A Delhi court has sentenced a city grocer to one-year rigorous imprisonment for selling adulterated pulses laced with colouring agent Tartrazine, known to cause brain damage, thyroid cancer and asthma attacks. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) Raghubir Singh also imposed a fine of
Rs 10,000 on grocer Ravi Kumar of Shahdara in northeast Delhi, as he was convicted under various provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA).
According to prosecution, Singh was found selling ‘arhar dal’ with harmful colouring agent in November 2004 when a food inspector purchased the lentil sample from his shop.
The court convicted Singh, dismissing his contention that the chemical was completely water-soluble and the pulse was to be cooked after washing.
“The moment the sample was found with un-permitted colour, the offence was complete and any subsequent safeguard or guidelines in respect of use of the food article in question like washing cannot be of any avail for the cause of the accused,” the judge said.
Following a chemical examination of the sample, it was found laced with Tartrazine. The judge said, “It does not make any sense in saying that Tartrazine is a water soluble colour. Tartrazine is entirely prohibited in respect of the ‘dal’ in question”.