Report No. 47
15.37. Prevention of Food Adulteration Act-Summary trial.-
In the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the following provision is absent:-
(i) Summary trial.
In the absence of suggestions to that effect, a change is not necessary.
15.38. Sub-standard foods.-
A doubt has been raised whether sub-standard foods1 are covered by the definition of adulteration. The position, however, seems to be fairly clear. For example, in a Madras case2, there was deficiency in the 'Reichert value' of ghee (i.e. value below a particular stipulated figure) i.e. the ghee was of a sub-standard quality, and such sub-standard quality was by definition, an act of adulteration.
It was held that the Court cannot embark on an academic investigation about the Reichert value and its bearing upon the quantum of fat in ghee in different areas in the country. If the quality or purity of ghee falls below the standard prescribed by the rules, or if its constituents are in excess of the prescribed limits of variability, then the ghee is deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of section 2 of the Act. When the prescribed standard is not attained, the statute treats such ghee, by fiction, as an adulterated food, though in fact it is not so.
1. Article on Food Adulteration in Times Weekly, (28th November, 1971) by Bhisma Desai.
2. Corporation of Madras v. Arumugham, AIR 1966 Mad 194 (196), paras. 6-7.
15.39. Supreme Court case.-
The Supreme Court1, while dealing with a case of adulteration of butter observed2:-
"If the quality or purity of butter falls below the standard prescribed by the rules or its constituents are in excess of the prescribed limits of variability, it shall be deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of section 2 of the Act. If the prescribed standard is not attained, the statute treats such butter, by fiction, as an adulterated food, though in fact it is not adulterated. To put it in other words, by reason of the fiction, it is not permissible for an accused to prove that though the standard prescribed is not attained, the article of food is in fact not adulterated. The non¬conformity with the standard prescribed makes such butter an adulterated food."
1. M.V. Joshi v. M.U. Shimpi, AIR 1961 SC 1494 (1496) (Subba Rao, J.).
2. See also Barborally Sardar v. Corporation of Calcutta, AIR 1966 SC 1569.
15.40. Cases as to sub-standard milk and drugs.-
The Bombay High Court1, in explaining the provision of section 2(0(1)7 has also said that an article in respect of which any standard is prescribed or limits of variability of quantities of its constituents are prescribed shall be deemed to be adulterated if it does not conform to the standard so prescribed. Accordingly, butter containing more than 16% of moisture and less than 80% of milk fat as prescribed by the rules was deemed to be 'adulterated' within the meaning of the Act. In Chamanlal v. State of Maharashtra, (1952) 1 SCR 344 (347, 348) (Case under the Drugs Act), the Supreme Court held that the appellant was guilty of an anti¬social act of a very serious nature in manufacturing sub-standard drugs, which was against the object of the Drugs Act, 1940. We think that the position is quite clear, and needs no amendment.
1. Ganpat v. Lingappa, AIR 1962 Bom 104 (105).