No lip service on junk food ban: Delhi HC

Asks Centre to file an action taken report by November 2

By Savvy Soumya Misra
Published: Friday 07 October 2011

The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to submit a report by November 2 on the steps taken to ensure that carbonated beverages and junk food are kept out of school and college canteens. 

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"We do not need lip service, but we want the government to take effective steps to ensure that the sale and supply of junk food is completely banned near educational institutions," a division bench of Justice A K Sikri and Siddharth Mridul said, expressing displeasure over the government affidavit admitting health hazards of junk food.

"We are not satisfied with the affidavit you have filed," the bench added in its order of October 5. It was hearing a plea filed by a non-profit seeking ban on the sale of junk food and carbonated drinks within a 1,500 feet radius of the educational institutions.

In its affidavit filed on July 18, Centre had invited proposals from experienced agencies, organisations and institutions for framing guidelines to provide safe food in educational institutions.

Earlier, in an affidavit before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the Union health ministry had said it had written to all states and Union territories to consider issuing instructions for withdrawing carbonated beverages and junk food from school and college canteens.

"You have written to various state governments about the harmful effects caused by consuming junk food. But this does not solve the problem as it will not prevent selling of junk food near institutional areas," Justice Sikri said.

The bench also asked the Centre about the steps taken to create awareness among the younger generation about the harmful effects of increased consumption of junk food.

"The Centre is actively engaged in dealing with the health risks that the consumption of junk food may pose to the general health of the population and more particularly the children of the country," the affidavit filed by the government in July states.


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