A 85-year-old man has approached the Supreme Court against Allahabad High Court’s order upholding his six-month sentence for mixing water with the milk he was supplying after being convicted under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
The petitioner Virendra Singh was convicted and sentenced by a Judicial Magistrate, in Khurja town of Uttar Pradesh. The same was upheld by the Bulandshahar Sessions court on July 14, 1987. However, on January 30, 2013, the Allahabad High Court, while dismissing the challenge to Sessions Court’s order, reduced the sentence to six months imprisonment with fine of Rs 2000.
Seeking his release from jail on the grounds of his deteriorating health conditions, Virendra Singh, in his plea before the top court has said that he has already undergone two months of imprisonment and paid the fine of Rs 2,000.
Seeking the suspension of sentence, the advocate for Virendra Singh had on June 6 mentioned the matter for an early listing before a vacation bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Rajesh Bindal. The bench agreed to hear the matter on Thursday (June 8).
Virendra Singh has sought that his remaining sentence be substituted by fine of the reasonable amount on the grounds of his health condition – suffering from lungs, kidney and asthma ailments – and hospitalised ever since he was taken into custody, 42 years have elapsed from the incident and his advanced age.
The matter relates to October 7,1981, when a food inspector under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act checked the sample of the milk being sold by him. Upon testing they were found to be adulterated and the fatty solids were 28% less than standard and non-fatty solids were 12% less than the standard.
A court of Judicial Magistrate, Khurja by its judgement and order of September 29, 1984 found the petitioner guilty of offence punishable under section 7/16 of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. He was sentenced to one-year rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 2000 under section 16(1)(a)(i) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act,1954 without compliance of section 13(2) of the PFA Act.
On appeal, Sessions Judge, Bulandshahar had on July 14, 1987 affirmed the conviction and sentence awarded by the Judicial Magistrate, Khurja.
Virendra Singh was arrested last month as he had not surrendered in pursuance to 2013 judgment of the High Court. He was to surrender within 30 days of the High court judgment delivered in 2013.