HC Puts Govt In Spot On Mutton Quality, Rates

SRINAGAR: In what may come as bad news for Kashmir’s politically-backed mutton mafia, the state High Court has sought answers from the government on categorisation and rates of mutton sold in the market.

Justices Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Janak Raj Kotwal have issued the directions in response to a public interest petition filed by advocate Sheikh Muhammad Ayub seeking curbs on food adulteration.

The government has been ordered to file an affidavit to clarify whether mutton is sold under categories, and if so, to indicate the rates for each category.

It bears mention that the government’s supposedly fixed rates of Rs 280 per kg are being openly flouted by retailers who charge anything from Rs 320 to Rs 350 per kg of the commodity.

The High Court has made the divisional commissioner for Kashmir and the director of the Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) department the respondents to the petition.

In case the price of mutton is fixed, they have been ordered to make the rates public through the media.

The High Court has also ordered checking squads to be constituted to conduct surprise visits to mutton shops to monitor quality and see if the commodity is sold on rates fixed by the government.

The HC said that mobile phone numbers of heads of checking squads should also be published so that consumers can inform authorities about violators.

The squads can take police assistance if required, the HC said, and asked the government to file compliance report in this regard by the next date of hearing.

After Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) submitted a copy of suggestions on slaughtering of animals and sale of quality mutton, the court directed the chief secretary to constitute a committee to examine the suggestions and submit a report by the next date of hearing. Agencies

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