Umesh Chandra Dhyani, J. -
(1.) COMPLAINANT Rajveer Singh, Advocate, (respondent No. 5) in present petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C., moved a criminal complaint case against Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Private Limited (applicant No. 1) and three others, alleging commission of offences punishable under Sections 272/273 I.P.C. by them, in the Court of learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kashipur, District Udham Singh Nagar, on 20.03.2007, which was registered as Criminal Case No. 513/2007. The contents of the criminal complaint case are important for properly elucidating the controversy in hand, and therefore, the important facts which matter, are being summarized hereunder.
(2.) THE complainant Advocate, who is a resident of Kashipur (District Udham Singh Nagar), purchased ten bottles of 200 ml Fanta, five bottles of 300 ml Limca, five bottles of 200 ml Thums Up and five bottles of 300 ml Thums Up, on 17.09.2006, from the Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., Najibabad, situated at Afzalgarh, District Bijnore (U.P.) for the purpose of consumption in a social get -together, which was to be hosted at his house, at Kashipur. The complainant brought these bottles to his residence (at Kashipur). The complainant hosted a party on 20.09.2006, at 8:00 p.m., at his residence. When the bottles were opened in the course of social get -together, a rubber band was seen inside the sealed bottle of Fanta (200 ml). Small pieces of plastic bag were seen in another bottle of Limca (300 ml). These products were manufactured by Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Limited, Najibabad. The complainant was put to embarrassment in presence of his guests. Had any of the guests consumed the product filled up in the bottles, the same would have been injurious to their health. The complainant gave the names of those persons, in whose presence the bottles were purchased. The complainant also mentioned the names of those two persons, who were also present in the party. The complainant further gave the names of the accused persons, who, according to him, were responsible for such offences. Coca Cola company and it's employees did not pay any attention in maintaining the quality and standard of the product, according to the complainant. The employees of the company were irresponsible and careless towards the health of general public (including the complainant). Any casualty could have been caused (by their negligent act). The accused persons were playing with human life. The act of the accused persons caused mental harassment and financial hardship to the complainant. A notice to this effect was served upon the accused persons on 28.09.2006. They did not respond to the notice. An FIR was attempted to be lodged in PS Kashipur, without success, and hence the criminal complaint. Having found a prima facie case for the offences punishable under Sections 272 and 273 I.P.C., accused persons were summoned to face the trial for the said offences. Aggrieved against the impugned order, initially a Criminal Writ Petition was preferred, which was converted into present application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. The applicants sought several reliefs in the writ petition including declaration of implied repeal of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 and holding Sections 272 and 273 I.P.C. as ultra vires to the Constitution of India. Needless to say that the scope of Section 482 Cr.P.C. is very limited and hence this Court is keeping itself confined to the parameters assigned to it by the statute. A bare perusal of the complaint indicates that the bottles of soft drinks were purchased at Afzalgarh, District Bijnore, Uttar Pradesh from the shop of Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd., Najibabad. Afzalgarh and Nazibabad are situated in District Bijnore, which fall within the territory of state of Uttar Pradesh. This fact is thus under no dispute that the soft drinks were purchased in District Bijnore and were carried to Kashipur, District Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand for the purpose of consumption.
(3.) A reading of Section 272 I.P.C. will manifest that such offence is directed against the person, who adulterates any article of food or drink, so as to make such article noxious (harmful, poisonous, unwholesome) as food or drink, intending to sell such article as food or drink or knowing it to be likely that the same will be sold as food or drink.;