The Centre is working on a new law with a provision of life imprisonment to deal with cases in which consumers of essential commodities and food items are duped, Union Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan said on Tuesday.
People indulging in “confusing advertisement” to promote such essential commodities and food items would also be liable for stringent punishment of life sentence under the new law, Paswan told reporters here.
He cited the case of Maggi noodles, which contained high level of lead and mono-sodium glutamate, saying stringent legal provision would be applied.
Cine stars Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta, brand ambassdors of Maggi, are facing the heat with a Muzaffarpur court in Bihar on Tuesday ordering registration of FIR against them on a complaint of sale of harmful Maggi noodles.
The Union Food and Consumer Affairs minister said that no leniency would be shown against those indulging in manufacture and promotion of sale of life-saving items and harmful food products.
The talk of tough law against sale of harmful food items have cropped up after reports of excessive quantity of lead being found in Maggi in laboratory test in different states. Paswan also showed concern over huge pendency and delay in disposal of cases in consumer forum.
A total of 2.5 lakh cases are pending in consumer forums in the country at present, the minister said. He said that efforts were being made to replace the three-tier consumer forum at the national, state and district level at present with a commission at the three stages.
It was also being proposed that in the proposed three-tier commission automatic cognizance was taken of any complaint within 21 days of its filing, he said. Besides, no matter would be delayed for more than 90 days, the minister said.