Recently, a salesman, Proprietor of a grocery shop and a manufacturer of Papad were convicted in the Judicial Magistrate Court in Tirunelveli, for selling misbranded Papad.
On 28.11.2008, I,A.R.Sankaralingam,Food Inspector of Tirunelveli Corporation inspected a grocery shop situated in outskirts of the city. I found hundreds of Papad packets in the shelf of that shop. To my surprise, not even a single packet had the mandatory label declarations printed on it, as required by the Prevention Of Food Adulteration Act,1954.
Every pakaged food should carry a label with the following mandatory declarations:
- The name, trade name or description of food contained in the package
- The name of the ingredients used in the product
- A distinctive Batch Number
- The month and year in which the commodity is manufactured
- The month and year upto which the product is best for consumption
- Vegetarian Food symbol
The papad packets were lifted as food sample and sent for analysis to the state owned Food Analysis Laboratory. Upon analysis, the papad packets were found to be manufactured in violation of Rule 32(a),(b),(e),(f),(i)&42zzz(17) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules,1955. And hence, the sample was reported to be Misbranded.
Meanwhile, it was found that the manufacturer has shifted his manufacturing unit to an undisclosed location, from the one which was printed on the label. Investigation was intensified and found that the manufacturer was continuing his business in some other location of the city. Proposals were submitted to the Joint-Director of Public Health(PFA), Chennai for sanction of prosecution. On accordance of sanction, a case was filed in the Judicial Magistrate Court No.IV, Tirunelveli.
Two learned Advocates appeared for the accused and cross-examined the Food Inspector for an hour in the witness box. Assistant Public Prosecutor Tmt.Jayajeeva appeared on behalf of the Prosecution. Honourable Magistrate Thiru.K.S.Palpandian convicted each of the accused to undergo a simple imprisonment six months and imposed a fine of Rs.1000/-each.