High Court asks govt to go ahead with enquiry against ‘fatal disease-like’ food officer

High Court asks govt to go ahead with enquiry against ‘fatal disease-like’ food officer

SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Friday directed the government to go ahead with its enquiry against a food analyst who was declared more dangerous than cancer by a court in Budgam district.
However, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed the government not to pass any final orders against the analyst, assistant controller food Hamid Ullah Dar.
In his petition, Dar has sought expunging of the remarks made by the court of Judicial Magistrate Budgam on April 4.
The judicial magistrate had come down heavily on Dar for giving a clean chit to a dairy company whose samples were found containing detergent by a Kolkata-based referral laboratory and were banned by the government subsequent to the court’s order.
“As the food analyst of Kashmir is the first judge of the case and in the system of justice, there is no place for a person who is either incapable or dishonest,” the judicial magistrate, Imtiaz Ahmad Lone, had said and asked the government to remove Dar.
“The style and manner displayed by the food analyst Kashmir (Hamidullah Dar) while discharging his duties in all important matters can be judged in two situations. Either he is incapable to conduct test and discharge his duties to the expectations of his assignment or he is dishonest to his job,” the court had said, underling that in both circumstances the need of the time was to remove him from the present assignment and initiate the process to declare him deadwood.
“Persons like (him) are more dangerous than fatal diseases (cancer),” the court had said, adding, “The incapacity or compromise with the nature of the job like food analyst Kashmir cannot be accepted by any standard of expectations where lives of the citizen are involved.”
Following these remarks, the government ordered Dar’s attachment with the office of deputy controller Drug and Food Control Organisation Kashmir till completion of a detailed enquiry into his conduct.
As Dar’s petition for expunging the remarks came up for hearing before the High Court, additional advocate general, M I Dar, objected to it, saying it was not maintainable as the accused dairy company has already filed an appeal against the judicial magistrate’s order.
The High Court was also informed that a matter regarding food adulteration is already pending with a division bench in a PIL.
Dar’s counsel contended that his petition was maintainable and referred to a Supreme Court judgment in support of his contention.
After hearing both the sides, Justice Magrey ordered court’s registry to list the petition along with the PIL on food adulteration after seeking orders from Chief Justice.
“Till listing of the matter along with matter, respondents are free to conduct inquiry, already initiated, against the petitioner (Dar) however, the final orders shall not be passed,” the court added.

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