The Maharashtra government may bring in a law to make the adulteration of milk a non-bailable offence, with a punishment of up to three years in jail. State food and civil supplies minister Girish Bapat said in the Legislative Assembly that if the punishment for milk adulteration was increased to three years, there will be no scope for the accused to get bail. He was speaking in the Lower House after Ameet Satam (of the BJP) and others raised the issue through a Calling Attention notice. Bapat said at present, the adulteration of milk is a bailable offence having a provision of punishment for six months. “If the imprisonment period is increased to three years, there will be no scope of bail for the accused,” he said, adding that the government will soon enact a law to this effect. Many members in the House demanded life imprisonment for the accused in such offences. But, the minister cited difficulties in enacting a law with the provision of life sentence.
Bapat said currently there are four mobile vans in the state for testing the adulteration of milk, and admitted that the tests was not conducted regularly. He, however, assured that the authorities concerned would be asked to carry out regular tests.
“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.
He said surprise checks were not being conducted because of the shortage of mobile vans and the staff. The BJP member demanded amendments to the existing laws to check the adulteration of milk, medicines, and food in hotels.