Man to do community service for selling fake cosmetics

New Delhi: Twenty-five years after being caught selling spurious cosmetic products, a 60-year-old man has been directed by a Delhi court to render community service at a government hospital for a year.

Virender Kumar was arrested on July 26, 1985 for selling fake cosmetics including antiseptic cream, talcs and face powders of leading brands at his general store at Old Delhi. "He (Virender Kumar) shall render community/social service by reporting in St Stephens Hospital, Tis Hazari where he shall perform all the duties including menial jobs assigned by the medical superintendent by reporting four days every week up to the period of one year," Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao said.

The court also directed the medical superintendent of the hospital to send it a quarterly report of Kumar`s performance. The court order came on Kumar`s appeal for leniency against the trial court`s order sentencing him to three-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 11,000 under various provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

In July 1985, an inspection revealed that Kumar did not have any licence for selling the cosmetics and the stock seized from his shop was found to be spurious. In his appeal for leniency in sentence, Kumar said he has already paid the fine and that he did not have a criminal background and has been facing the trial for past 25 years.

Accepting Kumar`s prayer for leniency, the court modified his sentence and released him on probation for two years on a bond of Rs 50,000 with a surety of similar amount.

"Though the trial court has rightly observed that the offences committed by the appellant have grave social repercussions upon the consumers who were using it (cosmetic products) believing it to be genuine product and there is also heavy revenue loss to the company having licence to manufacture the same, thereby affecting the economy of the country, but no purpose would be served by sending him behind the bars," the court said.