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The Prevention of Food Adultration Act, 1954 (3)
Date 17/10/11/11/08  Author Infrosoft Health Content Team  Hits 1991  Language Global
Food is one of the basic necessities for sustenance of life. Pure, fresh and healthy diet is most essential for the health of the people. It is no wonder to say that community health is national wealth.

16A. Power of court to try cases summarily

        Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), all offences under sub-section (1) of section 16 shall be tried in a summary way by a Judicial Magistrate of the first class specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government or by a Metropolitan Magistrate and the provisions of sections 262 to 265 (both inclusive) of the said Code shall, as far as may be, apply to such trial:

       Provided that in the case of any conviction in a summary trial under this section, it shall be lawful for the magistrate to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year:

       Provided further that when at the commencement of, or in the course of, a summary trial under this section it appears to the magistrate that the nature of the case is such that a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding one year may have to be passed or that it is, for any other reason, undesirable to try the case summarily, the Magistrate shall after hearing the parties, record an order to that effect and thereafter recall any witness who may have been examined and proceed to hear or rehear the case in the manner provided by the said Code.

COMMENTS

       This section is an exception to section 262(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974). The word ‘shall’ may be understood as ‘may’ when a case is tried in a summary way. The procedure to be followed is of a summons case; Chandak v. Food Inspector, 1990 (1) FAC 76.

17. Offences by companies

(1) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company —

(a) (i) the person, if any, who has been nominated under sub-section (2) to be in charge of, and responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company (hereafter in this section referred to as the person responsible), or
     
     (ii) where no person has been so nominated, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company; and

(b) the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly:

      Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge and that he exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

(2) Any company may, by order in writing, authorise any of its directors or managers (such manager being employed mainly in a managerial or supervisory capacity) to exercise all such powers and take all such steps as may be necessary or expedient to prevent the commission by the company of any offence under this Act and may give notice to the Local (Health) Authority, in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, that it has nominated such director or manager as the person responsible, along with the written consent of such director or manager for being so nominated.

Explanation —Where a company has different establishments or branches or different units in any establishment or branch, different persons may be nominated under this sub-section in relation to different establishments or branches or units and the person nominated in relation to any establishment, branch or unit shall be deemed to be the person responsible in respect of such establishment, branch or unit.

(3) The person nominated under sub-section (2) shall, until—

(i) further notice cancelling such nomination is received from the company by the Local (Health) Authority; or

(ii) he ceases to be a director or, as the case may be, manager of the company; or

(iii) he makes a request in writing to the Local (Health) Authority, under intimation to the company, to cancel the nomination [which request shall be complied with by the Local (Health) Authority, whichever is the earliest, continue to be the person responsible:

      Provided that where such person ceases to be a director or, as the case may be, manager of the company, he shall intimate the fact of such cesser to the Local (Health) Authority:

      Provided further that where such person makes a request under clause (iii), the Local (Health) Authority shall not cancel such nomination with effect from a date earlier than the date on which the request is made.

(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing sub-sections, where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to, any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company [not being a person nominated under sub-section (2) such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Explanation — For the purposes of this section—

(a) "Company" means any body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals;

(b) "director", in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm; and

(c) "manager", in relation to a company engaged in hotel industry, includes the person in charge of the catering department of any hotel managed or run by it.

COMMENTS

(i) It is clear from the scheme of section 17 of the Act that where a company has committed an offence under the Act, the person nominated under sub-section (2) to be incharge of, and responsible to, the company for the conduct of its business shall be proceeded against unless it is shown that the offence was committed with the consent/connivance/negligence of any other Director, Manager, Secretary or Officer of the company in which case the said person can also be proceeded against and punished for commission of offence; R.Banerjee v. H.D. Dubey, AIR 1992 SC 1168.

(ii) The person incharge of the company must be prosecuted alongwith the company under this section; State of Assam v. Paban Kumar Aggarwal, 1990 (1) FAC 115.

(iii) In the absence of specific pleadings in the complaint regarding the person incharge of and responsible to the conduct of the business, the prosecution launched against him is not maintainable and the same is to be quashed; Carborandum Universal Madras v. Food Inspector Thiruvettiyur Municipality, 1989 (1) FAC 367.

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