PFA – Rajasthan HC – CMP -Madan Lal Paliwal Vs State – Sauce sample misbranding case – Nov 8-2017

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT JODHPUR

S.B. Criminal Misc(Pet.) No. 1240 / 2014

Madan Lal Paliwal S/o Shri Deepchand Paliwal, aged about 45 years, R/o Upar Ki Odan, Tehsil Nathdwara, District Rajsamand (Rajasthan).—-Petitioner

Versus

1. State of Rajasthan through Public Prosecutor.

2. Ratan Singh Devra, Food Inspector, Office of Chief Medical & Health Officer, Pali (Raj.)

—-Respondents For Petitioner(s) : Mr. Farzand Ali For Respondent(s) :

Mr. M.S. Panwar, PP

 

HON’BLE DR. JUSTICE PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI Order 08/11/2017

1. The petitioner has preferred this criminal misc. petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. against the order dated 21.03.2014 passed by learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sumerpur District Pali in Criminal Regular Case No.782/2013 and for quashing of the entire criminal proceeding qua the petitioner for the offence under Section 7/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.

2. The list of dates pertaining to this case, are as under:

     S.No                Date                         Particulars
      1.            10.02.2009                    Sample was taken
      2.            17.03.2009                   Public Analyst Report
      3.            16.09.2010        Complaint was filed (after 17 months reply)
      4.                10.2008            Manufacturing date of the Article
      5.                10.2009                Expiry date of the Article
                                (2 of 7)
                                                       [CRLMP-1240/2014]

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner states that the present case is squarely covered by the decision rendered by this Court in S.B. Criminal Misc. Petition No.1376/2017; Pradeep Singhvi Vs. State of Rajasthan, decided on 12.07.2017.

4. This Court on 12.07.2017 has passed the following order in Pradeep Singhvi (supra):-

“1. The petitioner has preferred this criminal misc. petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. against the order dated 22.02.2017 passed by learned Sessions Judge, Jodhpur in criminal revision No.52/2016 by which he while dismissing the revision petition filed by the petitioner has upheld the order dated 02.07.2016 passed by learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jodhpur in criminal case No.56/2014(646/2011) by which he framed charges against the petitioner for the offence under Section 7, (I)/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, and to quash and set aside the same.

2. The brief facts as noticed by this Court are that the sample was drawn by the respondent on 23.03.2011 and was sent for analysis on 24.03.2011. The report of the analysis was received on 17.05.2011 and upon such report, a complaint was filed on 21.07.2011. The report from the said laboratory disclosed that the standards laid down in the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 (hereinafter referred to as Act of 1954) and Rules were made and thus, pre-charge evidence of the Food Inspector were recorded and the charges were framed against the petitioner on 19.09.2015. The petitioner challenged the framing of charges by filing a revision petition whereby the matter was remanded back for fresh consideration. The charges were against framed on 02.07.2017 on fresh consideration and revision was filed against the same but the order was upheld vide order dated 22.02.2017.

3. Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the rights granted to the petitioner under Section 13(2) of the Act of 1954 have been infringed and therefore, since his valuable rights have been infringed, the trial cannot go on. The issues raised by the petitioner has been dealt by both the courts below but they have not concluded impact of liberty to the petitioner in view of Section 13(2) of the Act of 1954.

4. Learned counsel for the petitioner has relied upon the judgment passed by a coordinate Bench of this Court in Vikram Arora & Ors. Vs. State & Anr. in S.B. Criminal Misc. Petition (3 of 7) [CRLMP-1240/2014] No.1988/2016 decided on 05.09.2016. The relevant portion of the judgment reads as follows:

“In the instant case, admittedly, the sample of sauce bottles was taken on 19.04.2010. The said sauce was manufactured in March 2010 and the shelf-life of the same was 12 months from manufacturing and it was best before 12 months from the date of manufacturing, meaning thereby the life of the sauce was upto February 2011. Petitioners filed application under Section 13(2) of the Act 08.11.2010 which was allowed on 18.03.2011, however, the sample was sent by the Court on 22.06.2011, i.e., much after the expiry date of life of the sauce and the Laboratory found the same not in a condition fit for analysis for the reason that it was received in broken condition and its contents were lost during transit. Therefore, this sort of situation has obviously deprived the petitioners of their right to get the sample analyzed by Central Food Laboratory under sub-sec.(2) of Section 13 of the Act. The obvious effect is that it has prejudiced the cause of the petitioners having direct ramification on the legality and propriety of the complaint and further proceedings undertaken by the learned trial Court pursuant thereto.

