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HC refuses to quash case booked against tobacco manufacturer for having reportedly added nicotine & other harmful substances

The New Delhi-based firm had approached the court to quash the case booked under the Food Safety and Standards Act

October 06, 2022 12:52 am | Updated 12:52 am IST - CHENNAI

The Madras High Court has refused to quash a case booked by food safety officials in Chennai against a New Delhi-based tobacco manufacturer for having reportedly added nicotine and other harmful substances in the packed tobacco sold under the brand name of ‘Cool Lip Filter Tobacco’.

Justice G. Jayachandran dismissed a petition filed by Tej Ram Dharampal Private Limited, represented by its director Manmohan Kuman Punia, after holding that there were enough materials to prosecute the company under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.

Government Advocate (criminal side) N.S. Suganthan brought it to the notice of the court that the food safety officials had seized ‘Cool Lip Filter Tobacco’ products from a shop in 2017 and sent the samples for laboratory tests. Based on the results, a case was booked against the shopkeeper, the supplier as well as the manufacturer.

The first two accused pleaded guilty and were convicted for the offences under Sections 58 and 59(1) of the FSSA by a Metropolitan Magistrate. However, the manufacturer had approached the High Court to quash the case by contending that the company had nothing to do with the seized contraband.

Opposing the contention, the Government Advocate said the company could not be permitted to distance itself from the seized products when its name and address had been clearly mentioned on the seized packets. He also said the case against the petitioner company had been split up, and it must face prosecution.

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