The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued a notice to the central and Punjab governments, among others, on a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging violation of food safety norms by various edible oil firms.
The petitioner, Kapurthala resident Rajesh Gupta, has alleged that wholesale dealers, oil millers and wholesale traders in the trade of edible mustard oil were playing havoc with the lives of the people and providing ‘poison in the form of food’ which was not fit for human consumption by blatantly ignoring provisions of the food safety act.
The petitioner alleged that various firms in Punjab were selling adulterated mustard oil by labelling it as ‘pure refined mustard oil’ which could be sold in the market for human consumption.
Some firms were selling ‘refined rice brand oil’ as ‘mustard oil’ in order to deceive the public and maximise profits, he has submitted.
The millers were working in violation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and even Agmark, a certification mark, was being misused by traders in violation of the act, the petitioner alleged, naming some firms of Punjab.
The HC, while issuing a notice to the central and Punjab governments, has fixed the next date of hearing for February 13.