New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that draft guidelines on regulating sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around school premises would be ready by July this year.
Appearing before a bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath, Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra said private firm AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd is in the process of framing norms to regulate availability of junk food and carbonated drinks within 500 yards of schools.
The draft guidelines would be complete by July 21, he said. The senior law officer also submitted that after the draft guidelines were prepared, the food processing companies will be consulted for their opinion and then the final guidelines will be prepared.
After recording submissions of the government counsel, the bench fixed July 22 for further hearing of the matter.
Meanwhile, the Delhi government counsel submitted that the Lt Governor has the power to issue directions to city schools but the same can be done only after the Centre frames guidelines on the issue.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Rakesh Prabhakar, a lawyer for NGO `Uday Foundation`, seeking a direction banning sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools.
In January last year, the court had given six-month time to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for framing guidelines on banning sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around educational institutions.
The court had also asked the FSSAI to consult the All India Food Processors` Association (AIFPA) and restaurant associations for framing the guidelines.
AIFPA, in its application, had said that it deals with processing of fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, milk and milk products and also the manufacturers of biscuits and confectionery products.
It also said that it may give some advice to the FSSAI.