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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
2 (1a) (f) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (in short,
‘the Act’) punishable under Section 16(1A) and Section 16(1)(a)(ii)
of the Act for selling adulterated Haldi Powder and selling it
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
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.
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
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.
(N. V. RAMANA)
JULY 30, 2020.