Food Safety: HC Orders Personal Appearance Of Com Secy Health, FSC

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SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has sought personal appearance of Commissioner Secretary Health, Commissioner Secretary ARI trainings department and Food Safety Commissioner before it on March 6.  

A division bench of the court passed the directions after being informed that a sum of over Rs. 18 crores has been spent in creating State of Art Public Laboratories in Srinagar and Jammu. However, the personnel who are to work in these laboratories and to use the utilized facilities are not available. Only some of the posts have been filled, whereas, most important posts which includes those of lab technicians; instrumentation technicians for these laboratories remained vacant.

Additionally, seven Mobile Food Testing Vans stand acquired from the State of Gujarat after expenditure of crores of rupees. These vans also remain unutilized as, other than drivers, no technicians are available to man or utilize these vans for any purpose, the court was informed.

However, the government disputed the position. 

Referring to previous order, the court observed the government was asked to disclose various posts which have been created for manning laboratories as well as mobile vans and that if recruitment process has to be effected, the government shall disclose the timelines within which the same would be completed.

The court had made it clear that in case the process of recruitment for any post is yet to commence, the respondents shall ensure that the necessary action towards issuance of the advertisement inviting applications is positively completed within.  

The court was informed that the recruitment process for the vacant posts could not be initiated for the reason that the matter regarding modification in the Recruitment Rules is pending with the ARI Trainings Department. 

“So far as the nature of amendment which is required is concerned, we are  informed that the existing Recruitment Rules prescribe only promotion as the mode of recruitment, whereas, there are no existing officers in the feeding cadre who could be considered for promotion,” the court said, adding, “This matter shall be resolved by the Commissioner/Secretary to Government of J&K, ARI, Training Department.” 

 

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