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Case Analysis: Raghav Gupta vs state NCT of Delhi

Here in this small case analysis I have discussed case analysis of the recent judgement from Supreme Court while hearing a Special Leave Petition questioning the prosecution for the rule 32(e) [Previously Existed] of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 (hereinafter referring as the rules) framed under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred as an Act). The Present judgement was delivered in the case Raghav Gupta ( Appellants) vs State (NCT of Delhi) And Another decided on the 4th September 2020.[i]

Brief Facts of the Case:

  • The Appellant is director of M/s V & V beverages Pvt. Ltd. which imported the drink from foreign manufacture which has cleared from the custom department.
  • The sample of Snapple juice (sealed) was purchased by the Food inspector on the date 03/05/2011.
  • The results or the report of analyzing the product came on the date 30/05/2011 and stated that sample was able to confirm all the standards laid down.
  • In the same report it was stated though confirmed all the standards but ‘misbranded’ for being violation of rule 32 (e) as failed to declare necessary declaration of a lot/ batch numbers.
  • On the grounds of the Report received Food inspector filed a complaint against Appellant as well as notice was issued against him under section 251 of the Code of the criminal Procedure. (CrPC).
  • the Discharge Application was filed by the Appellant under section 294 of the CrPC read with section 192 of the Act inter alia.
  • The Discharge application was filed on the grounds that necessary information to fulfill the conditions given by the Rule 32(e) has been fulfilled in the barcode prescribed on the product
  • But the same application was rejected and in appeal also rejected by the High Court (HC).

Court Reasoning

  • Court relied in the reasoning and the argument given by the learned advocated Ms. Geeta Luthra that all the information necessary under rule 32(e) has already available in the barcode on the product.
  • Court was at reasoning that the reasoning on behalf of the Appellant could not be countered by the council appearing on the behalf of the respondent. (Shri Jayant K. Sud).
  • Court while concluded cleared that in this particular case the present question of fact were not based on the barcode.
  • According to court the question court needs to be discuused was regarding fulfillment of necessary guidelines given by the rule 32(e).
  • And court from available facts came to a conclusion that necessary information was available in the barcode and it could be generated by the manufacturer by decoding the barcode with the held of the barcode scanner.
  • The Court in short reasoning, held that it will be ‘waste of time’ if they allow prosecution side to continue and mere unnecessary harassment.
  • Hence, appeal allowed by the court and quashed the prosecution.

Reference:
  • https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/prevention-of-food-adulteration-act-no-violation-of-labelling-regulations-if-relevant-information-traceable-from-barcode-sc-read-judgment-162448
End-Notes:
  1. Raghav Gupta vs State (NCT of Delhi) And Another Criminal Appeal No. 562 of 2020.

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