Introduced in the year 2006, the FSS Act was to provide for a consolidated law for the food industry. The act establishes the layout for standards of food products. It lays down the standards of food products to regulate the manufacture, storage, distribution, import, export, sale and other related items thereto. The standard put together is all science-based. The parliament enacted the said law to ensure the availability of safe and wholesale food for human consumption. In this write-up, Penalties under FSSAI Act will be discussed in detail.
The following article elaborated on Chapter 9 of the act that mentions the general provisions relating to an offence and penalty. The chapter also mentions specific offences and the penalty to be experienced for their conduct.
Penalties under the FSSAI Act
Under the FSS Act by the FSSAI, chapter 9 provides for the provision for offences and penalties.
The following are the penalties and provisions for non-compliance with the issued guidelines-
The section mentions how a manufacturer can include an injurious ingredient in their product and how it is determined if the ingredient included is injurious to the health of people.
The injury caused due to any of the mentioned reasons included both permanent and temporary injury. Anything not according to the section is to be considered an offence.
This section provides for the general provision in relation to the penalties for conducting an offence. The section deals with what an adjudicating officer should bear in mind while deciding on a penalty. As per the section the amount of unfair gain, loss caused or likely to cause, repetition of offences, knowledge of offence, and other relevant factors are to be considered while deciding penalties under the FSSAI Act.
The section deals with a penalty for selling food of a degraded quality as to what had to be produced. According to the section, anyone producing food products, not in compliance with the regulations made or the quality demanded by the purchaser, is liable for a penalty of an amount maximum of 5 lakh rupees. In exceptional case when the producer of the degraded quality food is covered under section 31, the penalty under this section for him should not be more than 25000 rupees.
The section provides a penalty for sub-standard food. According to the section any person himself or by another person on his behalf who manufactures, stores, sells, imports or exports or any other related activity of sub-standardized products that will end with human consumption is liable for a fine of amount stretching up to 5 lakh rupees.
Penalties under the FSSAI Act also include a penalty for misbranding food. According to the section any person himself or by another person on his behalf who manufactures, stores or sells, imports or exports or performs any other related activities involving misbranding of food products for human consumption are liable for a penalty of an amount not more than three lakhs. The adjudicating officer also issues a notice under this section, directing the corrective actions to be taken for his offence regarding misbranding.
Penalties under the FSS Act also include penalties for misleading advertisements. Under the act, a misleading advertisement about a food product is also an offence. The penalty for publishing a misleading advertisement is set to be a sum amount, not more than 10 lakhs. Partial truths must also not hinder the court’s decision. Misleading advertisement occurs when a person or a group of persons publish an advertisement which is falsely describes any food, misleads about the nature or substance or quality of any food, or gives a false guarantee.
Any food produced that contains extraneous matter, the producer or someone working on behalf will become liable for the penalties under the FSSAI Act.
According to the section, if a food business operator fails to comply with the direction issued to him by the Food Safety Officer, without any reasonable cause, a liability arises of a penalty of up to two lakh rupees.
A food business operator performing the manufacturing process in an unhygienic or unsanitary manner and not according to the prescribed standards, a penalty amount of not more than one lakh rupees is issued.
The Penalties under the FSS Act also provide for penalties of possessing adulterants and causing adulteration of food and liability of fine between the amounts of two lakhs to ten lakh rupees.
The said section of the act provides for punishment for manufacturing and distributing unsafe food as per the penalties under the FSS Act. The punishment under the section ranges from the imprisonment of six months to seven years and a fine ranging from one lakh rupees to ten lakh rupees, depending on the consequences of working with unsafe foods. It depends on the injury, non-grievous injury, grievous injury and death occurring.
Section 61 and section 62
Under section 61 and 62 penalties under the FSS Act for false information and for obstructing or impersonating a food safety officer are given.
Penalties under the FSS Act for carrying out a food business without a license are given under section 62. Apart from a food business operator under section 31 of the act, anyone without a license is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees.
The section provides for compensation in case of any injury or death caused due to the consumer. The producer or the person working on behalf of the producer is liable to pay compensation to the consumer in case of injury happening or to his legal representative in case of death. This compensation has to be paid without any delay within six months. The compensation decided is not less than five lakh rupees in case of death, not exceeding three lakh rupees in case of grievous injury and not exceeding one lakh rupees, in all other cases of injury. Apart from the penalty, the adjudicating officer or the court can also cancel the license, recall their food from the market and forfeit their establishment and properties.
This section, under the Penalties under the FSSAI Act, provides for offences committed by a company. As per the section, at the time of commitment of offence whoever is in charge along with the company is deemed to be guilty of the offence.
In the case of a branch office, only the concerned head and the person in charge will be held responsible. This section will not be applicable if the person in charge can prove that the activity took place without his knowledge.
According to this section, any contravention to the provisions under this act or the rules and regulations provided, in case of import of food articles, the liability towards penalty arises not only under this act but also any other relevant Acts. The other laws may be the Customs Act and the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act. The above mention section provided is what constitutes the Penalties under the FSS Act in India and regulates the food businesses in India.
Penalties under the FSSAI Act, as discussed above on are majorly in the way of fines in order to prevent adopting false measures by the food business operators and also provide a chance to the producer to rectify their mistakes. The Penalties under the FSS Act are a way to regulate the manufacturing, storage, distribution, import, export, etc. the food produces for business. The Penalties under the FSS Act have also undergone changes through time. Before entering into a food business one must look into the laws and know about the Penalties under the FSS Act so as to avoid making such mistakes. For any further queries regarding the Penalties under the FSS Act, one can always contact Bizadvisors.
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