PUNE: Gutka baron Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal and one of his business associates have been sentenced to one year simple imprisonment and fine of Rs 2,000 each by a local court at Akurdi under the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC).
The sentence, delivered by judicial magistrate first class S R Yadav of the municipal court at Akurdi on Wednesday, was in connection with a case filed by the PCMC back in March 1999 after finding harmful magnesium carbonate in sealed pouches of gutka, "manufactured and retailed" by Dhariwal’s company.
The court also ordered that both Dhariwal and the nominee in the company’s manufacturing unit, R P Dayana, will have to undergo a further simple imprisonment of one month if they default on the fine. Dhariwal, chairman of the Manikchand group, when contacted, told TOI he will appeal against the order in a higher court. "My company has not done any adulteration.
Moreover, magnesium carbonate is found in all brands of gutka currently available in the market," he said, adding that magnesium carbonate is a natural ingredient, and is in use in almost 160 different types of products like chewing gums.
Shopkeeper Pradeep Agarwal, from whose store at Sanghvi several gutka pouches were seized by food inspectors from the PCMC, was, however, acquitted by the court.