HC issues notice to Delhi govt on coloured vegetables, fruits

New Delhi: The High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Delhi government seeking its response over artificially coloured vegetables and fruits in the markets.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Mammohan sought government's response by September 29 on a PIL seeking directions to the city government to take appropriate steps for preventing the adulteration of fruits, vegetables and pulses.

"Comprehensively, it is the duty of the state to look into such kind of matters. This matter relates to health of the general public which cannot be marginalised," the bench said.

Sugriv Dubey, appearing for petitioner Salek Chandra Jain, submitted that though the rules under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act were notified in the year 2000, yet the adulteration is going on unabated.

The counsel alleged that the traders start polishing fruits and vegetables with artificial colours to make them appear fresh after their transportation to the markets here.

"The state is under obligation to prevent the sale of unhygienic fruits and vegetables besides pulses," Jain pleaded in his petition.

He said that traders make use of oxytocin in various agricultural products for giving a fresh and shining look to attract the consumers.

"Use of such chemicals in eatables causes cancer and other diseases," the petitioner, said, adding that the concerned authority failed to take any action despite making several complaints to it since last year.