MUMBAI: The State government has decided to bring in a law to make adulteration of milk a non-bailable offence, with the punishment of up to three years imprisonment.
The government is further contemplating to make a provision of life imprisonment for milk adulteration, State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish
Bapat said in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
At present, adulteration of milk is a bailable offence having a provision of punishment for only six months. “If the imprisonment period is increased to three years, there will be no scope of bail for the accused,” Bapat said, adding that the government will soon enact a law to this effect.
BJP MLA Amit Satam raised the issue of milk adulteration through calling attention motions in the assembly.
While replying to the questions, Bapat said if the punishment for milk adulteration was increased to three years, there will be no scope for the accused to get bail.
Satam claimed that about 30 per cent of the milk brought into Mumbai was adulterated. Replying to Satam, Bapat said currently there are four mobile vans in the State for testing adulteration of milk. Bapat accepted that the tests were not conducted regularly and surprise checks were not being conducted because of the shortage of mobile vans and the staff. “However, we will ask the authorities to carry out regular tests,” he informed.
“The mobile vans would conduct tests more frequently on the milk carried in vans entering Mumbai and some other parts of the State,” the minister said. Earlier, Satam claimed that about 30 per cent of the milk brought into Mumbai was adulterated. “There is a provision of life imprisonment in other states like Orissa, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. Maharashtra can also adopt the policy and incorporated the section,” Satam demanded.
Though many members demanded life sentence for accused of such offences, however, Bapat said that it won’t be easy to do so. “However, the process to change the law under IPC sections 272 to 276 is on so that the punishment for milk adulteration can be made more than 6 months to make it a non-bailable offence. State is mulling on making punishment three years, six years, eight years or even life imprisonment, as it is in states like Orissa, West Bengal and UP,” Bapat said.