Question: Define the following offences: (A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease (B) Sale of noxious food or drink (C) Making atmosphere noxious to health. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [(A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease (B) Sale of noxious food or drink (C) Making atmosphere… Read More »

Question: Define the following offences: (A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease (B) Sale of noxious food or drink (C) Making atmosphere noxious to health. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [(A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease (B) Sale of noxious food or drink (C) Making atmosphere noxious to health.] Answer (A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease Section 269 is aimed at preventing people from...

Question: Define the following offences:

(A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease

(B) Sale of noxious food or drink

(C) Making atmosphere noxious to health.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [(A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease (B) Sale of noxious food or drink (C) Making atmosphere noxious to health.]

Answer

(A) Causing the spread of infection of a dangerous disease

Section 269 is aimed at preventing people from doing, unlawfully or negligently, any act, knowingly or having reasons to believe, that is likely to spread infection or disease dangerous to the life of another. The punishment provided for the offence is simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term of up to six months, or with a fine, or with both.

Section 270, worded in the phraseology identical to section 269, deals with an aggravated form of the offence dealt under section 269. It uses the word ‘malignantly’, referring to mens rea of the offence. The term implies that the doer while spreading infection or disease dangerous to life, was actuated by malice. It denotes a deliberate intention on the part of the accused. The punishment provided thereunder, compared to that under s 269, is harsher. It prescribes imprisonment of either description for a term up to two years, or fine or both.

In X v. Hospital Z [AIR 1999 SC 495] the appellant’s blood was to be transfused to another. Therefore, a sample of his blood was taken for testing and was found to be HIV+. The hospital authorities disclosed this to one A, to whom the appellant was engaged to be married. On account of this disclosure, the marriage was called off. He was also severely criticised and ostracised by the community. The appellant contended that the hospital had violated medical ethics by disclosing what they were required to keep secret. The appellant also contended that his right to privacy was violated and therefore claimed compensation.

In this context, the Supreme Court held that in view of the fact that the appellant was found to be HIV+, its disclosure would not be violative either of the rules of confidentiality or right of privacy as A, whom the appellant was to marry, would have otherwise been infected by the deadly disease if the marriage had taken place and consummated.

The court held that where there is a clash of two fundamental rights as in the present case, namely, the appellant’s right to privacy as part of the right to life, and A’s right to lead a healthy life, which is her fundamental right under art 21, the right which would advance public morality or public interest would alone be enforced through the process of the court.

While full sympathy should be given to the person suffering from the dreadful disease AIDS, sex with such person or the possibility of thereof has to be avoided as otherwise they would infect and communicate the disease to others. The court cannot assist such a person to achieve such objectives. Therefore, if a person suffering from HIV Aids, knowingly marries a woman and thereby transmits the infection to that woman, he would be guilty of offences under ss 269 & 270, IPC.

(B) Sale of noxious food or drink

Section 273 provides the act of Sale of noxious food or drink punishable.

Whoever sells, or offers or exposes for sale, as food or drink, any article which has been rendered or has become noxious, or is in a state unfit for food or drink, knowing or having reason to believe that the same is noxious as food or drink, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Mere adulteration is not an offence under this section. The adulteration should be of such a nature as to make the food or drink noxious. Further, it should also be established that such noxious food or drink was intended to be sold either by the accused himself or somebody else. What is made punishable under this section is the sale of noxious articles as food or drink and not the mere sale of the noxious articles. The expression ‘noxious as food’ means unwholesomeness as food or injurious to health. It does not mean being repugnant to one’s feelings.

Therefore, as held in Ram Dayal v. King-Emperor, AIR 1924 All 214, mixing of food mixing of pig’s fat with ghee and selling the mixture does not render the article as ‘noxious as food’ though it may be noxious to the religious feelings of some sections of the public.

(C) Making atmosphere noxious to health.

Making an atmosphere noxious to health is made punishable under Section 278.

Whoever voluntarily vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way, shall be punished with a fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.

In K Ramakrishnan v. State of Kerala[AIR 1999 Ker 385] the Kerala High Court held that smoking of tobacco in any form in a public place vitiates the atmosphere and makes it noxious to the health of persons who happen to be there. Smoking in a public place, therefore, contravenes section 278 of the IPC.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-07-17T17:00:28+05:30
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