News on Adulterated Milk

Maharashtra to make milk adulteration non-bailable crime with 3 years’ jail

Wednesday, 14/03/2017

The state government is considering to make adulteration of milk a non-bailable offence and increase the jail term to a minimum of three years, which can go up to life imprisonment.

Milk adulteration is an offence under section 29 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. At present, it is bailable, and the jail term, upon conviction, is between six months to one year.

"Even though it is a central act, the Union government has allowed us to make changes at the state level. We are working to bring a legally sound and strict law in the next few months," said food and civil supplies minister Girish Bapat in both houses of legislature on Tuesday.

He said three states-Gujarat, Bihar and Orrisa-have amended the law to increase the jail term. "People are not afraid of the current law. We have felt the need for more stringent punishment to ensure an adulteration-free state," Bapat said.

The issue of milk adulteration was raised by NCP's Kiran Pawaskar in the legislative council. He said the number of cases was on the rise and "under the current law if a person is caught in the morning, he is out on bail within a couple of hours". In the assembly, the issue was raised by BJP's Ameet Satam through a calling attention notice.

"In several countries, including the UK and the US, if a restaurant is found to be violating FDA norms, it is sealed in 24 hours. The state government should also take such strict steps," said Pawaskar.

Bapat replied that the government was in the process of preparing the draft of the amendment. "We will bring it for the cabinet's approval in the next few months."


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