Mohammed Yamin Vs. State of Uttar
Prade5h & ANR  INSC 120 (26 April 1972)
MATHEW, KUTTYIL KURIEN MATHEW, KUTTYIL KURIEN
REDDY, P. JAGANMOHAN
CITATION: 1973 AIR 484 1973 SCR (1) 350 1972
SCC (2) 184
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 37 of 1954
ss. 7 and 16-Definition of jaggery in Para A. 07.05 of Rules made under
Act-Standard laid down for jaggery whether applies to Shakkar-Shakkar whether
jaggery-If dealer sells adulterated Shakkar he commits offence under s. 16 read
with s. 7 of Act even if the Shakkar was not stored for sale-Sale to Food
Inspector is a sale for the Purpose of s. 16(1) of the Act.
The Food Inspector purchased 1-1/2 seers of
Shakkar from the appellant after paying its price. He divided the sample into
three parts, gave one to the appellant and retained the other two with him. One
of the samples retained' was sent to the Public Analyst for examination. The
Public Analyst found it to be adulterated because of excess of extraneous
matter. The food Inspector filed a complaint before the Magistrate who
convicted the appellant 'for an offence under s. 16 read with section 7 of the Prevention
of Food Adulteration Act 1954. In appeal the Sessions Judge acquitted the
appellant but in further appeal to High Court the appellant was again
convicted. He appealed to this Court by special leave. The contentions on
behalf of the appellant were : (i) that Shakkar is not jaggery and since no
standard of quality has been prescribed for Shakkar under the rules framed
under the Act the Shakkar was not adulterated; (ii) that he had not kept the
Shakkar for sale but for manufacturing Rab out of it and therefore the
convicion under s. 16 read with section 7 of The Act was bad.
HELD : (i) Shakkar is a product obtained by
following processing juce pressed from out of sugar cane and therefore in view
of the definition of jaggery in para A.07.05 of Appendix B of the rules framed
under the Act Shakkar is jaggery. In Chambers 20th Century Dictionary (revised
edition) also the Hindi equivalent of jaggery given as Shakkar. Therefore the
finding of the High Court on the basis of the report of the Analyst that the
Shakkar did not conform to the standard of quality prescribed for jaggery and
was thus adulterated was correct and had to be maintained. [353 B-F] (2) The
finding of the High Court was that the Shakkar was kept by the appellant for
the purpose of sale and not for the purpose of manufacturing Rab out of it and
that the attempt of the appellant was to sell the Shakkar as an article of food
after mixing Shelkhari in it. There was no reason to think that the finding was
wrong. But assuming that the finding was wrong and that the appellant kept the
Shakkar not for sale, but for manufacturing Rab out of it, the appellant would
still be guilty. If Shakkar is an article of food, it does not matter whether
the appellant kept it, for sale or for manufacturing Rab out of it provided the
appellant bad sold it. And a sale to the Food Inspector is a sale for the
purpose of 16(1) of the Act. [C- D] The Food Inspector, Calicut Corporation v,
Charukanttil Gopalan and another,  2 S.C.R. 322, followed and applied.
The appeal must accordingly be dismissed.
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal
Appeal No. 253 of 1968.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
Order dated April 12, 1968 of the Allahabad High Court in Criminal Govt.
Appeal No. 13 of 1965 and Criminal Govt.
Appeal No. 10 of 1966.
B. P. Maheshwari and Sobhagmal Jain, for the
O. P. Rana, for the respondent.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Mathew, J. This appeal , by special leave, is against a judgment of the High
Court of Allahabad by which it restored the order of the Magistrate convicting
the appellant of an offence under section 16 read with section 7. of the
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (Act 37 of 1954), hereinafter called the
'Act, and sentencing him to undergo one year's rigorous imprisonment and pay a
fine of Rs. 1,000/- and in default of payment of fine to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for a further period of six months, after reversing the order
passed by the Sessions Judge in appeal acquitting him of the offence.
