New Delhi: Food adulterators will face life imprisonment under a new provision envisaged by the Delhi government aimed at combatting adulteration, it was announced on Friday.
"In extreme cases where adulteration could lead to severe health loss, the Delhi government proposes maximum of life imprisonment," an official statement here said.
Taking a strong view on adulteration, misleading advertisements and unhygienic manufacturing of food, the Delhi government plans to make the provisions of punishment more stringent.
For this, the Delhi government will amend the existing Food Safety & Standards Act, 2005, in the next session of the Delhi assembly, said the statement.
The statement warned that there would be considerable increase in the quantum of punishment for different offences in this category.
For example, punishment for possessing adulterant which is injurious to health will not be less than five years which may extend up to life imprisonment or with fine which may extend to Rs.10 lakh, or both. Earlier, the penalty in this category was Rs.10 lakh fine only.
Punishment for possessing adulterant which is not injurious to health will now be imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years or with a fine which may extend to Rs.5 lakh, or both. Earlier fine in this category was Rs.2 lakh, the statement said.
A fine of Rs.10 lakh or thrice the cost of the advertisement, whichever is more, will be the penalty for misleading advertisement whereas earlier it was Rs.10 lakh only.
The penalty for unhygienic processing or manufacturing of food will be Rs.5 lakh instead of the present Rs.1 lakh.
It has also been decided that with the enhancement of penalty, the transparency aspect should be strengthened and the prosecution process should be made speedy and time-bound by setting up special courts, for which provision exists in the act, the statement added.