Section 273 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!
The section requires that the accused must either sell, or offer or expose for sale, any article as food or drink. Such article must have been rendered noxious, or must have become noxious, or it must be in a state unfit for food or drink. The accused must know or must have reason to believe that the article is noxious as food or drink.
Since this chapter relates to ‘public’ health etc., the sale of noxious food or drink must be for consumption of human beings. Consequently, sale of noxious food or drink for animal consumption is not covered under this section. Sale of milk mixed with water, or ghee mixed with vegetable oil cannot be punished under this section as the state of the article has not become noxious nor has it become in a state unfit for being consumed as food or drink.
The offence under this section is non-cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by magistrate of the first class.