The Supreme Court heard the case of Raghav Gupta v State (NCT of Delhi) and Anr. The Bench comprised of Hon’ble Justice R.F. Nariman, Hon’ble Justice Navin Sinha and Hon’ble Justice Indira Banerjee.
The food inspector purchased a sample of Snapple Juice Drink for analysis. He concluded that the sample matched the standards but was in violation of Rule 32(e) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955 being grossly misbranded. Consequently, the inspector complained the Appellant who is one of the directors of M/s V & V Beverages Pvt. Ltd. which imported the drink from a foreign manufacturer, Schweppes International Rye Brook.
The Appellant filed an application for discharge on the ground that the product had the necessary barcode on it which contained all the relevant information as required under Rule 32(e). The Court rejected the above-mentioned application after which the Appellant raised the same ground before the High Court. The HC failed to consider the same. Subsequently, he filed an appeal in the Apex Court.
Ms Geeta Luthra, learned senior counsel appearing for the Appellant stated that the necessary information required under Rule 32(e) was available in the barcode. Rule 32(e) requires information concerning lot/code/batch identification to trace the product to the manufacturer. In the instant case, a barcode scanner could find the same information by scanning the barcode.
The Court opined that allowing the Prosecution to continue will serve no useful purpose as it has failed to counter the submissions by Ms Geeta Luthra. Further, the Court stated that proceeding with such a case would abuse the process of law, causing sheer waste of time and unnecessary harassment to the Appellant. Therefore, the Court allowed the appeal.
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