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Punjab and Haryana High Court disposes of PIL on synthetic, spurious and adulterated milk

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed seeking a direction to the respondent-authorities to take all effective steps to stop the sale of synthetic/spurious as well as adulterated milk.

The PIL filed by NGO Serving in Organisations for Legal Initiatives (SIOLI) further seeks a direction to start a programme for educating the masses to carry out simple testing procedures to identify synthetic/ spurious/ adulterated milk.

While considering the petition, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli observed that the States of Punjab, Haryana and UT, Chandigarh have filed returns enumerating certain steps that they have taken.

However, in view of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in Santosh Singh v. Union of India and another, 2016(8) SCC 253 as well as in State of Uttaranchal v. Balwant Singh Chaufal and Ors., 2010(3) SCC 402, the petition filed by the petitioner is disposed of directing the States of Punjab, Haryana and UT, Chandigarh to continue to take the measures that they have already taken as well as undertake further testing as and when required in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law. The petitioners are also granted liberty to approach the respondent-authorities by bringing on notice the instances of violation of law as well as supply of synthetic/ spurious / adulterated milk.

Additional Advocate General appeared for the State of Haryana, Assistant Advocate General for the State of Punjab, Additional Standing Counsel for UT, Chandigarh as well as counsel for the Union of India submitted that if the petitioner does so, the authorities concerned would take the necessary steps and measures immediately in accordance with law. Apart from the fact that they would also be taking such measures for preventing supply of synthetic/spurious and adulterated milk at their own level.

Therefore, the Court disposed of the petition in the above terms.

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