Supreme Court, in Municipal Corporation of Delhi Vs. Ghisa Ram (AIR 1967 SC 970), while examining scope of sub-sec.(2) and (5) of Section 13 of the Act, concluded in clear and unequivocal term that right of accused to get sample examined by the Director of Central Food Laboratory is a valuable right and if this right is infringed, his conviction cannot be sustained. The Court held:

“It appears to us that when a valuable right is conferred by S. 13 (2) of the Act on the vendor to have the sample given to him analysed by the Director of the Central Food Laboratory, it is to be expected that the prosecution will proceed in such a manner that that right will not be denied to him. The right is a valuable one, because thecertificate of the Director supersedes the report of the Public Analyst and is treated as conclusive -evidence of its contents.

Obviously, the right has been given to (4 of 7) [CRLMP-1240/2014] the vendor in order that, for his, satisfaction and proper defence, he should be able to have the sample kept in his charge analysed by a greater expert whose certificate is to be accepted by Court as conclusive evidence In a case where there is denial of this right on account of the deliberate conduct of the prosecution, we think that the vendor, in his trial, is so seriously prejudiced that it would not be proper to uphold his conviction on the basis of the report of the Public Analyst, even though that report continues to be evidence in the case of the facts contained therein.”

The same principle is also reiterated in a latter judgment in case of Girishbhai Dahyabhai Shah Vs. C.C. Jani Anr. [(2009) 15 SCC 64] wherein the Court held:

“In other words, in the instant case, the appellant was prevented from applying for analysis of the second sample before 17-7- 1989, by which time the second sample of curd had deteriorated and was not capable of being analysed as was found in the case of Ghisa Ram (supra) referred to above.

In that view of the matter, we are unable to sustain the judgment of the High Court impugned in this appeal and we also see no reason to continue with the proceedings which have lasted for 28 years in the absence of any valid and reliable report with regard to the second sample.

Accordingly, the appeal is allowed. The order passed by the High Court is set aside and the proceeding, being Criminal Complaint No. 58 of 1989, pending before the Metropolitan Magistrate, Ahmedabad, is quashed.”

A Coordinate Bench of this Court at Jaipur, (5 of 7) [CRLMP-1240/2014] in Nemi Chand Agrawal Vs. State of Rajasthan [2012(2) Cr.L.R. (Raj.) 830], noticing violation of Section 13(2) of the Act has also quashed the complaint under Section 7/16 of the Act. The Court held:

“A bare perusal of above goes to show that after receipt of the report of Public Analyst under Section 13(1), the prosecution could be launched and copy of the report should be supplied to the accused. Sub Section (2) provided that on receipt of the report, the accused could make an application to the Court to get the sample of articles to be analysed by the Central Food Laboratory. In the present case, samples have already been expired in July, 2010, whereas the complaint has been filed in November, 201 and the right which was provided by Section 13(2) of the P.F.A. Act has been taken away by the present petitioner. Hence looking at the above legal position, continuance of proceedings would be an abuse of process and hence liable to be quashed.

In view of foregoing discussion and the law laid down in Ghisa Ram (supra), the instant criminal misc. petition is allowed and entire proceedings against the petitioners in Criminal Case No.121/2011, pending before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hanumangarh, are hereby quashed and set aside.”

5. Thus, in light of the fact that the sample was drawn on 23.03.2011 and the complaint was filed on 21.07.2011, the petitioner has been admittedly deprived of his right envisaged clearly under Section 13(2) as the samples taken from the petitioner could have been analyzed by Central Food Laboratory, as per the application made by the petitioner.

6. Section 13(2) of the Act of 1954 read as follows:

“13. Report of public analyst.-

(1) ……………………….

