oil - delay in filing a case. food adulteration act

Criminal Petition No. 1917 of 2008
Bolisetty Satyanaga bala Raju
S/o Late Subba Rao
Aged 39 years, Occ: Business, R/o H.No.1/321,
Main Road, Pedana, Krishna District,
Tadepalli Post, Guntur District and another
The State of A.P. rep. by Food Inspector
Division-II, Krishna District through Public Prosecutor, High Court of A.P., Hyderabad.
Counsel for petitioners: Mr. Ghanta Rama Rao
Counsel for respondent: Public Prosecutor
This Criminal Petition has been filed to quash the proceedings in C.C.No.203 of 2007 on the file of the Special Mobile Judicial First Class Magistrate, Machilipatnam.
2. The brief facts of the case are as follows: The Food Inspector, Division-II, Krishna District, Machilipatnam, along with his staff, visited the shop of the petitioners herein and after following the usual procedure, three samples of Priyanka Gold double filtered Grounut oil were seized and one sample was sent to the public analyst for chemical analysis. The remaining two samples were sent to the Assistant Food Controller and Local (Health) Authoirty, zone-II, Kakinada. After obtaining sanction to prosecute the petitioners, the complaint was lodged alleging that the petitioners committed the offences punishable under Sections 7 (i) and 2 (ia) (m) and 16 (1) (a) (i) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, for selling adulterated Priyanka Gold Double filtered Groundnut Oil.
3. The main contention of the learned counsel for the petitioners is that the samples were lifted on 29-12-2003 and they were sent for chemical analysis on 30-12-2003 and the report was received on 03-02-2004, however, the complaint was filed in the year 2007 and that the petitioners received summons on 12-03-2008 and therefore, the complaint is barred by limitation prescribed under Section 468 of Cr.P.C. His further submission is that the petitioners are deprived of an opportunity to challenge the said report by getting it re-examined by the Central Food Laboratory in view of the delay of more than three years in filing the complaint from the date of lifting the samples. It is also submitted that in similar circumstances, this Court in Crl.P.No.6566 of 2007 quashed the proceedings, through the order, dated 19-11-2007.
4. I have gone through the order in Crl.P.No.6566 of 2007 referred above and the facts of that case are almost similar to the facts of this case. Whatever may be the cause of delay, but admittedly, the samples were lifted on 30-12-2003 and the complaint was filed in the year 2007. Thus it is clear that the valuable right of the petitioners to get the sample re-examined by the Central Food Laboratory has been lost. No purpose would be served if the sample is sent for re-examination after lapse of three years. In view of the same, it appears that there are no valid grounds to continue the criminal proceedings against the petitioners.
5. Accordingly the Criminal petition is allowed. The proceedings against the petitioners in C.C.No.203 of 2007 on the file of the Special mobile Judicial First Class Magistrate, Machilipatnam, are hereby quashed.


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