Asks it to file affidavit in six weeks on whether it has framed policy to ban it in schools
The Delhi High Court, on February 9, asked the Centre to file an affidavit within six weeks on whether the government has framed a policy to ban junk food and carbonated beverages in schools.
The court was acting on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), filed by Uday Foundation, a non-profit in Delhi, which alleges that junk food causes damage to health and mental growth of children. The foundation works on children's health, and has sought a ban on sale of junk food in schools and within 500 metre radius of educational institutions.
“We hope and trust that the Union of India shall take the matter seriously as unacceptable food affects and destroys the biological system which is a glorious gift of nature,” observed the division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjeev Khanna.
Rakesh Prabhakar, counsel for Uday Foundation, said the menace of junk food has to be dealt within schools and at present there is no policy to deal with it. “The ban in schools is especially important for young children who do not understand the impact junk food and carbonated beverages can have on their health,” he said. Prabhakar added the foundation could help in formulating a school canteen policy to promote nutritious food among school children.
The court also issued notices to Delhi government and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights asking them to file their responses. The bench advised the Centre's counsel to consider framing the policy keeping in view the global perspectives. The next hearing is scheduled for April 20.
Global bans on junk food