Justice SM Subramaniam disposed of writ petitions from Hatsun Agro Product Ltd., Vijay Dairy & Farm Products Pvt. Ltd, which sought for a direction to prohibit State Dairy Development Department and other state agencies like Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department, Tamil Nadu Co-Operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd, Tamil Nadu Co-Operative Milk Producers Federation Ltd from collecting samples and testing the petitioner’s milk and milk products without authority of law.
Stating that there is no impediment to the competent authorities to test all the milk products in accordance with the procedures contemplated under the Food Safety Act and under the relevant Regulations including Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Food Safety and Standards Rules, 2011 the Judge said, “It is needless to state that, while undertaking the process of testing, the authorities competent are bound to follow the procedures and the law in this regard. This being the principles to be followed, it is made clear that the writ petitioners also shall co-operate in the event of any testing, to be conducted in respect of the products of the writ petitioners.”
The Judge, who recorded the submissions of Advocate General Vijay Narayan, that as per the Supreme Court order state level and district level steering committees were constituted for dealing with adulteration of the milk products, the Judge said that the state had already issued Government Orders for implementation of Supreme Court order in connection with the milk adulteration and testing procedures.
The Judge while referring to the Supreme Court order and the Government Order passed pursuant to that in his order said, “The State Level Steering Committee and District Level Steering Committees are empowered to test the milk products through the recognised laboratories and if any adulterations are found true, they are empowered to prosecute and proceed against the offenders in accordance with law.”
“Now Supreme Court issued directions to the state to provide adequate testing facilities and the laboratories should obtain NABL accreditation to facilitate precise testing. Beyond this the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, also provides that testing of milk products can be undertaken by such laboratories,” the judge added.
He further noted, “It is made clear that the state should ensure supply of unadulterated milk products to its citizens and there cannot be any violations in this regard by either of the parties.”