07 July 2015
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IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL Writ Petition (M/S) No. 1817 of 2012 M/s Cargill India Private Limited. ... Petitioner. Versus State of Uttarakhand and others ... Respondents. Mr. Rajesh Batra, Advocate, with Mr. H.M.Bhatia and Ms. Sonia Kakerja, Advocates, learned counsel for the petitioner. Ms. Vijay Lakshmi, learned Brief Holder for the State-respondent nos. 1&2. Date August 31, 2012. Hon'ble B.S.Verma, J.
(Stay Application No. 9086 of 2012) Heard learned counsel for the petitioner.
By means of this writ petition, the petitioner has sought the following relief:-
(a) To issue an appropriate writ/order/direction in quashing and setting aside the impugned order dated 16-8-2012 (Annexure-2) and give appropriate opportunity to the petitioner company to cross-examine the witness as per its application filed in the adjudication proceedings bearing no. 14/2012 initiated by the Food Safety Officer, Roorkee for the alleged violation of Section 3(1)(zf)(i)(a) and (b), 31(1)(zf)(B)(ii), Section 3(1)(zx), Section 24, Section 26(2)(ii) & (v), Section 27(2)(c) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Regulation 2.2(3)(i), 2.3(5), 2.4.2(1) & 2.4.6(1) of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling )Regulations, 2011 punishable under Sections 51, 52, 53 and 66 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 before the Adjudicating Officer/Additional District Magistrate, Haridwar.
(b) any other order(s) as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has contended that the time period 90 days will start as prescribed under Proviso to sub-clause (9) of Rule 3.1.1 of the Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011 (for short the Rules) from the date fixed for hearing and that the case is at the stage of sub-clause (8) of the said Rule.
It appears from a reading of the Proviso appended to sub-clause (9) of Rule 3.1.1 of the Rules that the Adjudicating Officer shall pass the final order within 90 days from the date of first hearing mentioned in rule 3.1.1 (8) above. Sub-clause (8) of the said Rule provides that on the date fixed for hearing, the Adjudicating Officer shall explain to the person or persons proceeded against or to his authorized representative, the offence alleged to have been committed by such person, indicating the provision of the Act, rules or regulations in respect of which the contravention is alleged to have taken place and the opportunity has to be given in view of sub-clause (9) of Rule 3.1.1, which provides that the Adjudicating Officer shall then given an opportunity to such person or persons to produce such documents or evidence as he may consider relevant to the inquiry and if necessary the hearing may be adjourned to a future date.
An application, which has been moved by the petitioner before the Adjudicating Officer, in Case No. 14/2012, Food Safety Officer Roorkee Vs. M/s Bharati Retail Pvt. Ltd. and others, to cross-examine the witnesses, namely, the Officers who gave reports against the petitioner. The application of the petitioner contains names of four such witnesses. By the impugned order, the petitioner has been allowed to cross-examine Food Safety Officer, while according to the petitioner, cross-examine is also necessary of the Food Analysts, who gave report in favour of the petitioner and another gave report against the petitioner and Mr. R.S.Rawat, the Designated Officer.
According to the petitioner, the learned Adjudicating Officer/Additional District Magistrate has not applied his mind and stage of sub-clause (8) of Rule 3.1.1 of the Rules has not come and no such notice has been issued against the petitioner and that the Adjudicating Officer explained the offence alleged to have been committed by the petitioner.
Learned Brief Holder appearing on behalf of the respondent nos. and 2, Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi, is directed to seek instruction in the matter and to inform the Court whether the learned Adjudicating Officer has framed charges against the petitioner, as indicated in sub-clause (8) of Rule 3.1.1 of the Act.
List the petition on 10-9-2012.
Till the next date of listing, the Adjudicating Officer shall not proceed further in the case No. 14/2012, Food Safety Officer Roorkee Vs. M/s Bharati Retail Pvt. Ltd. and others.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND AT NAINITAL Criminal Writ Petition No.1046 of 2012 1. Sudhir Kapoor 2. Rajiv Kumar ...........Petitioners Versus State of Uttarakhand and another .........Respondents Mr. J.C. Belwal and Mr. S.C. Mishra, Advocates, for the petitioners. Mr. K.S. Rautela, AGA, for the State. Hon'ble Servesh Kumar Gupta, J.
Having heard learned counsel for the petitioners and taking note of the endorsement made by the Registry, it is pertinent to mention that Section 76 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) is meant for preferring appeal before the High Court against the decision or order of a Special Court. Those Special Courts are constituted u/s 74 of the Act for the purposes of trial of offences relating to grievous injury or death of the consumer for which punishment of imprisonment for more than three years has been prescribed under the Act. The said Section further provides that these special courts shall be constituted by the Central or the State Government, as the case may be, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
Learned counsel has argued that the present petition has been filed assailing the adjudication done by the Additional District Magistrate of District U.S. Nagar u/s 68 of the Act and against such adjudication, the appeal shall be preferred before the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal established u/s 70 of the Act. A further enactment has been made that against the judgment of Tribunal, an appeal can be preferred before the High Court, as envisaged u/s 71(6) of the Act.
Learned counsel has argued that since no such Tribunal has been established in the State of Uttarakhand within the meaning of Section 70 of the Act, thus, the petitioners have no option but to approach this Court by way of instant petition u/s 226/227 of the Constitution of India, against the order of Adjudicating Officer, who is of the rank of Additional District Magistrate.
The Court is quite convinced with this argument and thus, admits the petition for hearing.
Registry is directed to summon the record of case no.51/5 of 2012, titled as ‘State of Uttarakhand Vs. Chand Kishore and others’, from the court of Additional District Magistrate/Adjudicating Officer, U.S. Nagar.
List after six weeks.
Meanwhile, the fine, so imposed against the petitioners, by way of impugned judgment, shall remain stayed provided the petitioners deposit half of the fine as per rules before the Adjudicating Officer, U.S. Nagar, within two weeks from today.
Stay application no.11839 of 2012 is disposed of accordingly.
(Servesh Kumar Gupta, J.) 01.11.2012