IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
UDAY FOUNDATION FOR
CONGENITAL DEFECTS AND
RARE BLOOD GROUPS ..... Petitioner
Represented by: Mr.Neeraj Kishan Kaul (Amicus Curiae), Sr.Advocate with
Mr.Sanyat Lodha, Ms.Akanksha Kaul, Mr.Kapil Rustagi, Ms.Silpa Nair and
Mr.Amit Saxena, Advocates
UOI and ORS. ..... Respondents
Represented by: Mr.Rajeeve Mehra, Sr.Advocate with Mr.Ruchir Mishra and
Mr.Aditya Malhotra, Advocates for R-1
Mr.Mirza Amir Baig, Advocate for Mr.Anjum Javed, Advocate for R-2
Ms.Monika Garg, Advocate for R-5
Mr.Mukul Rohtagi, Sr.Advocate, Mr.Ashok Desai, Sr.Advocate and
Mr.Maninder Singh, Sr.Advocate with Mr.Dheeraj Nair, Mr.Gopal Jain,
Mr.Alok Shankar and Ms.Smita Bhargava, Advocates for R-7
Mr.Ashok Desai, Sr.Advocate and Mr.Sanjay Jain, Sr.Advocate with
Mr.Ajay Kohli, Mr.S.S.Sobti and Mr.Gopal Jain, Advocates for NRAI
Dr.Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sr.Advocate and Mr.Rajiv Nayar,
Sr.Advocate with Ms.Kanika Agnihotri, Advocate for RAI
HON'BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE PRADEEP NANDRAJOG
O R D E R
1. Issue of public importance being considered in the writ petition
pertains to the dietary habit of school children in Delhi and in
particular the public schools. The petitioner wants a policy to be
framed regulating sale of ?junk food? not only within the precincts of
the school but even within a distance of 500 meters of the schools.
2. The order dated January 11, 2012 records that the ?Food Safety And
Standard Authority of India? (FSSAI) has been constituted under the Food
Safety and Standards Act 2006. It is the statutory body charged with the
duty to frame guidelines pertaining to quality of food. The order
records that FSSAI has invited proposals from experienced
agencies/organizations/institutions for development of guidelines to make
available quality and safe food in schools. The order further records
that a ?Notice to Call for Expression of Interest? has been published by
FSSAI to hire a consultant who could develop guidelines for making
available quality and safe food in school canteens. The order records that FSSAI will have to widen the scope of the work as also the study to
take care of the other aspects raised in the petition.
3. Order dated August 29, 2012 records that Neilsen (India) Pvt. Ltd., a
company having expertise in the field of survey and data analysis has
been appointed as an agency to develop and submit the guidelines to make
available quality and safe food in schools.
4. Order dated April 17, 2013 records that draft guidelines have been
formulated by Neilsen (India) Pvt. Ltd.
5. Thereafter, the matter has been adjourned from time to time.
6. An issue has been raised today by learned counsel for the respondents
pertaining to the directions in which the instant writ petition must
7. Whereas nobody can question the interest of the society in its
children eating wholesome and nutritious food and abjuring eating ?junk
food?, which may be consumed once in a while; to satisfy the tongue.
Ordinarily, as a daily intake, wholesome and nutritious food should be
consumed by the children. The ill effects of eating ?junk food? in
today?s environ has been documented by public health experts as also
paediatricians. The debate is : Whether FSSAI alone should be the body
to frame the guidelines or should the body be more broad based and
further should The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 be the sole
8. A perusal of The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 would reveal that
the legislative concern is with respect to preservatives, additives,
contaminants and other chemicals used in processed food. The legislative
intent is to ensure that processed food should be of a kind where public
health is not adversely affected. The Act does not contemplate
regulation of what we may call is a ?junk food?.
9. Issues pertaining to ?junk food? when eating the same becomes a
dietary habit though pertain to health but in a different sphere vis-a-
vis the concern for health in processed food.
10. Thus, the FSSAI would be permitted to take the help of experts in the
field of not only public health but even those who are concerned with the
dietary habits of the adolescent and the youth as also those who have
expertise in controlling child obesity, child hypertension, child
diabetes etc. i.e. such medical problems which are faced by children
today which are the direct consequences of excessive consumption of ?junk
food? by the children.
11. The report submitted by Neilsen (India) Pvt. Ltd. would at best be a
take off point with reference to the data collected and analysed.
12. We find that under Section 11 of The Food Safety and Standards Act,
2006 the constitution of a Central Advisory Committee is envisaged which
shall consist of members representing the interests of food industry,
agriculture, relevant research bodies and all Commissioners of Food
Safety. Vide sub-Section (3) of Section 11 representatives of the
concerned Ministries and departments in agriculture, animal husbandry,
dairying, bio-technology, commerce and consumer affairs have to be invited in the deliberations of the Central Advisory Committee. The cue
therefore would be that pertaining to the dietary habit of school
children in the context of excessive consumption of ?junk food?, the
Central Advisory Committee, while preparing the draft guidelines, should
consult not only the representatives of the industry but even experts in
public health and especially health of a child; the adolescent and the
youth. That would mean people having expertise on ?junk food? and its
ill effects if consumed as a dietary habit be also associated while
preparing the draft guidelines.
13. With respect to the representatives of the industry we find
representation made before us by respondent No.7 and respondent No.8;
representative bodies of those who have a commercial interest in ?junk
food? and thus two representatives each of said respondents would also be
associated while drafting the guidelines.
14. Draft guidelines be placed before us on December 04, 2013.
15. Hearing adjourned for December 04, 2013.
PRADEEP NANDRAJOG, J.
SEPTEMBER 04, 2013
W.P.(C) No.8568/2010 Page 5 of 5