Food Adulteration: HC Grants Govt ‘Last Opportunity’

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SRINAGAR —The J&K High Court on Tuesday granted government “last opportunity” and asked it to file within ten days a comprehensive action taken report regarding its directions in a PIL on curbing food adulteration in the state.  

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe while hearing the Public Interest asked the government to take the effective steps in order to remove all the deficiencies in the report filed before it by the concerned authorities and asked them place the action taken report before the court in shape of affidavit with ten days.

During the course of proceedings, amicus curie, senior advocate B A Bashir, submitted while the authorities to some extent have improved, a lot has to be done to prevent the adulterated food. He said that Commissioner Food shall be asked to be present in the court to explain as to why despite court orders, authorities have failed to implement the Food Safety Standards Act in its letter and spirit. 

The division bench on perusal of the compliance report in terms of previous order observed that it is insufficient and only make references of issues taken up with the concerned departments.

The division bench also said that the staff for Food Safety Commission has not been addressed and the court was inclined to impose heavy costs on the authorities but for the request of state counsel, “last opportunity is granted to the government.”

The Court on perusal of its previous order said the report is not in tune with its directions. The Court on previous hearing had directed the concerned authorities to constantly check the poultry farms and ensure complete ban of use of antibiotics in the poultries.

Concerned Administrative Departments of the State Government were directed to have a constant check and monitor on the poultry farms, so that the poultry was reared in hygienic environment and ensure complete ban on the use of antibiotics or any other harmful ingredients in any poultry. 

State counsel submitted that the State is under an obligation to ensure the implementation of the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. He said that the State Government shall take all the steps to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Act.

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