State of Rajasthan Vs.
Jagdish Prasad  INSC 854 (29 April 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 869 OF 2009
(Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 2943 of 2008) State of Rajasthan ....Appellant
Versus Jagdish Prasad ....Respondent
DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a learned Single Judge of the Rajasthan
High Court, Jaipur Bench. By the impugned judgment the High Court while
upholding the conviction for offences punishable under Sections 7 and 16 of the
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (in short the `Act') imposed fine of
Rs.6,000/- and directed that the same is in commutation of the sentence of six
months RI as awarded by learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sikar. It was
further directed that the appropriate Government shall formalize the matter by
passing of an appropriate order under Clause (d) of Section 433 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short the `Code') if the amount is deposited
within a particular period.
For the aforesaid
purpose the High Court relied on a decision of this Court in Sukumaran Nair v.
Food Inspector, Mavelikara (1997 ((9) SCC 101).
counsel for the appellant-State submitted that the High Court's order is
counsel for the respondent on the other hand supported the judgment.
Dayal Singh v. State of Rajasthan (2004 (5) SCC 721) it was inter- alia
observed as follows:
"15. In the
instant case it was not disputed that for the offence charged a minimum
sentence of 6 months' rigorous imprisonment is prescribed by law. The appellant
has been sentenced to undergo 6 months' rigorous imprisonment which is the
We are not inclined
to modify the sentence by passing an order of the nature passed in N. Sukumaran
Nair where this Court in exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction imposed
only a sentence of fine and directed the State to exercise its powers under
Section 433 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to commute the sentence of simple
imprisonment for fine. In the instant case, the appellant has been sentenced to
undergo 6 months rigorous imprisonment. Moreover, we are firmly of the view
that strict adherence to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and the Rules
framed thereunder is essential for safeguarding the interest of consumers of
articles of food. Stringent laws will have no meaning if offenders could get
away with mere fine. We, therefore, find no reason to interfere with the
sentence imposed against the appellant."
the circumstances, the appeal is allowed. The sentence as imposed by the trial
Court is restored. However, since the occurrence took place nearly three
decades back if the accused-respondent moves the appropriate Government to
commute the sentence of imprisonment, the same shall be considered in the
proper perspective. For a period of three months the accused need not surrender
to undergo sentence during which period it shall be open to him to move the
appropriate Government for commutation. If no order in the matter of
commutation is passed by the appropriate Government the accused shall surrender
to custody to serve the remainder of sentence.
appeal is allowed to the aforesaid extent.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
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