Srinagar: The J&K high court on Tuesday asked the government to delineate steps taken by it to curb food adulteration leading to a rise in the incidence of life-threatening diseases like cancer in the state.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey directed the state government to file a detailed report next week.
Actually, the state was to disclose measures taken by it over the years to curb the food adulteration at today’s hearing, but senior additional advocate general NA Beigh urged it to grant one more week to file the report.
The court sought the specific details after submissions by amicus curie advocate BA Bashir that given the gravity of the matter, the report must give details as to how many officers, based on hierarchy, have been appointed under Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) 2006. The report should also reveal as to how many laboratories have been established along with information about the equipments.
Justice Magrey also pointed out that a similar PIL— Sheikh Mohammad Ayoub Vs State—seeking implementation of the FSSA 2006 was pending before the court. Subsequently, the court ordered registry to club it with the present PIL.
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.”
The court had also directed the government to submit a comprehensive report regarding the samples lifted from time to time, indicating the number of samples referred to notified Laboratories/Referral Laboratories and the result of the analysis and action taken.
It had also directed all dairy companies to inform general public that the packed milk sold in Jammu and Kashmir is not cow milk but processed one.
“As there is a general impression that what is sold in the market by various companies is pure cow’s milk, (they) shall inform general public through print media that what is sold by them is not pure cow milk but processed milk,” the court had said.
The companies, court had said, shall also notify the source of milk marketed as well as mode and manner in which marketed milk is processed. However, the order was later stayed by the Supreme Court.