(2) On receipt of the report of the result of the (6 of 7) [CRLMP-1240/2014] analysis under sub-section (1) to the effect that the article of food is adulterated, the Local (Health) Authority shall, after the institution of prosecution against the persons from whom the sample of the article of food was taken and the person, if any, whose name, address and other particulars have been disclosed under Section 14A, forward, in such manner as may be prescribed, a copy of the report of the result of the analysis to such person or persons, as the case may be, informing such persons or persons that if it is so desired, either or both of them may make an application to the court within a period of then days from the date of receipt of the copy of the report to get the sample of the article of food kept by the Local (Health) Authority analysed by the Central Food Laboratory.”

7. Thus, it is clear from the precedent law as well as Section 13(2) of the Act of 1954 that on application of the petitioner, the concerned court within a period of 10 days from the receipt of the copy of the report was to get the sample of the article of food kept by the Local Food Authority analyzed by Central Food Laboratory. It is not disputed by learned Public Prosecutor that self life of the product was only five days and sample drawn culminated into a complaint dated 21.07.2011 and therefore, by no means, any fruitful purpose would be served to the petitioner by sending the sample to Central Food Laboratory in accordance with Section 13(2) of the Act of 1954 as the sample was drawn on 23.03.2011

8. In light of the precedent law as well as the discussion made thereafter, the instant misc. petition is allowed and the entire proceedings against the petitioner pursuant to order dated 22.02.2017 passed by learned Sessions Judge, Jodhpur and the order dated 02.07.2016 passed by learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jodhpur framing charges against the petitioner for the offence under Section 7,(i)/16 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 are hereby quashed and set aside.”

5. The present criminal misc. petition is accordingly allowed, in terms of the aforementioned judgment passed by this Court in S.B. Criminal Misc. Petition No.1376/2017 Pradeep Singhvi and the orders dated 21.03.2014 passed by (7 of 7) [CRLMP-1240/2014] learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sumerpur and the entire proceedings of Regular Criminal Case No.782/2013 qua the petitioner pending in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sumerpur.

(DR. PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI)

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Mini device to detect adulterated milk

Consumer alert – Big Bazaar – Weevils and worms in Rava pocket

Food Business Operator : Big Bazaar

Place : Kompally, Hyderabad City

Image result for big bazaar , kompally, hyderabad

Product : Bombay Rava – Golden Harvest 1 kg 

Image result for golden harvest rava

Photo: Above photo Representational

Issue : Weevils and worms in Rava

Consumer complaint as posted by Harsh Bakshi on Nov 14th in Indian Consumer Complaints Forum 

Article/ Product # (if possible)/ Bar Code – 8901153618680
Manufacturer Name- FUTURE CONSUMER ENTERPRISES LTD 
Batch Code#- HYD90S20 
Store Location- Kompally 
CIty- HYDERABAD

I have recently purchased a Bombay rava packet in Big Bazaar of Golden Harvest 1kg and found that there are weevil and worms in the packed product. The product is manufactured in the month of September 2017 and is best before 3 months of manufacturing. Then I emailed them regarding this but the output from the company was just for the replacement of the product. How can the consumer accept this much of big issue which is concerned with the health and safety of human life with just the replacement of the product? 
That is the reason for which I’m demanding for the compensation of rupees 5 Lakh INR.

*NOTE* – Many times I have purchased products of this brand but fortunately this time I have noticed this one, from this golden harvest product and not sure whether it might have affected my health internally. So I am concerned about the health and safety issues maintained by the seller. I am claiming 5 Lakh Rupees compensation from this company so that they will understand and in future, they will not play with the health of any customer. 

Complaint Status

[Nov 15, 2017] Big Bazaar / FutureBazaar / Future Retail / HomeTown customer support has been notified about the posted complaint.
PESPRO Comments 
Food Business Operators particularly storing and retailing points do not follow pest management practices in their outlets. These issues crop up as they do not follow the guidelines stipulated by FSSAI. I appreciate the efforts of the consumer – Mr, Harsh Bakshi in the fight against the operators.

