Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Whether prosecution under prevention of food adulteration Act can be closed under S 258 of CRPC?

Learned Additional Sessions Judge, Junagadh though, held that the powers under Section 245 of Cr.P.C. were not available but under Section 258 of the Cr.P.C. the Magistrate has ample powers to stop further trial and to acquit the accused in proper case.
Having heard learned advocates appearing for the parties, I am in agreement with the contention of the learned advocate for the petitioner that under Section 245 of the Cr.P.C., this being a summons triable case instituted on private complaint, powers to discharge the accused were not available.
It may also be noted that in the present case, the learned Magistrate could have exercised the powers under Section 258 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. However, in the facts of the case, I find that conclusion of the learned Magistrate is maintainable. Admittedly, the samples of alleged adulterated food which comprised of milk and curd were sent for Central Food Laboratory were sent after nearly six months. Laboratory report also specified that it was not possible to test the samples since they were decomposed, therefore, no useful purpose would be served in permitting full trial into such allegations. 
Gujarat High Court
S S Mehta  vs Bodu abdulbhai sargadia on 17 August, 2010
Coram;
HONOURABLE
   MR.JUSTICE AKIL KURESHI
  
Petitioner is a Food Inspector and original complainant. He has challenged the order dated 13.11.2007 passed by the learned Magistrate, Junagadh below application Exh.14 in Criminal Case No.4247/1998, as upheld by the order dated 10.07.2009 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Junagadh in Criminal Revision Application No.176 of 2007.
Petitioner had lodged a complaint for the offence punishable under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 against the present respondents. In the said complaint, the accused gave an application under Section 245 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking discharge. On the application Exh.14, learned Magistrate primarily on the ground that there was delay in supplying the samples to the Central Food Laboratory which would vitiate the proceedings. The order was challenged primarily on the grounds that the learned Magistrate has no power to entertain discharge under Section 245 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and further there was no explanation available for the delay which could have been considered while conducting the trial.
Learned Additional Sessions Judge, Junagadh though, held that the powers under Section 245 of Cr.P.C. were not available but under Section 258 of the Cr.P.C. the Magistrate has ample powers to stop further trial and to acquit the accused in proper case.
Having heard learned advocates appearing for the parties, I am in agreement with the contention of the learned advocate for the petitioner that under Section 245 of the Cr.P.C., this being a summons triable case instituted on private complaint, powers to discharge the accused were not available.
It may also be noted that in the present case, the learned Magistrate could have exercised the powers under Section 258 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. However, in the facts of the case, I find that conclusion of the learned Magistrate is maintainable. Admittedly, the samples of alleged adulterated food which comprised of milk and curd were sent for Central Food Laboratory were sent after nearly six months. Laboratory report also specified that it was not possible to test the samples since they were decomposed, therefore, no useful purpose would be served in permitting full trial into such allegations. Hence, in exercise of the powers under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C., in the facts of the case, permitting further trial into such complaint would amount to miscarriage of justice.
This petition is, therefore, not entertained and stands disposed of accordingly.
Rule is discharged.
( AKIL KURESHI, J. ) 

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