The Delhi High Court on Friday gave the government three months time to enforce guidelines on restricting sale of junk food in and around schools. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to create regulations within the time period.
“Extension for time is sought through this application, the same is allowed. Three months more time granted to frame the guidelines,” the court said. It agreed to give more time after the government moved an application seeking three more weeks to implement the guidelines regarding restriction on sale of junk food.
Accepting the draft guidelines for restriction on sale of junk food in and around schools, the court in its order passed on February 25 had directed the FSSAI to create regulations and implement them within three months. In order to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to and any violation is actionable under Delhi Schools Education Act, the court had directed the administrator, Delhi to consider, by April 30, whether to issue instructions under the Delhi School Education Rules to follow the FSSAI guidelines.
To ensure adherence by schools outside Delhi, most of which are affiliated to CBSE, the bench had also directed the Board to consider including compliance of the guidelines as a condition for being affiliated with it. Under the guidelines, food high in fat, salt and sugar cannot be sold within 50 metres of school premises. The court’s order came on a PIL filed in 2010 by NGO Uday Foundation flagging the issue of easy availability of junk food and carbonated drinks to children and the harmful effects thereof and seeking a ban on such food items in schools. The FSSAI guidelines will apply to the whole of the country.