Raghav Gupta v State (NCT of Delhi) and Another
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 562 OF 2020
(Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.) No. 2942 of 2020)
Decided on September 4, 2020.
BENCH– R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha, Indira Banerjee, JJ.
Appellant is one of the directors of a beverage company which import drink from foreign manufacturer duly cleared by Customs Department. Sealed samples of Juice Drink of concerned beverage company was purchased by Food Inspector for analysis. The report of the Public Analyststates that the sample confirmed to comply with the standards but was misbranded which is in violation of Food Adulteration Rule,1955 (hereinafter referred as ‘Rule’) namely Rule 32(e) for lacking necessary declaration of lot/batch numbers. 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 by Rule 32(e) such as batch no. /code no./lot no.
[See Rule 32(e): Package of food to carry a label : A distinctive batch number or lot number or code number, either in numericals or alphabets or in combination, representing the batch number or lot number or code number being preceded by the words ‘Batch No”. or “Batch”or Lot No”.or, Lot or any distinguishing prefix.
Provided, that in case of canned food, the batch number may be given at the bottom, or on the lid of the container, but the words “Batch No”, given at the bottom or on the lid, shall appear on the body of the container.]
Whether barcode containing all the relevant information constitute necessary declaration for purpose of Rule 32(e)?
The Supreme Court answered the question in positive and said that barcode available on the sample constitute necessary declaration of relevant information for purpose of Rule 32(e) as same could be decoded by barcode reader.