Srinagar: The J&K High Court Monday directed Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department to ensure that no contaminated item is put up for sale particularly those touched by floodwater as per the advisory issued by the Health Department.
A bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also directed the Drug Controller and the Commissioner Secretary to Government, Health Department to “swing into action” by confiscating and destroying such items.
This was ordered by the bench “so that the gullible public is not compelled to purchase the same and fall ill by its consumption.”
In an advisory issued by the Director Health Services, Kashmir, it has been said that people should avoid any food item that has come in contact with the floodwater or stored in refrigerators that may have turned off because of power failure.
Similar precautions have been urged regarding drinks with further advice to use only clean drinking water for making any drinks like lemonade, lassi etc.
Meanwhile, the bench also took serious note of “skyrocketing” of prices of necessary commodities like Kashmiri saag, etc.
“The Director (CAPD) shall take all necessary steps to ensure that the price list is strictly adhered to. The checking staff should come into action immediately by bringing to book those who are violating the directions of (CAPD),” the bench said.
If there was any protection required, then the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir shall provide necessary protection to the Director, CAPD and the staff deputed for market checking, the bench added.
The directions followed submissions by advocate G A Lone that CAPD that there is no check on over-charging and that flood-hit items are being sold openly.
The court was hearing an application moved by Lone in a Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate G M Wani, seeking strict adherence to food prices by the CAPD Department.
Advocate General M I Qadri along with senior Additional Advocate General J A Kawoosa represented the state.