Supreme Court Extends Anticipatory Bail in Shawarma Adulteration Case

Recently, the Supreme Court granted anticipatory bail to a restaurant owner in Kerala accused of selling adulterated shawarma and allegedly causing a customer’s death in Shihad MP v State of Kerala & Anr. Initially, the Court had provided temporary relief from arrest in December 2023. However, in an order issued on May 8 this year, Justices Abhay S Oka and Ujjal Bhuyan made the December 2023 order absolute, considering the cooperation of the accused, Shihad MP, with the investigation.

The Court has reviewed the post-mortem report and the final cause of death opinion. The appellant has cooperated with the investigation as per the interim order from December 15, 2023. Therefore, the interim order from that date is now confirmed with the same terms and conditions.

The case originated from a customer’s death three days after consuming a shawarma wrap ordered via Zomato. The police charged the petitioner under Sections 284 and 308 of the Indian Penal Code for negligent conduct involving poisonous substances and culpable homicide, respectively.

The prosecution claimed the restaurant violated shawarma preparation guidelines, leading to widespread food poisoning. Statements were collected from affected individuals, including Swiggy customers. Following the Kerala High Court’s denial of anticipatory bail in November 2023, the accused appealed to the Supreme Court. Justices Aniruddha Bose and Augustine George Masih issued an interim order on December 15, 2023, granting temporary relief from arrest to the petitioner while emphasizing cooperation with the investigation.

After examining the post-mortem report and the final opinion on the cause of death, the Court affirmed the December 2023 order on May 8.

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About the Author: Payal Singh