Quantum reprieve: Bikanervala acquitted of charge of selling adulterated sweets


A Bikanervala eatery outlet and its in-charge have been acquitted by a Delhi court of the charges of selling adulterated sweetmeats due to variation in reports of two food analysis laboratories, which tested them.

The court absolved Rajouri Garden's M/s Bikanervala, Lalji Foods and its manager Kunwar Pal Singh of the charges of selling adulterated sweetmeats to consumers.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Mohinder Virat let off Singh and the eatery on the ground that the sweetmeat samples were sent to two experts and there were "variation and contradictions" in their opinions.

"This court is of the opinion that either the sample was not of representative character or there was some sort of defect in the procedure itself.

"This court is of considered view that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the only plausible finding which can be given against the accused is that of 'not guilty'.

Both the accused are accordingly acquitted in this case," the court said.

According to the local health authority (PFA) of Delhi government, a food inspector had gone to the food shop for purchasing sweetmeats in July 2001 and took the article from Singh who was managing the business of various items there.

The food sample was seized and was sent to Public Analyst (PA) in Delhi for examination.

The PA gave its report that the sample was adulterated because total dye content of synthetic colour used in the item exceeded the prescribed maximum limit, the court noted.

The sample was also sent to the director of CFL, Kolkata, who also opined in the report that the sample was adulterated.

The court said there was variation in the two reports and the total dye content mentioned by the Kolkata's laboratory was more than the Delhi's PA report.

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