STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Is liquor also a food? Legal poser stumps SC

Published: 26th July 2012 08:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2012 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

Liquor_EPS
By PTI

An interesting question of law as to whether liquor is a food, requiring regulation under the Food Safety Act, cropped up today before the Supreme Court.

A bench of justices Deepak Verma and Ibrahim Kalifulla issued notices to the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Association and others, seeking their stands on the legal poser and their responses to a plea by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSA) for transferring a batch of petitions from the Bombay and the Madhya Pradesh high courts to the apex court.

Appearing for the statutory authority, counsel Sandeep Prabhakar submitted that since the issue involved substantial questions of law and constitutional validity of Section 3(1) (j) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, it needs to be adjudicated by the apex court.

"So liquor is also a food!," remarked an amused apex court bench, while issuing notices on FSSA's plea.

The FSSA counsel said that in petitions before the two high courts, the alcoholic manufacturers and the organisations representing them have questioned constitutional validity of the section 3(1)(j) of the Act which defines "food" and "alcoholic drink" has been included in its definition.

The manufacturers and dealers have contended that the Act cannot be invoked in the case of alcoholic drinks as they are not food.

"Our aim is to invoke the Act so as to standardise the content as they relate to maintenance of public health and safety," Prabhakar submitted to the bench.

The main contention of the manufacturers is that Parliament does not have legislative competence to enact a law pertaining to "alcoholic drink."

It was contended that inclusion of the subject of "alcoholic drink" in a Parliamentary enactment is violative of the Constitutional prohibition contained in Article 246 (3)

The authorities in their petition before the apex court said, "It is submitted that the definition of "food" under Section 3 (1) (j) is an extremely important and comprehensive provision under the FSSA and is intended to safeguard public health and safety.

The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Association, the Distillers Association of Maharashtra and some individuals have challenged the provisions of the Act in the two high courts.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp