HC quashes three adulteration cases against traders
Finding fault with food inspectors for undue delay in lodging complaints following seizure of alleged adulterated food items, the Madras High Court Bench here has quashed three cases registered by them against traders.india Updated: Aug 17, 2010 12:40 IST
Finding fault with food inspectors for undue delay in lodging complaints following seizure of alleged adulterated food items, the Madras High Court Bench here has quashed three cases registered by them against traders.
Justice R Mala quashed the cases filed against some traders of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) in Madurai and Tirunelveli for having sold packaged wheat flour,honey and Mysore gram without adhering to certain provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA).
The Judge in her order yesterday said undue delay in filing complaints had led to the denial of an opportunity to the traders to obtain samples of the seized products and subject them to another examination at the Central Food Laboratory.
Prosecution was duty bound to give an opportunity to the accused to re-examine the goods as per section 13(2) of the PFA.
The Judge cited a Supreme Court order acquitting a curd seller from Ahmedabad in an adulteration case because the prosecution had taken a long time to provide samples to him.
In one case, the food inspector of Madurai had seized packaged wheat flour on Dec 26, 2006.The sample was sent to the Public Analyst (PA) on Jan 3, 2007 and report received on Jan 21. But the complaint was lodged with the Judicial Magistrate on March 8 this year.
In the case filed by Tirunelveli food inspectors, the PA's report was received on Sept 28 2007 and complaint was lodged on Aug 27, 2009. In the third case also, the report was received on Nov 22, 2007 but complaint filed on May 26, 2009.