Sharif Ahmed Vs. State of U.P  INSC
154 (22 August 1979)
CITATION: 1979 AIR 1917 1980 SCR (2) 312 1979
SCC (4) 412
Policy of Prohibition under the Prevention of
Food Adulteration Act-Non mention in the Analyst's report to be injurious to
human life does not amount that the adulterant is non-injurious-Setting aside
the sentence already reduced by High Court under a misconception would amount
to following a wrong path.
HELD: The prohibition under the Prevention of
Food Adulteration Act and the Rules has been imposed because it is harmful to
human health. [312 G] Absence of evidence is not equal to evidence of absence.
Non-mention in the Public Analyst's report that the "colour which was
mixed with powdered Chillies" was injurious to human life does not amount
to the adulterant being non-injurious. When the High Court under this
misconception has already reduced the sentence, this Court cannot under Art.
136 of the Constitution be pressurised further to follow the wrong path. [312
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Special
Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 2088 of 1979.
From the Judgment and Order dated 25-7-1979
of the Allahabad High Court in Criminal Revision No. 1189/79.
N. Ali Khan and A. D. Mathur for the
Petitioner The Judgment of the Court was delivered by KRISHNA IYER, J.-Counsel
for the petitioner states that the sentence imposed upon his client for the
offence under section 7 read with section 16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration
Act must be reduced because the adulterant, namely, prohibited coal-tar dye,
is, in his submission, non- injurious or an innocent mix. Therefore, the
imprisonment part of the sentence, it was urged, should be eliminated. It is
true that the High Court has observed that the "colour which was mixed
with powdered chillies" is not mentioned in the Public Analyst's report to
be injurious to human life.
It does not follow that because it is not
specifically mentioned to be injurious, it is non-injurious. Absence of
evidence is not equal to evidence of absence. For ought we know, the
prohibition under the Act and the Rules has been imposed because it is harmful
to human health. It is true that the High Court has, under a mis-conception,
reduced the sentence, but we cannot be pressurised further into following the
wrong path. The special leave petition is dismissed.
V.D.K. Petition dismissed.