The apext court was told that penal provisions relating to offence of food adulteration are bailable ones and hence, they deserved anticipatory bail
“Only in India we are liberal with the health concerns,” the Supreme Court observed while refusing to entertain pre-arrest bail pleas of two Madhya Pradesh-based businessmen who are accused in a food adulteration case.
A Vacation Bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah was hearing the anticipatory bail applications of Prawar Goyal and Vineet Goyal of Neemuch district in Madhya Pradesh.
Hearing appeals against dismissal of their pre-arrest bail pleas by the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Indore, the Bench was told by lawyer Puneet Jain that penal provisions relating to offence of food adulteration are bailable ones and hence, they deserved anticipatory bail.
“Only in India we are liberal with health concerns,” Justice Shah said, adding, “Mr. Jain, answer this. Will you eat this adulterated wheat”.
As the Bench was disinclined to consider the anticipatory bail plea, the lawyer decided to withdraw the same.
“On the prayer of Christi Jain, the Special Leave Petition is dismissed as withdrawn,” the Bench noted in its order on June 8.
Besides the offence of cheating, the accused have been booked under Section 272 (adulteration of food or drink intended for sale) and 273 (sale of noxious food or drink) of the IPC which provides for maximum jail term of six months or maximum fine of ₹1,000 or both.
As per the FIR lodged by the Food Safety department, the businessmen have been accused of using of “non-edible golden offset colour” for polishing wheat at the premises of Darshil Agro Industries situated in Village Kanawati at Neemuch.
In the raid conducted on December 3, 2020, the Food Safety Officer of Neemuch seized a 1,20,620 kg of “sub-standard and misbranded polished wheat” valued at ₹27.74 lakh.
The High Court had on March 12 rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of the accused saying that the allegations were serious in nature.
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