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FSSAI Offences and Penalty

fssai
Pic Credit: FSSAI

FSSAI Offences and Penalty 

The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 was established to consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. Therefore, in an effort to regulate the food industry, the FSSAI Act prescribes a number of penalties and offenses for contravening. In this article, we visit some of the major FSSAI penalty and offenses.

Offences by Companies

The FSSAI Act, prescribes the following penalties for offences by companies – Private Limited Company, Public Limited Company

1. Where an offence under this Act which has been committed by a company, every person who at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of the business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Provided that where a company has different establishments or branches or different units in any establishment or branch, the concerned Head or the person in-charge of such establishment, branch, unit nominated by the company as responsible for food safety shall be liable for contravention in respect of such establishment, branch or unit:

2. Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a Company and its is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of or is attributable to any neglect on the part of any Director, Manager, Secretary or other Officer of the Company, such Director, Manager, Secretary or other Office shall also be deemed to be guilt of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Also Read : The Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881

Punishment for carrying out a business without FSSAI licence

If any person or food business operator (except the persons exempted from licensing under sub-section (2) of section 31 of this Act), himself or by any person on his behalf who is required to obtain licence, manufacturers, sells, stores or distributes or imports any article of food without licence, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees.

Penalty for selling food not of the nature or substance or quality demanded

Any person who sells to the purchaser’s prejudice any food which is not in compliance with the provisions of this Act or the regulations made thereunder, or of the nature or substance or quality demanded by the purchaser, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five lakh rupees.

Provided that the persons covered under sub-section (2) of section 31, shall for such non-compliance be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty five thousand rupees.

Penalty for sub-standard food

Any person who whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any article of food for human consumption which is sub-standard, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to five lakh rupees.

Must Read :

Private Limited Company

Public Limited Company

Penalty for misbranded food

1. Any person who whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any article of food for human consumption which is misbranded, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to three lakh rupees.

2. The Adjudicating Officer may issue a direction to the person found guilty of an offence under this section, for taking corrective action to rectify the mistake or such article of food shall be destroyed.

FSSAI Structure
FSSAI Structure, image credit: fssai official

Penalty for food containing extraneous matter

Any person whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any article of food for human consumption containing extraneous matter, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Penalty for unhygienic or unsanitary processing or manufacturing of food

Any person who, whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures or processes any article of food for human consumption under unhygienic or unsanitary conditions, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to one lakh rupees.

Compensation in case injury of death of consumer

1. Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Chapter, if any person whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures or distributes or sells or imports any article of food causing injury to the consumer or his death, it shall be lawful for the Adjudicating Officer or as the case may be, the court to direct him to pay compensation to the victim or the legal representative of the victim, a sum— (a) not less than five lakh rupees in case of death; (b) not exceeding three lakh rupees in case of grievous injury; and (c) not exceeding one lakh rupees, in all other cases of injury.

Provided that the compensation shall be paid at the earliest and in no case later than six months from the date of occurrence of the incident.

Provided further that in case of death, an interim relief shall be paid to the next of the kin within thirty days of the incident.

2. Where any person is held guilty of an offence leading to grievous injury or death, the Adjudicating Officer or the court may cause the name and place of residence of the person held guilty, the offence and the penalty imposed to be published at the offender’s expense in such newspapers or in such other manner as the Adjudicating Officer or the court may direct and the expenses of such publication shall be deemed to be part of the cost attending the conviction and shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine.

3. The Adjudicating Officer or the court may also,— (a) order for cancellation of licence, re-call of food from market, forfeiture of establishment and property in case of grievous injury or death of consumer; (b) issue prohibition orders in other cases.

Also Read : Right to Information Act, 2005

Punishment for unsafe food

Any person who, whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any article of food for human consumption which is unsafe, shall be punishable:

  1. where such failure or contravention does not result in injury, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees;
  2. where such failure or contravention results in a non-grievous injury, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and also with fine which may extend to three lakh rupees;
  3. where such failure or contravention results in a grievous injury, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six years and also with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees;
  4. where such failure or contravention results in death, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and also with fine which shall not be less than ten lakh Rupees.

Also Read : Articles of Association

Penalty for misleading advertisement

1.Any person who publishes, or is a party to the publication of an advertisement, which– (a) falsely describes any food; or (b) is likely to mislead as to the nature or substance or quality of any food or gives false guarantee, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to ten lakh rupees.

2. In any proceeding the fact that a label or advertisement relating to any article of food in respect of which the contravention is alleged to have been committed contained an accurate statement of the composition of the food shall not preclude the court from finding that the contravention was committed.

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