 

FSSAI to simplify food safety compliance processes : FSSAI CEO

FSSAI regulates manufacturing, storage, distribution, sale and import of food to promote health and safety of consumers
FSSAI license is mandatory for the sales of food product to ensure the health and safety of the consumers, asserted Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) while inaugurating FICCI’s food service retail conclave ‘Foodzania 2017’ in New Delhi today.
The Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, regulates manufacturing, storage, distribution, sale and import of food to promote health and safety of consumers. It governs people involved in any food business, whether manufacturing or selling and food business operators. These include shops, stalls, hotels, restaurants, airline services and food canteens, places or vehicles where any article of food is sold or manufactured or stored for sale, he added.
In his inaugural address, Agarwal said that FSSAI is keen to further simplify the compliance processes with active industry support and consultation. He, however, added that it is mandatory for all food businesses – caterers, manufacturers, companies transporting food items and retail outlets with 25 or more people handling food to have at least one trained ‘food safety supervisor’. The supervisor should be trained under the Food Safety Training and Certification Programme (FoSTaC), designed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The supervisors would be responsible for ensuring that food quality is maintained.
Further, FSSAI CEO highlighted the need for the intended engagements from the industry side to protect and ensure the trust of consumers in the food that they intake. He added that display of the food licences in the hotel or restaurant premises is an ideal way to go forward. FSSAI is keen to rate the food business operators (FBO’s) through ‘Hygiene Variety Factors’ and will allocate start ratings to the restaurants and eating places out of six on the basis of certain factors including hygiene awareness, safety processes a among other related factors.
Unnat Varma, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Sub-Continent & Chairperson, FICCI Food Service Retail Taskforce said that in the progressive Indian society, food expenditures hold a lot of prominence, constituting the largest retail consumption category. In fact, the Indian food retail industry is positioned globally as the sixth-largest and has been increasing at a steady pace of over 20 percent annually. Owing to this reason, the food services industry in the country has witnessed unprecedented growth over the past few years, contributing a significant proportion to India’s economic performance.
Saurabh Kochhar, CEO, Foodpanda & Co-Chair, FICCI Food Service Retail Taskforce, said that Foodzania is the initiative by FICCI Food Service Retail Task Force which was formed to address the issues faced by the stakeholders in the sector. The Indian food business sector is poised to witness a sea change. The recent times have seen significant discussions in this sector, which has led to a major reform of allowing FDI in multi-brand retail in India. This is anticipated to bring some game changing impact on the modern retail sector in India and Nation at large.
However, he added, it is not a one stop solution to address the challenges of this huge Industry. Various issues like infrastructure bottlenecks, multiple laws and regulations, skill gap etc. still remain the key concern and we aim to deliberate on these ground realities. We all know that food business sector is one of the more matured industry in India. Huge consumer base in India provides numerous opportunities for every player to exist and operate successfully in this sector. The industry being deeply connected with our day to day lives holds the responsibility of serving their consumers most effectively with best quality and prices.
Further, Government has allowed 100% FDI for trading including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured or produced in India. 100% FDI is already permitted in manufacturing of food products through automatic route. This will provide impetus to the foreign investment in food processing sector, benefit farmers and will create employment opportunities. This has enhanced investment opportunities in India globally and have generated interest among the leading world food retailers for making investment in India. I am confident that this conference will come forward with new ideas that will boost the growth of the F&B sector, at the same time, enhance consumers’ welfare, added Kochhar.
On the occasion, Agarwal with other speakers launched the FICCI-Technopak report ‘Indian Food Services Industry: Engine for Economic Growth & Employment- A Roadmap for Unlocking Growth’, which highlights the overall potential of the food service in India and captures the emerging trends in the industry. It also throws light upon the ease of doing business scenario in the industry. The report recommends key alterations required to stimulate the growth in the food service industry, helping the industry realise its true potential. A concerted and collaborative effort is made to suggest the next steps to address various issues faced by the industry.
 

