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Insecticide Not An Essential Commodity Under Essential Commodities Act: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Zeeshan Thomas
7 April 2022 6:45 AM GMT
Insecticide Not An Essential Commodity Under Essential Commodities Act: Madhya Pradesh High Court
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday held that 'insecticide' does not figure in the Schedule annexed to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and thus, the provisions and offences mentioned therein are not attracted relating to 'insecticide'.The Court thereby quashed the FIR registered against the Applicants under the Act, holding that insecticides do not come under the ambit of...

The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday held that 'insecticide' does not figure in the Schedule annexed to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and thus, the provisions and offences mentioned therein are not attracted relating to 'insecticide'.

The Court thereby quashed the FIR registered against the Applicants under the Act, holding that insecticides do not come under the ambit of the Essential Commodities Act. The FIR also contained allegations under the Insecticides Act but the same was quashed for the reason that they were non-cognizable in nature.

Justice Sujoy Paul was dealing with an application under Section 482 CrPC, wherein the Applicants had sought for directions of the Court to quash the FIR registered against them for offences punishable under Section 3 r/w 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 ('Act of 1955') and under Section 29 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 ('Act of 1968').

As per the case of the Applicants, they were working for a company, which also produced insecticides. The Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer/Insecticide Officer obtained a sample of one of the insecticides, which was sent to an Insecticide Quality Control Laboratory and was declared as 'misbranded'. Consequently, the impugned FIR was filed against the Applicants.

The Applicants argued that the Act of 1955 was not applicable to the product, which was an insecticide. Relying on Section 2A(1) of the Act and the Schedule appended to it, they asserted that insecticide is not one of the items mentioned in the Schedule. Therefore, they argued that the provisions of the Act of 1955 were not attracted and thus, question of committing any offence under the Act did not arise.

The Applicants further interpreted Section 29(1)(f) and sub-section (2) of the Act of 1968 and argued that the offence alleged against them under is non-cognizable in nature and that for non-cognizable offence, FIR under Section 154 CrPC cannot be registered.

Concurring with the submissions of the Applicants, the Court opined that insecticide is not an essential commodity under the act of 1956-

As per Section 2(A) of Essential Commodities Act, 'essential commodity' means 'specified in the Schedule'. A microscopic reading of Schedule shows that insecticide is not one of the commodity/item mentioned in the Schedule. The learned Government Advocate also could not point out any item, which attracts Section 2(A) of the Essential Commodities Act. Thus, on the basis of admitted facts, no FIR can sustain judicial scrutiny relating to offence under the E.C. Act.

The Court also agreed with the argument of the Applicants that the offence under Section 29 of the Act of 1968 was punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, and was hence, non-cognizable in nature. Therefore, the FIR under Section 154 CRPC was wrongly registered against them.

With the aforesaid observations, the Court allowed the application and accordingly, the impugned FIR was quashed.

Case Title: Amrutlal Sanghani and Ors. v. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors.

Click Here To Read/Download Order


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