M/S. NORTHERN MINERALS LTD. & ORS. Vs. RAJASTHAN GOVT. & ANR.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
M/S. Northern Minerals Ltd. And Ors.
Rajasthan Govt. And Anr.
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(1.) Criminal APPEAL No.1034 of 2005
1. An Insecticide Inspector-cum-Assistant Director of Agriculture (HQ) Ajmer, seized sample of Dimethoiate 30% EC (of Batch No.810) from the shop of M/s Joshi Krishi Agencies, Vyapari Mohalla, Near Power House, Madangaj, Kishangarh, Rajasthan, on 15.10.1994. It is not a matter of dispute, that the above sample of the insecticide was manufactured by M/s Northern Minerals Ltd. (appellant No.1 herein) in March, 1994. It is also not a matter of dispute, that the shelf life of the insecticide was to expire in August, 1995.
(2.) The concerned Insecticide Inspector sent the seized sample for analysis to the State Pesticide Testing Laboratory, Durgapura, Jaipur. Consequent upon the analysis made by the Testing Laboratory, report dated 13.12.1994 came to be submitted, which declared the sample drawn on 15.10.1994 as mis-branded.
(3.) A show cause notice dated 30.12.1994 was accordingly issued to appellant No.1 i.e. M/s Northern Minerals Ltd., as also, the three other appellants before this Court, all of whom were Managing Director/Director of appellant No.1. The aforesaid show cause notice along with its report dated 13.12.1994 was received by appellant No.1 on 03.01.1995. It is also the case of the learned counsel for the appellants before this Court, that the service of the aforesaid show cause notice was effected only on appellant No.1 and not its Managing Director and Director (appellant Nos.2 to 4 herein). Consequent upon the receipt of the above show cause notice, appellant No.1 submitted its reply to the same on 06.01.1995. A copy of the reply furnished by appellant No.1 to the show cause notice is available on the record of this case as Annexure P-3. In the above report dated 06.01.1995, M/s Northern Minerals Ltd., inter alia, asserted as under:
"It is kindly to inform you that we are manufacturing Dimethoate 30% EC as per the relevant ISI specifications and are releasing the product for sale only after testing it in our laboratory and finding it conforming to the relevant ISI specifications. At the time of manufacturing of Dimethoate 30% EC Batch No.810 it was found containing 30.6% w/w a.i. contents conforming to the relevant ISI specifications. On receipt of your letter referred above we had again analyzed the said sample of Dimethoate 30% EC batch no.810 and it was again found containing 29.9% a.i. contents conforming to the relevant ISI specifications. Hence, in both the cases the above said sample has been found to be conforming to the relevant ISI specifications. Therefore, your contention that the said product has been found to be mis- branded is not acceptable to us.
Under the circumstances, we hereby express/notify our intention of adducing the evidence in controversion of the report of the Insecticide Analyst, State Pesticide Testing Laboratory, Durgapura, Jaipur dated 13.12.1994."
It is the contention of the learned counsel representing the appellants, that a perusal of the reply filed by M/s Northern Minerals Ltd. would reveal, that they had clearly indicated their intention to adduce evidence to controvert the report of the Insecticide Analyst from the State Pesticide Testing Laboratory, Durgapura, Jaipur, dated 13.12.1994.;
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