Food Safety Act Implementation: Independent FSC Appears Distant Dream,Says HC

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Srinagar—The High Court on Wednesday said that posting of Food Safety Commissioner appears to be a “distant dream” while as it directed police to provide assistance to officials during their checking of food items for adulteration in the state. 

“Posting of FSC still appears to be a distant dream. Only interim arrangement has been made. The authorities were impressed upon to appoint a suitable on the post. We are not satisfied with the reasons given by the state. For the last 8 months nothing has been done except creation of post of FSC,” a division bench of the court said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation. Subsequently, the court grated three weeks time to the authorities whom it asked to take all necessary steps for filling up of the post along with strengthened staff. In case of default , the court directed that authorities shall appear in person before the court. For making the laboratories fully functional, the court was informed that these labs have been equipped with required machinery and apparatus have been installed in both the labs.

The court’s observation followed its observation that the government was supposed to appoint independent FSC not in-charge to the post. “It is you (state) agreed to appoint a suitable person on the post of FSC in the month of June last year,” the court said.

Assistant Commissioner Food Srinagar submitted that special squad has been formed and some action has been initiated against the unit holders, shopkeepers and also against the vendors for preparing and selling adulterated and unhygienic food. However, he said that they face certain security concern during checking as they are being attacked by the offenders.

Consequently, the court directed the SSPs of concerned districts to provide all assistance wherever they require protection. The court directed that copy of the order be sent of all SSPs for compliance.

The court has already observed that lifting of samples and launching prosecution was not enough, and stressed need for prohibitory measures for strict implementation of Food Safety and Security Act which essentially ensures prevents food adulteration in the state.

The division bench had observed that Food Safety and Security Act, 2006, which was not implemented for a long time, was now in its implementation with the intervention of the Court.

 “Keeping in view the astonishing situation we are persuaded to issue a direction to all the Assistant Commissioners, Food Safety and Security of Jammu and Kashmir and to all concerned authorities of the Department including the Municipal Corporation to take swift action so as to control supply and sale of adulterated spices and other food articles,” the court added.

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