SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Tuesday granted government one more week to file a compliance report detailing steps taken by it to curb food adulteration in the state.
As hearing of a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation started before a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussian attar and Janak Raj Kotwal, counsel representing the government sought one week’s time to file the detailed response which was granted by the court.
The government is supposed to furnish specific details about details of officers, based on hierarchy, under Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) 2006.
The court also took on record suggestions by amicus curie B A Bashir who among others urged court to direct the government to furnish among others details regarding district-wise number of recognized scientific food-testing laboratories with requisite machinery and equipments, staff strength as well number of Food Safety Analysts along with their qualifications.
He has also demanded government to reveal name of the Food Commissioner of the State along with his date of appointment, names of the food safety officers, name and composition of the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal along with the identity of its adjudicating officers.
To curb the menace of food adulteration, the amicus curie said there must be scientific or advisory Committees at Central level.
The suggestions including are to array Chief Secretary of the State as respondent along with commissioner Secretary health and medical education, Secretary Health and Family Welfare GoI, Director Health Services of both Jammu and Kashmir, commissioner of Municipal Corporation of both divisions, Drug Controller of the State and all deputy commissioner
“The PIL involves security and protection of precious lives of lakhs of people who are consuming different food items which are allegedly contaminated and carcinogenic causing terminal diseases,” Bashir said.
In a slew of directions, the court in 2014 had directed Food Safety Officers, Designated Officers and all those involved in implementation of the FSSA 2006, to “pull up their socks, hone up machinery and speed up lifting and analysis of samples and food items, transported, manufactured, stored and marketed in the state without showing any leniency to big players in the market so that food items free from adulteration are made available to consumers.”