The Gujarat High Court while referring to Section 19(2) of the Food Adulteration Act, 1954 has held that a vendor shall not be deemed to have committed an offence if the vendor has purchased articles purchased directly from the manufacturer with a written warranty.

Justice Ashokkumar C. Joshi refused to interfere with the impugned order of the Judicial Magistrate acquitting the vendor and the owner of the firm.

In this case, accused no. 1 was the vendor, and accused no. 2 was the owner of the Didar Traders (Firm). The shop of the accused was visited by the complainant who was a Food Inspector. The Inspector took the 450gms of sample of "Marshal Agmark Chilli Powder" for the purpose of analysis. After the sample was analyzed, it was found that the chili powder had artificial color and wheat starch was added to it and it was adulterated. The complaint after obtaining the necessary approval lodged a complaint against them before the Judicial Magistrate.

The Judicial Magistrate had acquitted the accused after which the State preferred an appeal before the High Court.

APP Ms. Jirga Jhaveri appeared for the Complainant while Counsel Mr. Rahul Dave appeared for the Respondents-Accused.

The Court made a reference to Section 19(2) of the 1954 Act and noted –

"Pursuant to the plain reading of Section 19(2) of Act, 1954, Vendor shall not be deemed to have committed any offence. If he has purchased the article of food in any other status from any manufacturer, distributor or dealer with written warranty in the prescribed form, this Court is of the opinion that the learned Judicial Magistrate has rightly acquitted the accused persons."

The Court further observed, "…on re-appreciation and revaluation of the oral and documentary evidence as referred to, the learned trial Court has rightly observed and also considering the evidence on record that the present respondents are not responsible for charges levelled against them and further the learned Magistrate has not committed any error so long as acquittal is concerned, and learned trial Judge has meticulously considered the deposition coupled with the provisions of law and therefore in the considering opinion of this Court, the learned Judicial Magistrate has rightly come to a conclusion, which does not call for any interference at the hands of this Court."

The Court also held that Prosecution failed to bring home the charges against the accused of want of sufficient material and dismissed the appeal.

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