HC imposes ₹1 lakh fine on sweet shop owners

They challenged orders passed by FSSAI

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday imposed a fine of ₹1 lakh on an association of sweet shop owners in Mumbai for challenging two orders passed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Shri Mumbai Mishtanna Vayasai, an association of 250 sweet sellers and shop owners.

The first order dated February 24 made it mandatory for sweet outlets to display from October 1 the date of manufacturing and best before date of non-packaged/loose sweets on sale and the container/tray holding them. The FSSAI order also mentioned instances of stale/expired sweets being sold to customers.

The second FSSAI order dated September 30 said that the rule was applicable only to Indian sweets and labels on container/tray holding the sweets can be in the local language.

However, Shri Mumbai Mishtanna Vayasai contended that the FSSAI orders were discriminatory. The plea mentioned that as per an order dated September 25, Food Business Operators were asked to also display the “date of manufacturing”, but the rule was only voluntary, not mandatory.

Dismissing the PIL, the court said, “The petitioner seeks to undo what the authority proposed to do for the benefit of consumers and therefore it is thoroughly misconceived. We order costs of ₹1 lakh to the Advocates’ Covid Welfare Fund.”

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