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Section 19 – The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940



19. Pleas. –


(1) Save as hereinafter provided in this section, it shall be no defence in a prosecution under this Chapter to prove merely that the accused was ignorant of the nature, substance or quality of the drug 1[or cosmetic] in respect of which the offence has been committed or of the circumstances of its manufacture or import, or that a purchaser, having bought only for the purpose of test or analysis, has not been prejudiced by the sale.


(2) 2[For the purposes of section 18 a drug shall not be deemed to be misbranded or 3[adulterated or spurious] or to be below standard quality nor shall a cosmetic be deemed to be misbranded or to be below standard quality] only by reason of the fact that—


(a) there has been added thereto some innocuous substance or ingredient because the same is required for the manufacture or preparation of the drug 4[or cosmetic] as an article of commerce in a state fit for carriage or consumption, and not to increase the bulk, weight or measure of the drug 4[or cosmetic] or to conceal its inferior quality or other defects; or




(b) in the process of manufacture, preparation or conveyance some extraneous substance has unavoidably become intermixed with it: provided that this clause shall not apply in relation to any sale or distribution of the drug 4[or cosmetic] occurring after the vendor or distributor became aware of such intermixture.


6[(3) A person, not being the manufacturer of a drug or cosmetic or his agent for the distribution thereof, shall not be liable for a contravention of section 18 if he proves—


(a) that he acquired the drug or cosmetic from a duly licensed manufacturer, distributor or dealer thereof;


(b) that he did not know and could not, with reasonable diligence, have ascertained that the drug or cosmetic in any way contravened the provisions of that section; and


(c) that the drug or cosmetic, while in his possession was properly stored and remained in the same state as when he acquired it.]




All that the prosecution is required to prove in order to establish the contravention of section 18 is the fact that the accused had sold or exhibited for sale the drug which was not of standard quality or which was a misbranded drug. If the accused want to get rid of the effect of the prosecution evidence then it is for them to establish the defences which are available to them under sub-section (3) of section 19 of the Act; Public Prosecutor v. Hatambhai, AIR 1969 AP 99.



1. Ins. by Act 21 of 1962, sec. 15 (w.e.f. 27-7-1964).


2. Subs. by Act 13 of 1964, sec. 15, for certain words (w.e.f. 15-9-1964).


3. Subs. by Act 68 of 1982, sec. 16, for “adulterated” (w.e.f. 1-2-1983).


4. Ins. by Act 21 of 1962, sec. 15 (w.e.f. 27-7-1964).


5. Clause (aa) ins. by Act 11 of 1955, sec. 10 (w.e.f. 15-4-1955) and omitted by Act 13 of 1964, sec. 15 (w.e.f. 15-9-1964).


6. Subs. by Act 13 of 1964, sec. 15, for sub-section (3) (w.e.f. 15-9-1964).



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The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940


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