HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED Vs. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: MADHYA PRADESH)
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
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HEMANT GUPTA, J. -
(1.)The challenge in the present appeals is to an order passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur on 9.1.2020 whereby the revision filed by Shri Nirmal Sen, appellant/Nominated Officer(Incharge) of the Hindustan Unilever Limited, was allowed, however the matter was remitted back to the trial court to revisit the evidence adduced by both the parties, so far it relates to the appellants, Nirmal Sen and the Company. The operative part of the order reads thus:
"8. If the company-Hindustan Lever Limited is acquitted of the charges, the said benefit will also directly go to the applicant. In view whereof, this Court finds a glaring and patent defect in the judgment of the trial Court as well as in the judgment of the appellate Court, thus, this Court, in these premises, finds it fit to interfere in the judgment of the trial Court in exercise of the revisional jurisdiction under Section 401(1) of Cr.P.C, hence, this Court is inclined to set aside the conviction and sentence passed against the applicant being a nominated person of the company and remitted back the matter to the trial Court for passing fresh judgment considering the company-Hindustan Lever Limited that had already been arrayed as an accused along with the applicant.
9. In view of aforesaid discussions, this revision is allowed. The impugned conviction and sentence passed against the applicant is hereby set aside and the matter is remitted back to the trial Court to revisit the evidence adduced by both the parties and also revisit its judgment dated 16/06/2015, so far as it relates with the applicant and company-Hindustan Lever Limited thereafter again pass a separate judgment after providing opportunity of hearing to the applicant as well as the company-Hindustan Lever Limited without getting prejudice with the discussions made by the appellate Court and this Court."
 Hereinafter referred to as "Company".
(2.)Brief facts leading to the present appeals are that a complaint was filed by Shri H.D. Dubey, Inspector, Food and Health, on the basis of a sample taken on 7.2.1989 in respect of Dalda Vanaspati Khajoor Brand Ghee manufactured by the Company, in terms of the provisions of The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. The sample of Vanaspati Ghee was taken from the godown of Lipton India Limited which was found to be adulterated as the melting point was found to be 41.8 degree centigrade which is higher than the normal range i.e. as against 31-41 degree centigrade. Initially, the complaint was filed against the Directors of the Company as well as that of Lipton India Limited. However, the said proceedings came to be decided by this Court in a judgment reported as R. Banerjee and Ors. vs. H.D. Dubey and Ors., (1992) 2 SCC 552 wherein it was held as under:
"12. In the result, the appeals are allowed. The order of the learned Magistrate as well as the impugned order of the High Court are set aside. The matters are remanded to the learned trial Magistrate with a direction to inquire into the question whether the nomination forms nominating H. Dayani and Dr Nirmal Sen were received and acknowledged by the Local (Health) Authority competent to receive and acknowledge the same. This question will be considered as a preliminary question and the learned magistrate will record a finding thereon. If he comes to the conclusion that the nomination forms had been acknowledged by the competent Local (Health) Authority he shall drop the proceedings against the Directors of the company, other than the company and the nominated persons. If on the other hand he comes to the conclusion that the prescribed forms had been acknowledged by a person other than the competent Local (Health) Authority he will proceed against all the persons who are shown as the accused in the complaint i.e. all the Directors including the nominated person and the company. The appeals are allowed accordingly."
 For short, the '1954 Act'
(3.)In terms of the directions of this Court, it appears that the learned trial court passed an order on 6.7.1993 absolving the Directors of the Company and the prosecution was ordered to continue against the appellant Nirmal Sen. The said order is not on record but it appears that no proceedings were continued against the Company inasmuch as it has four accused, namely, Lipton India Limited, Mohd. Saleem, Harish Dayani and Nirmal Sen were arrayed as accused.
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