The Bombay High Court recently acquitted a bakery owner and his employee who were sentenced to suffer six months rigours imprisonment for allegedly selling 'Toast' of substandard quality in 1995.
The high court held that no proper procedure was followed by the seizing authority, food inspector from Jalgaon. The court also held that the conviction handed down by the Judicial Magistrate first class, in 2006 which was confirmed by the sessions court in 2011 is an error committed by the judicial officers and the conviction has to be quashed and set aside.
As per the prosecution case the food inspector had visited the bakery on January 6, 1995 and purchased toast from the bakery. It was sent to the Public Analyst for at Jalgaon, as per a report received by the officer on February 14, 1995, a complaint was lodged with the police and accordingly the accused; Shaikh Alimoddin and Shaikh Jalaloodin were booked.
Before the magistrate they both pleaded not guilty and accordingly the court after a trial held the accused guilty which was upheld by the session's court.
Both the courts held that proper procedure was followed by the authorities in seizing and sending samples for lab testing.
However, in the high court the procedure of seizing the toast was challenged. It was argued that the good should have been stored in an air tight jar or container; instead it was kept in a plastic bag.
The court also noted that the accused were not given the analysis report before being booked. Accordingly the court held that proper procedure was not followed and thus it was a fit case for acquittal.