The Centre on Monday prayed before the Supreme Court to grant it more time for implementing the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, aimed at regulating supply and sale of packaged food products.
The request was made after the court last week blasted the government for failing to notify the Act despite the Presidential ascent. Moving an additional affidavit before the bench headed by Justice AK Mathur the health ministry said it would be able to implement the Act by the end of 2009. The implementation would be done in phases because the government needs to put the infrastructure in plea before notifying the Act for initiating prosecution against the companies who fail to follow the safety norms prescribed in the new law. The Act would replace the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
The Union Ministry of Health claimed in the affidavit that the 2006 Act was intended to be implemented in a phased manner as it involved integration of laws linked to packaged food pertaining to two different ministries — Agriculture and Health.
According to the Centre it has already constituted the Food Safety & Standards Authority (FSSA) and appointed Dr P I Suvrathan as its chairperson. The authority would comprise 22 members out of which seven will be ex-officio members representing different departments, while 10 members will represent the different stake holders like industry, NGOS, farmers,food scientist, consumers, retailers and farmers organisation.
Acid attack: Govt for stricter punishment
The Union government proposes to introduce provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to deal with acid attack cases as “special offence.” Informing the Supreme Court about its proposal to amend the IPC and Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), prescribing stricter punishment for accused involved in acid attack, the Centre claimed all the state governments have supported its decision.
Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran apprised the bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan about a recent conference that was attended by representatives of state governments and union territories.
Notice on website promoting pre-natal test
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to place its view on a petition seeking direction to block an American website, providing information about a diagnostic kit which could be used for sex determination.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan issued notice to the Ministry of Science and Technology on the application filed by Punjab NGO, Voluntary Health Association.
The NGO’s petition refers to an advertisement, published in a newspaper in Punjab, giving details about the Baby Gender Mentor Kit which can help its users to know the sex of a fetus by analysing the blood sample of pregnant woman.