Report No. 29
151. Addition of new provisions.-As regards the addition of new provisions, that is a matter concerning amendment of the relevant Acts.
152. Adulteration and public opinion.-The fact that we are not recommending transfer to the Indian Penal Code of the provisions as to adulteration1 does not, of course, mean that we under-rate the gravity of the offence of adulteration. In fact, public opinion on the subject appears to be strong. A comment signed by several citizens residing in West Bengal has suggested, that persons guilty of adulteration of medicines should be punished with the death sentence along with confiscation of property, that persons guilty of adulteration of food should be punished with life imprisonment along with confiscation of property, and that in all cases of conviction, wide publicity through the Press, the cinema and the radio should be given. Another comment has suggested, that the relevant Acts may be amended so as to provide compulsory rigorous imprisonment and also fine, to be imposed on the convicted persons. One comment suggests, that sections 272 and 274 of the Indian Penal Code should be suitably amended, and that the maximum punishment for adulteration should be hanging, as such adulteration may sometimes cause death, and that the offence should be made cognizable.
If any amendments pertaining to sentence are required, those will have to be made to the relevant enactments relating to food and drugs.
1. Para. 149-150, supra.
153. Failure of prosecutions.-The failure of prosecutions under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act is often put forth as a matter deserving serious consideration. And no doubt it is so. But such failures are not due to a defect in the penal provisions or in their being dealt with in special laws. The causes are to be found elsewhere.
154. Thus, prosecutions may fail because of defective reports of the Public Analyst1 or delay in the examination of samples2. Sometimes, the rules as in force up-to-date are not brought to the notice of the court3. Complications may also arise where the procedure prescribed by the Act for taking samples is not followed4. The same difficulty may arise if the provisions of the Act requiring complaint by a particular person are not complied with5.
1. Cf the cases cited in State v. Gunjlal, AIR 1964 Punj 475 (476, 477), paras. 2 and 6.
2. Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Surja Ram, (1965) 2 Cr LJ 571.
3. Cf. Mela Singh v. State, AIR 1964 Punj 332 (333).
4. Cf. Food Inspector v. P. Kannan, AIR 1964 Ker 261.
5. Cf. State v. Ishwar Saran, AIR 1964 All 497.
155. In this connection, it must also be pointed out, that higher courts have not failed to impress upon the magistracy the importance of legislation relating to adulteration of food, and the need for ensuring that mere technicalities do not hamper or defeat the cause of justice1.
1. See Delhi Municipality v. Jai Dayal, AIR 1964 Punj 520, paras. 2 and 12.