Safe food part of right to life

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | Updated: Oct 30 2013, 09:39am hrs
Realtors cant suppress right to property

The Supreme Court has said that flat owners can sell, let, hypothecate or mortgage their flats for availing of loans without permission of the builder, society or the company as the right to occupy a flat is a species of right to property.

so far as a builder is concerned, the flat owner should pay the price of the flat. So far as the society or company in which the flat owner is a member, he is bound by the laws or Articles of Association of the Company, but the species of his right over the flat is exclusively that of his. That right is always transferable and heritable, the top court ruled while rejecting the appeal of Hill Properties Ltd (HPL) against the attachment of a Malabar Hill flat. It further said that neither the Companies Act nor any other statute make any provision prohibiting the transfer of species of interest to third parties or to avail of loan for the flat owners benefit. A legal bar on the saleability or transferability of such a species of interest, in our view, will create chaos and confusion. The right or interest to occupy any such flat is a species of property and hence has a stamp of transferability.

A shareholder of HPL had mortgaged the flat as security for a loan transaction. However, on the banks plea, the Debt Recovery Tribunal had attached the flat in August 2005 under the Securitisation Act.This was challenged by HPL before the Bombay HC, which rejected its plea. SC also rejected HPLs argument that a shareholder has only a right to occupy the flat and has no right to mortgage the same to the bank without permission of the company.

Wine producers fail to impress SC

SC has upheld the Bombay High Courts order that refused to allow the wine producers from Maharashtra to retain the excise duty, which was collected by making it a part of the maximum retail price (MRP), on the grounds that such action without allowing it to flow back to the state coffers would amount to unjust-enrichment.

Dismissing the appeals of a group of wine manufacturers, the apex court clarified that account books of those who had not collected the levy should reflect this and the same should be brought to the notice of authorities.To protect the grape-growing producers, particularly from the districts of Sangli and Nashik, from sudden financial losses and to encourage the production of grapes within the state, the Maharashtra government had issued a notification exempting the manufacturers from the levy of excise duty partly for 2001 and had also remitted the entire duty with effect from June 2004.But one retailer had contended in the HC that though the state government had exempted the producers from payment of excise duty, the manufacturers in the garb of collecting maximum retail price have included the excise duty in the MRP of such country/foreign liquor manufactured by them. He, therefore, requested the HC to direct the manufacturers to remit/deposit the excise duty so collected to the retailers who are by the notification exempted from the payment of excise duty.

Right to life includes safe food

Hearing a PIL filed by the Centre for Public nterest Litigation, SC has ruled that the right to life also encompasses the right to have food articles and beverages free from harmful residues.

Enjoyment of life and its attainment, including right to life... encompasses within its ambit availability of articles of food, without insecticides or pesticides residues, veterinary drugs residues, antibiotic residues, solvent residues, etc, it said while directing the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to conduct periodic inspection and monitoring of major fruits and vegetable markets. Disposing of the PIL seeking to set up an independent technical panel to evaluate the harmful effects of soft drinks on human health and regulate misleading cola advertisements targeting children, the top court said that any food article which is hazardous or injurious to public health is a potential danger to the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. A paramount duty is cast on the States and its authorities to achieve an appropriate level of protection to human life and health....