The Karnataka High Court quashed a criminal case against Snapdeal for allegedly allowing sale of Suhagra tablets on its online portal without possessing a valid license.
Snapdeal is an online site owned and operated as a Company having its registered office at New Delhi, represented by other accused, engaged in shopping by providing a platform for online marketing and selling of various consumer products.
The drug by name SUHAGRA 100 tablets were displayed for sale in the said online site and the same is being sold to various customers. Snapdeal is the company doing business, other accused are the Directors-cum-Promoters and Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer of Snapdeal and they are responsible for its day to day conduct of the business, as per the resolution passed by the Board of Directors of Snapdeal.
It is stated that credible information was received regarding sale of drug – SUHAGRA tablets through online portal, without possessing valid drug license issued under the Act. CW2 carried out the investigation in this regard. CW5 placed an order for supply of the drugs through Snapdeal web portal and received the consignment on 19.12.2014. Similarly, CW3 also got SUHAGRA tablets through a web portal. CW6 had also placed an order to get SUHAGRA drugs through Snapdeal web portal and had received the consignment on 17.04.2015. On enquiry with the Drugs Controller, Chandigarh it was revealed that the accused were not having valid license to deal with the drugs.
Senior Advocate C V Nagesh, appearing for the petitioners, contended that the complainant filed the private complaint alleging commission of the offence against the accused. The address mentioned in the private complaint discloses that the accused, who are the petitioners, are the residents of New Delhi and the other accused is the resident of Malout, Muktsar, Punjab.
High Court Government Pleader Praveen Uppar, submitted that the inquiry contemplated under Section 202 of Cr.P.C when the accused resides beyond the area over which the Magistrate concerned exercise jurisdiction is limited to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the allegations made in the complaint.
The single judge bench of Justice M.G. Uma noted that it is not in dispute that Snapdeal is an intermediary as defined under Section 2(w) of IT Act. Under such circumstances, it did not find any reason to form a different opinion. Therefore, it was of the opinion that the petitioners have made out grounds for allowing the petitions.
The court ordered that the impugned order passed and all further proceedings pending on the file of the Additional Civil Judge and JMFC, Hubballi, in so far as relating to petitioners-accused for the offences punishable under Sections 27(b)(ii) and 28 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, is quashed.
Case title: Snapdeal Pvt. Ltd v/s State of Karnataka
Citation: CRIMINAL PETITION No.102191/2021
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