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Consider life term for milk adulteration, SC tells govt

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the central government to consider to suitably amending the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and the Indian Penal Code to incorporate penal provisions making adulteration of milk with chemicals – adversely affecting the health of the people – punishable with life imprisonment.

“It is also desirable that Union of India revisits the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 to revise the punishment for adulteration making it more deterrent in cases where the adulterant can have an adverse impact on health,” said the bench of Chief Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice R.Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit in their judgment.

Referring to its orders of December 5, 2013 and that of December 10, 2014, the top court said: “It will be in order, if the Union of India considers making suitable amendments in the penal provisions at par with the provisions contained in the State amendments to the Indian Penal Code” by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha governments, which have enhanced the punishment for adulteration of food and products to life imprisonment.

The court had by its December 5, 2013 order had said that “similar amendments are to be made in other states as well”.

The December 5, 2013, order was reiterated by the top court when it had on January 30, 2014, directed the central government to consider bringing in suitable amendment in FSS Act, 2006.

Again on December 10, 2014, the top court had said: “We reiterate that the respondent – Union of India shall take up the matter seriously and come up with all possible amendments in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. 

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