HC quashes 19-year-old milk adulteration case

The conviction of a dealer and the nominee of a milk packaging firm for selling adulterated milk has been set aside by the Delhi High Court, nearly 19 years after they were booked for the offence.

Justice Manmohan set aside their convictions on the basis of sharp and substantive variation in two different reports on tests of the purity of the dairy product.

“Two reports prepared by the public analyst and the director, Central Food Laboratory, show a sharp and substantive variation in both samples. Consequently, the samples drawn by the Delhi government cannot be said to be representative, and no conviction is permissible on the basis of the reports,” Justice Manmohan said.

The HC order came on two petitions filed seven years ago by milk dealer Raja Ram Seth and Sons and K D Yadav, a nominee of milk packaging firm Amrit Foods against the judgements of the trial courts.

The accused were convicted by a magisterial court in 2003 under the Food and Adulteration Act for selling adulterated double-toned milk on June 19, 1993.

Their appeals against the conviction were dismissed by a sessions court in 2005. Consequently, revision petitions were filed in the HC against the verdict.

Justice Manmohan took note of differences in the two test reports of the seized milk and set aside the conviction.

A food inspector had collected milk samples from a confectionery store at Kamla Nagar in north Delhi in 1993, and got it tested by a public analyst, who, in his report, said there was adulteration because milk solid (not fat) was 8.4 per cent, which was less than the prescribed minimum percentage of 9 per cent.

Later, at the request of the accused, the court got the milk sample tested again by CFL, which in its report, said, “The milk solid not fat was 9.8 per cent, which was above the minimum prescribed percentage of 9 per cent.”

However, as far as milk fat is concerned, the report found the content to be 0.2 per cent, which was less than the minimum prescribed 1.5 per cent.

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