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Raj.HC issues gag order, shields Jaipur Dairy amid adulterated milk allegations

Raj.HC issues gag order, shields Jaipur Dairy amid adulterated milk allegations

In a recent legal development, a single judge bench of the Rajasthan High Court, issued a gag order on Saturday, preventing any coercive actions against officials from Jaipur Dairy implicated in a First Information Report (FIR) accusing them of trading adulterated milk. The bench, presided over by Justice Ashutosh Kumar, enacted the order to shield the petitioners from immediate legal actions. Additionally, the court granted the Additional Advocate General, representing the state respondent, an extension to submit a response to the petition.

The FIR in the case had been filed against several individuals, including Om Pooniya (Chairman), Chand Mal Verma (MD), Quality Control Officers, and a Vigilance Officer by the police at Police Station Chaksu, Jaipur. 

Advocate Dr. Abhinav Sharma, the counsel for Jaipur Dairy, argued that the FIR amounted to an abuse of legal process, contending that police officials lacked the competence to initiate prosecutions under the Food Safety and Security Act. Dr. Sharma asserted that specific procedures outlined in Section 42 dictated that only the Food Safety Officer could initiate such prosecutions. The argument further posited that the FIR appeared to be politically motivated, aiming at tarnishing the reputable image of Jaipur Dairy, known for adhering to the highest standards of food safety.

Dr. Sharma further contended that the FIR was based on the interception of a Milk Tanker at Koothon Bulk Milk Collection (BMC) Centre, where milk samples were allegedly found to contain dead flies, foreign particles, and sand. Despite these allegations, the milk was explicitly marked as "NOT FOR SALE" both at the BMC chilling plant and on the tanker. Dr. Sharma argued that unless the processed milk was proven to be adulterated, there was no basis for the case, and therefore, the FIR should be quashed.

The petitioner's plea emphasized that the police lacked jurisdiction to register the FIR, citing specific provisions covering offenses under Section 5 of the IPC, which reserved the authority for lodging prosecutions to Food Safety Officers. The court, in response, scheduled the case for further hearing on December 20, 2023.

Case: Jaipur Zila Dugdh Utpadak Sahakari Shang Limited vs. State Of Rajasthan,

S.B. Criminal Miscellaneous (Petition) No. 7614/2023.

Click here to read/download order.

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