On June 13, 1963, Head Constable Baboo Khan
was on patrol duty. He happened to come to the Chakki of one Abdul Razaaq.
There he found a heap of Shakkar and some labourers mixing Shelkhari in it with
spades. He went to the police station to inform the Station Officer about it
but the Station Officer' was not there. He then met the Sanitary Inspector and
informed him about what he, saw at the Chakki.
The Sanitary Inspector accompanied by the
Food Inspector proceeded to the Chakki and there, they found the labourers
mixing Shelkhari with Shakkar. The stock of Shakkar belonged to the appellant.
The Food Inspector purchased 1- 1/2 seers of Shakkar from the appellant by way
of sample after paying its price. He divided the sample into three parts, gave
one to the appellant and retained the other two with him. One of the samples
retained was sent to the Public Analyst for examination. The Analyst found, in
his report dated July 11, 1963, that the Shakkar contained 2.4% moisture, 72.7%
total sugar, 64.7% sucrose, 17% extraneous matter insoluble in water. According
to him the extraneous matter insoluble in water, total ash and ash insoluble in
Hydrochloric acid exceeded by 15,O%, 10.1% and 13.3% respectively as against
the maximum prescribed standards of 2.0%, 6.0% and O.5% respectively.
On the basis of a complaint filed by the Food
Inspector of the Municipal Board, Saharanpur, the Magistrate who tried the ap-
352 pellant for an offence under section 16 read with section 7 of the Act came
to the conclusion that the appellant had stored the Shakkar for sale, that it
was adulterated and that he was guilty of the offence and convicted and
sentenced him as aforesaid.
The appellant filed an appeal against the
order before the Sessions Judge. The Sessions Judge acquitted him of the
offence for the reason that the prosecution had notproved 'that the Shakkar
stored by the appellant was for sale.He said that the appellant was mixing
extraneous matter with the Shakkar for converting it into Rab and as such it
cannotbe said that the Shakkar was stored for sale by the appellant.He also
said that no standard of quality was prescribed by therules framed under the
Act for Shakkar, that as an article of food, Shakkar was neither 'gur' nor
'Jaggery' and that the sale of Shakkar to the Food Inspector by the appellant
was under duress and was not a sale in the eye of the law.
The Municipal Board filed an appeal against
the order to the High Court. The High Court held that Shakkar is same as
'jaggery', that standard 'of quality has been prescribed by the rules framed
under the Act for jaggery, that the Shakkar in question was adulterated, that
the sample purchased by the Food Inspector for the purpose of analysis amounted
to sale within the meaning of section 2 (xiii) of the Act, that Food Inspector
had power under the Act to get the sample even if the Shakkar was stored for
being manufactured into Rab and not for sale and restored the order of the
Magistrate convicting and sentencing the appellant as aforesaid.
The first contention on behalf of the
appellant was that Shakkar is not 'jaggery', and since no standard of quality
has been prescribed for Shakkar under the rules formed under the Act, the
Shakkar was not adulterated.
We find it difficult to accept the contention
that Shakkar is not Jaggery. Para A.07.05 of Appendix B of the Rules reads
"Gur or jaggery means the product obtained by boiling or processing juice
pressed out of sugar cane or extracted from palmyra palm, date palm or coconut
palm. It shall be free from substances deleterious to health and shall conform
to the following analytical standards on dry weight basis (i)total sugars not
less than 90 per cent and sucrose not less than 70 per cent.
(ii) extraneous matter insoluble in water not
more than 2 per cent.
3 5 3 (iii)total ash not more than 6 per
(iv) ash insoluble in hydrochloric acid (HCI)
not more than O.5 per cent.
Gur or jaggery other than that of the liquid
or semi-liquid variety shall not contain more than 10 per cent moisture."
