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Report No. 29

Category 6.-Adulteration

147. Adulteration (Category 6).-The sixth category of offences mentioned by the Santhanam Committee is-"Adulteration of food-stuffs and drugs".

148. Existing provisions.-The existing provisions as to these offences are listed separately.1 Some provisions on the subject are contained in sections 272 to 276, Indian Penal Code. But special enactments on the subject that are now in force, are much more important, and prosecutions are usually filed under the special enactments.

1. See Appendix 6.

149. Transfer not feasible.-The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act1 contains elaborate provisions of a substantive, procedural and evidentiary character, which cannot possibly be transferred to the Indian Penal Code.

Section 2(1) of the Act contains an elaborate definition of the expression "adulterated", and clauses (j), (k) and (1) of that definition refer to the "prescribed" extent of colouring matter or preservative, or the "prescribed" standard of quality or purity, etc. The standard of quality and purity and limits of colouring matter can thus be ascertained only from the rules made under the Act. Section 19 bars the raising of certain defences by the vendor to the effect that he was ignorant of the nature, substance or quality of the food sold by him (except in certain cases). Section 16(2) empowers the Court to cause the offender's name, etc., to be published where the offender is a second or subsequent offender. Again, section 13(5) contains a rule of evidence as to the report of the public analyst. Section 21 confers higher powers upon Magistrates of the First Class in relation to the sentences that they can pass for offences under the Act. It would, obviously, be impracticable to transfer all these sections to the Indian Penal Code. It would not be convenient to split them also, that is, to transfer the substantive provisions to the Penal Code, and to leave the remaining procedural provisions in the Act, as that is bound to create confusion.

1. The Prevention to Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (37 of 1954).

150. A study of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act1 will also show, that its penal provisions cannot be transferred to the Indian Penal Code. There are vast rule-making powers under sections 12, 16(2) and 33 of the Act, and breach of the rules may attract penalty under sections 13 and 27(a) read with sections 17(e), 17A(e) 18(a)(iii), 18(a)(vi), 18(b), etc. Then, there are special rules of evidence in sections 19 and 25(3). There are special provisions as to jurisdiction and procedure in sections 15, 32 and 36. There are provisions for enhanced punishment on second or subsequent conviction, in sections 13(2) and 30, and also a provision- regarding offences by companies in section 34. Finally, there is provision for publication of particulars relating to sentences in section 35. To transfer the penal provisions to the Indian Penal Code would, in view of these special provisions, mean a virtual disintegration of the Act.

1. The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (39 of 1940).

Proposal to include certain Social and Economic Offences in the Indian Penal Code Back

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