SC sends UP man to 6-month jail for di­lut­ing milk 24 yrs ago

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Front Page - Dhanan­jay.Ma­ha­p­a­tra In cases of food com­ing un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Food Adul­ter­ation Act, it is not re­quired to prove that the ar­ti­cle… is in­ju­ri­ous to health. If it fails to com­ply with stan­dards, it will have to be treated as an adul­ter­ated ar­ti­cle… Ev

New Delhi: Strik­ing at the com­mon prac­tice of di­lut­ing milk be­fore sell­ing, the Supreme Court on Fri­day sent a UP milk­man to jail for six months for di­lut­ing milk 24 years ago and ruled courts couldn’t show le­niency even for mar­ginal de­vi­a­tion from stan­dards un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Food Adul­ter­ation Act.

The milk sold by one Raj Ku­mar, on be­ing tested by a pub­lic an­a­lyst in Novem­ber 1995, was found to have 4.6% milk fat and 7.7% of milk solid non-fat as against the pre­scribed stan­dard of 8.5%. Chal­leng­ing his con­vic­tion, Ku­mar’s coun­sel pleaded that mar­ginal vari­a­tions could arise from the qual­ity of cat­tle feed and health of the cow. His coun­sel also re­quested the SC to show le­niency as the in­ci­dent took place 24 years ago.

Jus­tices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said, “We are of the view once stan­dards are laid down by the leg­is­la­ture, those stan­dards have to be fol­lowed. In items like milk... a pri­mary food un­der the Act, it’s not nec­es­sary to also prove the item had be­come un­fit for hu­man con­sump­tion or in­ju­ri­ous to health.”

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