It is not disputed that Shakkar is a product obtained by boiling or processing
_juice pressed from out of sugarcane, and therefore, it is clear that Shakkar
is jaggery. But counsel for the appellant submitted that Appendix B of the
Rules does not define jaggery but only gives the description of what 'jaggery'
is and it cannot, therefore, be said that jaggery would comprehend all the
varieties of products obtained by boiling or processing _juice pressed out of
sugarcane. In other words, counsel said that Appendix B to the Rules only
describes what jaggery or gur is and that it does not define what jaggery or
gur is. We are unable to accept the contention for the reason that jaggery or
gur is defined as any product obtained by boiling or processing juice pressed
out of sugarcane and so any product so obtained would be comprehend within the
definition. Quite apart from this, we find in Chambers Twentieth Century
Dictionary (Revised Edition) the meaning of 'jaggery' as :
"A coarse dark sugar made from palm sap
(Hindi-Shakkar; Sanskrit-Sarkara)." It
is, therefore, clear that Shakkar is 'jaggery'; and the finding of the High
Court, on the basis of the report of the Analyst, that the Shakkar has not
conformed to the standard of quality prescribed for jaggery and, therefore, the
food was adulterated, was correct and has to be maintained.
The second contention on behalf of the
appellant was that he had kept the Shakkar for manufacturing Rab out of it. The
contention, in other words, is that he had not kept the Shakkar for sale but
kept it for manufacturing Rab out of it and, therefore, the conviction under
section 16 read with section 7 of the Act was bad. We do not think that there
is any substance in this contention either. Section 7 of the Act, in so far as
it is material, Provides "No person shall himself or by any person on his
behalf manufacture for sale, or store, sell or distribute- 354 (i) any
adulterated food;" Section 16, which imposes the punishment, in so far as
it is relevant, says :
" 16 (1) If any person- (a)whether by
himself or by any other person on his behalf imports into India or manufactures
for sale, or stores, sells or distributes any article of food- (i) which is
adulterated or misbranded or the sale of which is prohibited by the Food
(Health) authority in the interest of public health;" The finding of the
High Court is that the Shakkar was kept by the appellant for the purpose of
sale and not for the purpose of manufacturing Rab out of it and that the
attempt of the appellant was to sell the Shakkar as an article, of food after
mixing Shelkhari with it. We see no reason to think that the finding was wrong.
But assuming that the finding was wrong and that the appellant kept the Shakkar
was for sale but for manufacturing Rab out of it, what follows ? If Shakkar is
an article of food, it does not matter whether the appellant kept it for sale,
or for manufacturing Rab out of it, provided the appellant has sold it. Arid a
sale to the Food Inspector is a sale for the purpose of section 16 of the Act.
In The Food Inspector, Calicut Corporation v. Charukattil Gapalan and
another(), this Court held that, if any articles of food are sold by any
person, whether he be a dealer in them or not, and if the food is adulterated,
he is liable to be convicted under section 16 read with section 7 of the Act.
The respondents before this Court in that case were the manager and owner of a
tea stall. The case against them was that they sold 600 grains of sugar to the
appellant, the Food Inspector, for analysis and that the sugar was adulterated.
The respondents pleaded that the sugar was not sold 'as such' in the tea stall
and was only used for preparing tea which alone was sold. The plea was accepted
by the District Magistrate and the respondents were acquitted. The acquittal
was confirmed by the High Court. In appeal to this Court by the Food Inspector,
one of the arguments for the respondents, was that they were not dealers in
sugar and the sugar was not kept for sale and so they cannot be convicted under
section 16 read with section 7 of the Act.
The Court held, inter-alia, that sale to a
Food Inspector is a sale for the purpose of section 16 of the Act, that the
article of food sold to the Food Inspector need not have been taken from a
larger quantity kept for sale, and that the person by whom the article of food
was sold to the Food Inspector need not be a dealer as such in the article.
(1)  2 S.C.C.322.
355 In that case it was assumed by this Court
that the sugar was adulterated. Whether it was adulterated or not as a matter
of fact, this _Court proceeded on the assumption that it was adulterated. it
that be so, we see no reason to doubt the correctness of the ratio of the case.
We think the High Court was right in its
conclusion. We dismiss the appeal.
G.C. Appeal dismissed.