Consumer alert : Britannia Industries – Biscuit contains thread

Food Business Operator : Britannia Industries (Manufacturer)

Place : Kolkatta

Product : Marie Gold Biscuit

Issue : Thread in biscuit

Consumer complaint as posted by Guptavicky1996 on Nov 13 in India Consumer Complaints Forum with photos

One of the biscuit of britannia industries, marie gold contains a plastic thread. I was eating biscuits with tea in morning. I was trying to break biscuit but one of the biscuit did not break because it contains a plastic thread which is harmful. I have breaked biscuit in two parts but then also it has not separated, it is joint. As i am enclosing some photos of this biscuit to rectify. I want that please look into the matter.

biscuit contains a thread.biscuit contains a thread.biscuit contains a thread.
biscuit contains a thread.biscuit contains a thread.

Complaint Status

[Nov 13, 2017] Britannia Industries customer support has been notified about the posted complaint.
Response from Britannia Industries 
Dear Customer, 

Please accept our sincere apology in this regard. Kindly write us your concern along with your contact details at feedback@britindia.com for further assistance.

Thanks, 
Team Britannia

Fast food majors adopting ‘double standards’ on antibiotics use : CSE study

Fast food majors adopting ‘double standards’ on antibiotics use: Centre for Science and Environment

Expressing worry over the use of antibiotics in poultry, including chicken, the CSE warned that eating junk food in India involved major health risks for consumers.
A green body today alleged that fast food majors in India were adopting “double standards” by committing themselves to eliminating misuse of antibiotics in meat supply chains in a time-bound manner in the West but not in India.
A green body today alleged that fast food majors in India were adopting “double standards” by committing themselves to eliminating misuse of antibiotics in meat supply chains in a time-bound manner in the West but not in India. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) today released an assessment report based on data in public domain and response obtained from
several multinational companies and three Indian firms selling fast food in the country. “Our study shows that these fast food MNCs do not have any India-specific commitments to eliminate misuse of antibiotics in their meat supply chains. “Surprisingly, these global giants have made ambitious, specific and time-bound commitments in the US and other countries to eliminate antibiotic misuse owing to growing pressure from regulators and other stakeholders,” Deputy Director General of the CSE, Chandra Bhushan, told reporters. This is sheer “double standards”, he said.
PTI approached a few fast food majors to obtain their response to the allegation. While reactions from some of them were not immediately available, Jubilant Foodworks, a domestic franchise for the US-based popular chain Domino’s Pizza, said, “We follow global standards and processes, and ensure that the highest standards of quality and food safety and hygiene are maintained across our supply chain.” The company said in a statement that it has a formal policy in place on usage of antibiotics in poultry birds’ health management to guide their sourcing of poultry. Jubilant Foodworks said it has a very clear time-bound action plan in mitigating the risk in the supply chain.
“We have always had a set of standards followed while sourcing poultry for our products, ensuring that our suppliers follow the right farm practices,” it added.
KFC India in a statement said it adheres to all laws and regulations regarding the use of antibiotics. “Furthermore, as part of our strict adherence to robust safety practices and processes, chicken supplied to KFC India is free from any antibiotic residue, as our chicken supplies are subjected to a withdrawal period specific to each medicinal treatment,” the KFC India claimed. The green body also claimed the many MNCs and three popular Indian fast food firms they approached for the study, did not respond to the queries sent to them on the use of antibiotics for inducing growth of food animals.
Expressing worry over the use of antibiotics in poultry, including chicken, the CSE warned that eating junk food in India involved major health risks for consumers. “Fast food is not good for health and on top of that if the meat is sourced from an animal injected with antibiotics for growth promotion (non-therapeutic use), then it’s a double whammy for the consumer,” he said. Head, Food Safety and Toxins programme at CSE, Amit Khurana however, said, a person may or may not get affected after consuming such food.
About the queries sent to companies, he said seven multinational brands and one Indian brand did not respond at all. Most of these food chains sell chicken-based food across the country. “While some others shared their practices of sourcing and testing, they did not specify any timelines by which they planned to eliminate antibiotic misuse”, he said. The CSE recommended that that these fast food companies “must make ambitious, time-bound India-specific commitments to eliminate routine antibiotic use for growth promotion and disease prevention in their supply chains for chicken, fish and other meat”.
Bhushan said these chains must also stop any use of critically important antibiotics, ensure third-party supply chain audits, laboratory testing for antibiotic residues and resistant bacteria, documentation of antibiotic use and commit to making these reports public.
 

High mercury levels in fish at Kodai lake : Study