Saturday, March 16, 2019

Rahul Gandhi saved from ‘stale’ tea, Hyderabad airport lounge in the soup

Hyderabad: Congress president Rahul Gandhi, an SPG protectee having VVIP security protocol 24/7, arrived at the premium lounge of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) on March 9 evening and was waiting to have some refreshments before he was to set out for addressing a public meeting in Shamshabad. Thankfully for him as well as those who guard him, two staffers of Telangana State Forensic Science Laboratory (TSFSL) chanced upon tea bags past expiry date before Rahul could have the tea and quickly removed them from the food and snacks spread. Taking a serious view of the gaffe involving a VVIP leader’s security protocol, the RGIA police filed a case against Plaza Premium Lounge.
The case was registered on March 13 under section 273 (selling any food or drink as food and drink, knowing the same to be noxious) of the IPC against the management of Plaza lounge. A senior police official told TOI that punishment for the offence under section 273 could lead to imprisonment for six months or a fine of Rs 1,000 imposed or both.
Tea bags found to have expired in October 2018
As the offence is non-cognizable in nature, the station house officer (SHO) of RGIA took permission from the court to file the case,” he said.
When Rahul arrived at the lounge in ‘C’ level — Plaza has three such lounges in the airport — at the international arrivals in the evening, TSFSL staffers — Venkateswarulu and Venkatraj — who were on the VVIP food inspection duty, checked the food items that were to be served to the AICC chief and his entourage. They noticed tea bags of ‘Typhoo flavoured masala tea’ (batch number D1 2297), which were packed in October 2016 with its expiry date mentioned as ‘best before 24 months’. The duo were shocked but gained their wits and immediately checked other items and found another batch of tea bags (A1 5299) with October 2016 packaging with the same expiry period.
16/03/19 Mahesh Buddi/Times of India