Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Whether mensrea is required to be proved in prevention of food adulteration case?

 For the offence made punishable under section 7, no 'mens rea' is required to be proved. Thus, in such a case, the prosecution is required to make out the case of contravention of some provisions of sections of the Act, Rules and if, there is such contravention, the Court is not expected to quash the proceeding. In the case reported as AIR 1971 SUPREME COURT 2346 [Andhra Pradesh Grain and Seed MerchantsCri. Appln. No. 230/14 & Ors.
Association and Ors. Vs. Union of India and Anr.] and in the case reported as AIR 1961 Supreme Court 631 [Sarjoo Prasad Vs. The State of Utter Pradesh], the Apex Court has made interpretation and has discussed constitutional validity of relevant provisions.
 When the contravention of the provisions of the Act and the Rules is there, the argument of the learned counsel for the accused that the food article was not injurious to health, cannot be accepted as there is strict liability for the contravention. So, if the offence is made out from the material collected and which is mentioned in the complaint, the cognizance can be taken and such cognizance cannot be called as bad and even, this Court is not expected to quash the proceeding. It needs to be kept in mind that when there is report of Analyst, the burden is on the accused to prove that there was no adulteration or the adulteration was found due to natural causes for which the accused is not responsible.
cannot be set aside.
Bombay High Court
Aravind Shankar Manegaonkar vs The State Of Mah on 5 November, 2014
Bench: T.V. Nalawade
Citation; 2015 CRLJ(NOC)482 BOM
Read full judgment here; click here
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