Radhey Shyam Aggarwal
Vs. State N.C.T. Delhi  INSC 235 (6 February 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 423 OF 2002 Radhey
Shyam Aggarwal ..Appellant Versus State N.C.T. Delhi ..Respondent
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J
only point urged in this appeal is that the High Court ought to have held that
the provisions of Section 16-A of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
(in short the `Act') providing for summary trial are mandatory. While In the
instant case the trial Court adopted the warrant case procedure.
counsel for the respondent, on the other hand, submitted that no prejudice has
been shown by the appellant and in any event there is no absolute bar on the Court
to adopting warrant procedure in a given case.
16-A of the Act reads as follows:
"16-A. Power of
Court to try cases summarily. - Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code
of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), all offences under sub-section (1) of
Sec.16 shall be tried in a summary way by a Judicial Magistrate of the first
class specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government or by a
Metropolitan Magistrate and the provisions of Sec. 262 to 265 (both inclusive)
of the said Code shall, as far as may be, apply to such trial:
Provided that In the
case of any conviction in a summary trial under this section, it shall be
lawful for the Magistrate to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not
exceeding one year :
Provided further that
when at the commencement of, or in the course of a summary trial under this
section, It appears to the Magistrate that the nature of the case is such that
a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding one year may have to be passed
or that it is, for any other reason, undesirable to try the case summarily the
Magistrate shall after hearing the parties, record an order to that effect and
thereafter recall any witness who may have been examined and proceed to hear or
rehear the case in the manner provided by the said Code."
the order of the trial Court it is clear that the case was proceeded in the
manner provided for trial of warrant cases and the prosecution was directed to
lead pre charge evidence and such evidence was led. At no stage there was any
challenge to the procedure adopted. In fact second proviso to Section 16-A
permits such a course to be adopted.
is the case of the appellant that the Magistrate had not heard the parties
and/or recorded an order to the effect that the case was such that sentence of
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year may have to be passed.
noted above, this was not the case of the appellant at any stage and for the
first time in the Special Leave Petition such a stand was taken.
as rightly contended by learned counsel for the State no prejudice has been
shown. In that view of the matter we are not inclined to accept the stand that
there was any violation of the requirements of Section 16-A of the Act.
However, we find that the occurrence took place nearly two decades back and the
infractions related to a small quantity of `lal mirch'. The sentence imposed is
15 months. It is accepted that the appellant has already suffered custody for
more than a year. That being so, in the peculiar circumstances of the case we
reduce the sentence to the period already undergone. Bail bonds executed for
giving effect to the order for bail dated 11.2.2002 shall stand discharged.
With the aforesaid modification of sentence the appeal is disposed of.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)