Sale of drug as a different drug or preparation (Section 276 of IPC)
Section 276 of the code deals specifically with medical preparations and connected with Section 275. All the elements of criminality of offences described in Sections 275 and 276 are the same, the only difference being the consisting in the sale being not of the same article as required but of one different.
This latter may or may not be a good substitute for the drug actually requisitioned, but it is an offence to issue it as a different article, for its chemical and therapeutical properties may be different and the difference unknown to the purchaser may at times, entail serious consequences.
But the offence with which this section deals consists not in the injury done or threatened, but in the fraudulent disposal of one thing for another. Section 276 applies the adulteration or inferiority in the substituted medicine purports to be; for instance, supplying saving instead of saffron.
The offence under Section 276 is non-cognizable and summons should ordinarily issue in the first instance. It is bailable but not compoundable and is triable by any Magistrate and may be tried summarily.