A bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan said that the issue is very "serious" and asked the governments to take immediate steps to control the menace of milk adulteration.

It sought detailed affidavits from all the state governments on what steps they are taking to tackle the issue of adulteration and on amendment in law to make the offence punishable upto life imprisonment as has been done by Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha.

The bench also pulled up the UP government for not prosecuting people indulging in milk adulteration under the stringent provision and sought details of the pending cases on the issue in the state.

The bench granted three weeks time to states to file their responses.

The bench was hearing Public Interest Litigation seeking its direction to state governments to stop practice of milk adulteration which is rampant in various states.

Advocate Anurag Tomar, appearing for the petitioners, contended that milk contaminated with synthetic material is being sold in various states particularly in northern states posing serious threat to the life and health of the consumers.

He submitted that samples collected by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in 2011 showed that there was largescale sale of adulterated milk across the country.

(Agencies)

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