Prem Chand vs State Of Haryana on 30 July, 2020


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Supreme Court of India

Prem Chand vs State Of Haryana on 30 July, 2020

Author: N.V. Ramana

Bench: N.V. Ramana, S. Abdul Nazeer, Surya Kant

                                                                 NON­REPORTABLE


                             IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                            CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                            CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 2255 OF 2010


PREM CHAND                                                         …APPELLANT
                                              Versus


STATE OF HARYANA                                                 …RESPONDENT


                                          JUDGMENT

N. V. RAMANA, J.

1. The present appeal arises out of the impugned judgment dated

09.12.2009 passed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at

Chandigarh in Criminal Appeal no.492­DBA of 1996, whereby the

High Court set aside the judgment of the trial court acquitting the

appellant herein and convicted him for the offences under Section
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
DEEPAK SINGH
16:30:29 IST
Reason:

2 (1a) (f) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (in short,
Date: 2020.07.30

‘the Act’) punishable under Section 16(1A) and Section 16(1)(a)(ii)

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of the Act for selling adulterated Haldi Powder and selling it

without licence.

2. The case of the prosecution is that, on 18.8.1982, at about 11

A.M., the Food Inspector, along with Medical Officer, inspected the

shop of the accused­appellant in the presence of the witnesses

and found 10 kgs of Haldi Powder in his shop. The Food Inspector

purchased 600 grams Haldi Powder out of which one sample was

made and then that sealed sample was sent to the Public Analyst.

The report of the public analyst dated 07.09.1982, revealed that

the sample was found to contain four living meal worms and two

live weevils. The trial court vide order dated 31.08.1995 acquitted

the appellant. However, upon appeal, the High Court vide

impugned judgment dated 09.12.2009, convicted the appellant

under Section 2 (la) (f) of the Act for selling adulterated Haldi

Powder and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for six months

and to pay fine of Rs. 2,000/­ in default whereof to undergo

further imprisonment for one month under Section 16 (lA) of the

Act. The High Court further convicted the appellant for offence

under Section 16 (1) (a) (ii) of the Act for selling Haldi Powder

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without licence and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for one

month and to pay fine of Rs. 500/­ in default whereof to undergo

further imprisonment for fifteen days.

3. The counsel for the appellant submitted that High Court upturns

Trial Court judgment of acquittal into one of conviction after 27

years from the date of incident and 14 years after the date of trial

court judgment. The counsel vehemently put forth that, the report

of the public analyst no where mentions that the sample was

either ‘insect infested’ or was ‘unfit for human consumption’. It was

lastly contended that, the appellant went unrepresented in the

High Court as the advocate representing the appellant did not

appear in Court.

4. On the contrary the advocate appearing for the State fully

supported the impugned order passed by the High Court and

submitted that sample was taken from the shop of the accused­

appellant which was meant for public sales and the same was

found to be adulterated as per the report of the public analyst.

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Therefore, the appellant is liable for the offences under Section 2

of the Act.

5. Having heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties and

carefully perusing the material available on record, we note that

the cross­examination of the medical officer (P.W­2) reveals that he

did not find any weevils/worms in the sample on seeing it with

naked eyes. Although, the food inspector (P.W­1) stated that the

sample was dispatched to the public analyst on the next date,

however, no parcel receipt was produced to that extent. Although,

the sample was received in the office of the public analyst on

20.08.1982 and the report was finalized on 07.09.1982 after the

delay of 18 days. There is no evidence that the samples were not

tampered within the intervening period, therefore benefit of doubt

accrues in favor of the accused. Moreover, the report of the public

analyst does not mention that the sample was either “insect

infested” or was “unfit for human consumption”, in the absence of

such an opinion, the prosecution has failed to establish the

requirements of Section 2 (1a)(f) of the Act (See Delhi

Administration. v. Sat Sarup Sharma, 1994 Supp (3) SCC

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324). Moreover, no evidence has been adduced by the prosecution

to prove the offence under Section 16 (1) of the Act either before

the trial court or the High Court.

6. Therefore, the impugned order of conviction passed by the High

Court is not sustainable for the aforementioned reasons. We set

aside the same and uphold the order of acquittal passed by the

trial court. Accordingly, the appeal stands allowed.

…..………………….J.

(N. V. RAMANA)

………………………..J.

(SURYA KANT)

……..…………………J.

(KRISHNA MURARI)

NEW DELHI;

JULY 30, 2020.

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