The report of the Public Analyst dated 30.05.2011, held that the sample confirmed to standards but was misbranded being in violation of Rule 32(e), lacking in necessary declaration of lot/batch numbers. – When the necessary information as required under Rule 32(e) was available in the barcode which could all be revealed by a barcode scanner – it can not be said the accused committed an offence .

The report of the Public Analyst dated 30.05.2011, held that the sample confirmed to standards but was misbranded being in violation of Rule 32(e), lacking in necessary declaration of lot/batch numbers. – When the necessary information as required under Rule 32(e) was available in the barcode which could all be revealed by a barcode scanner – it can not be said the accused committed an offence .

NON­REPORTABLE

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 562 OF 2020

(Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No. 2942 of 2020)

RAGHAV GUPTA …APPELLANT(S)

VERSUS

STATE (NCT OF DELHI) AND ANOTHER …RESPONDENT(S)

JUDGMENT

NAVIN SINHA, J.

Leave granted.

  1. The appellant questions his prosecution under Rule 32(e) of

the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 (hereinafter

called as “the Rules”) framed under the Prevention of Food

Adulteration Act, 1954 (in short “the Act”).

  1. We have heard learned counsel for the parties at length.

Though several grounds have been urged to challenge the

prosecution, we are satisfied that the appeal can be disposed of

on a single undisputed ground. The facts shall therefore be

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stated with brevity only to the extent necessary for purposes of

the present order.

  1. The Food Inspector purchased sealed samples of Snapple

Juice Drink on 03.05.2011 for analysis. The report of the Public

Analyst dated 30.05.2011, held that the sample confirmed to

standards but was misbranded being in violation of Rule 32(e),

lacking in necessary declaration of lot/batch numbers. The

appellant was stated to be one of the Directors of M/s. V & V

Beverages Pvt. Ltd. which imported the drink from foreign

manufacturer Schweppes International Rye Brook duly cleared

by the Customs department.

  1. A complaint case no. 4 of 2012 was lodged by the Food

Inspector on basis of the report dated 30.05.2011. Notices were

issued to the appellant under Section 251 of the Criminal

Procedure Code (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Code’). The

appellant preferred an application for discharge under Section

294 of the Code read with Section 192 of the Act inter alia on the

ground that the product had the necessary barcode on it and

which contained all the relevant information as required by Rule

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32(e) such as batch no./code no./lot no. The application having

been rejected, the appellant raised the same ground before the

High Court which also failed to consider the same.

  1. Ms. Geeta Luthra, learned senior counsel appearing for the

appellant, submitted before us and which could not be countered

by Shri Jayant K. Sud, learned Addl. Solicitor General appearing

for the respondent, that the necessary information as required

under Rule 32(e) was available in the barcode which could all be

revealed by a barcode scanner.

  1. That the barcode was available on the sample is not in

dispute. In view of the fact that the relevant information under

Rule 32(e) with regard to the lot/code/batch identification to

facilitate it being traced to the manufacturer are available in the

barcode and which can be decoded by a barcode scanner, we are

of the considered opinion that no useful purpose is going to be

served by allowing the present prosecution to continue and it will

be an abuse of the process of law, causing sheer waste of time,

causing unnecessary harassment to the appellant, if the

prosecution is allowed to continue.

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  1. We therefore allow the appeal and quash the prosecution of

the appellant in CC No. 04 of 2012 pending before the ACMM­2,

Patiala House Court, New Delhi. The appeal is allowed.

………………………….J.

[R.F. NARIMAN]

………………………….J.

[NAVIN SINHA]

………………………….J.

[INDIRA BANERJEE]

NEW DELHI

SEPTEMBER 04, 2020

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