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Report No.264

B. Food Adulteration and the Indian Penal Code

4.8 The IPC in chapter XIV (Of Offences Affecting the Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals) prescribes punishment for adulteration of food or drink intended for sale (Section 272) and sale of noxious food or drink (Section 273).

Section 272 states that:

"Whoever adulterates any article of food or drink, so as to make such article noxious as food or drink, intending to sell such article as food or drink, or knowing it to be likely that the same will be sold as food or drink, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both."

Section 273 states that:

"Whoever sells, or offers or exposes for sale, as food or drink, any article which has been rendered or has become noxious, or is in a state unfit for food or drink, knowing or having reason to believe that the same is noxious as food or drink, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both."

4.9 Subsequently, the States of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha have made amendments to sections 272 and 273 wherein the term of imprisonment which could have been extended up to 6 months has been substituted with imprisonment for life along with fine. The State Amendments are produced as under:



Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2017 - Provisions dealing with Food Adulteration Back




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