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