MP HC | Directions to ensure effective steps to be taken issued in light of adulteration of food, milk, and milk products

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench of Sanjay Yadav and Vivek Agarwal, JJ. directed the State and its functionaries to take steps to curb the problem of food, milk and milk products.

Petitioner raised a grievance against adulteration of food, milk and milk products concerning with the health of the residents of Gwalior and surrounding Districts.

He argued before the Court that such adulteration was a health hazard causing all types of diseases and the end products are carcinogenic. The State functionaries and other stakeholders were not taking any effective steps to curb and control this menace.

The State Government, on the other hand, argued that it is only after they cracked down the illegal activities of adulteration, the petitioner was able to file the petition and if the petitioner has particular grievances, then he must give information about such activities: for that matter, each and every person is at liberty to give information to State functionaries about the illegal activity for which action would be taken. The State finally submitted that the action against adulteration of food, milk and milk products had already been initiated.

The High Court on hearing the submissions of the parties issued the following directions:

  • The State of Madhya Pradesh and its functionaries and all the stake-holders were directed to develop an application to facilitate a common person to lodge a complaint without disclosing their identity.
  • They were directed to establish check-points at the entry of respective districts and post dedicated staff at such check-points.
  • Strictly adhere to the stipulations contained in Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and regulations made thereunder in respect of the Food Safety and Standards Rules, Licensing and Registration of Food Business; Packaging and Labelling; Food Products Standards and Food Additives; Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales, Contaminants, Toxins and Residues; Laboratory and Sample Analysis.
  • Prompt action should be taken in the event of any complaint being lodged.
  • Ensure periodic sampling of vendors concerned at least once in three months.
  • Ensure the establishment of listing laboratories for a cluster of 08-10 districts, equip them with adequate infrastructure and trained manpower so that testing results are given promptly.
  • The petitioner was directed to organize awareness camps to spread knowledge and awareness regarding adulteration in milk/food products; their consequences; health hazard etc. with the help of NGOs, District Aid Authority, etc.[Umesh Kumar Bohre v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 2687, decided on 01-08-2019]

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