 11 (3) of the ptevention of F

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ood Adulteration Act is only directory end not mandatory that section says that the sample shall be sent by the Food Inspector on the immediately succeeding woiking day to the public Analyst. (12) IN these circumastances I do not agreu with the learned counsel for the petitioner that the Magistrate erred in taking cognizance of the case when the report of the public Analyst was not filed along with the complaint. It is doubtful whether, in a case like this, it is at all necessary to file the report of the public Analyst. The needle embedded in the biscuit is so patent to the naked eye and I do not understand how the report of the analyst will improve the situation. Anyway, it should rot be understood that I have decided this question finally, or no arguments were advanced in that regard. (13) IN the result. I dismiss this petition.
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