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Raghav Gupta v/s State (NCT of Delhi) & Another

Company & Directors' Information:- GUPTA CORPORATION PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U40100MH2005PTC154038

Company & Directors' Information:- M R GUPTA AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC051324

Company & Directors' Information:- GUPTA INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51311DL1996PTC077255

Company & Directors' Information:- GUPTA AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52110DL1974PTC007339

Company & Directors' Information:- GUPTA AND GUPTA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U55204DL1954PTC002390

Company & Directors' Information:- S K GUPTA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U26900MH1973PTC016294

Company & Directors' Information:- R. K. GUPTA AND COMPANY INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC052138

Company & Directors' Information:- B R GUPTA AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63013DL2000PTC107343

Company & Directors' Information:- T N GUPTA PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U02005WB1951PTC020141

Company & Directors' Information:- A V GUPTA AND COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U24239DL1999PTC102248

Company & Directors' Information:- Y P GUPTA AND COMPANY PVT LTD [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U74899DL1983PTC016661

Company & Directors' Information:- J S GUPTA AND CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U20211UP1975PTC004078

Company & Directors' Information:- M K GUPTA AND CO PRIVATE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U74999DL1979PTC009517

Company & Directors' Information:- A J GUPTA AND CO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74210UP1980PTC004986

Company & Directors' Information:- D. R. GUPTA & COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1944PTC000794

Company & Directors' Information:- S P GUPTA AND CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U26932RJ1972PTC001459

    Criminal Appeal No. 562 of 2020 (Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No. 2942 of 2020)

    Decided On, 04 September 2020

    At, Supreme Court of India


    For the Appellant: Geeta Luthra, Sr. Advocate, Nitin Saluja, Anshul Duggal, Shivani Lohiya Luthra, Sasha Maria Paul, Advocates. For the Respondents: Chirag M. Shroff, Sanjana Nangia, Abhilasha Bharti, Advocates.

Judgment Text

Navin Sinha, J.

Leave granted.

2. 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').

3. 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 stated with brevity only to the extent necessary for purposes of the present order.

4. 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.5. 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 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 wa

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ste of time, causing unnecessary harassment to the appellant, if the prosecution is allowed to continue. 8. 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.