Food safety tribunals lack required staff, facilities

Food safety tribunals lack required staff, facilities

HC seeks govt reports, says mockery of food standard institutions

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to file its response regarding steps taken for providing facilities at the Food Safety Apellate Tribunal at Srinagar and Jammu.
The court observed that the report of presiding officers of the tribunals signifies the government was making mockery of the food standard institutions.
A division bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohamamd Magrey while hearing a PIL on food adulteration remarked that the court cannot remain mute to the subject directly related to health of people.
Taking serious note of the application filed by presiding officers of Food Safety Tribunal Srinagar and Jammu the court said that in case the government fails to file its response, “Commissioner Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department is directed to appear in person before court on December 14.”
The application which was presented before court reflects the conditions of tribunals at both Jammu and Srinagar.
It states that though computers and photocopiers have been installed at Jammu tribunal but there is no one to use them.
“An orderly and a senior assistant have been deputed to the tribunal at Jammu as an interim arrangement but it is not known as to why the sanctioned posts have not been filled so far,” reads the application.
It said that the deputed senior assistant was not in a position to take dictation nor does he have any knowledge of typing or any administrative skills and same is the position at Srinagar also.
The post of Registrar of the Tribunal is yet to be filled and is not even sanctioned yet. The process of recruitment of staff is yet to start.
The officers wrote that the recruitment of staff may take months and insisted for alternative arrangement.
The Presiding Officer at Food Safety Tribunal Srinagar has assumed charge more than six months back but the tribunal is nonfunctional due to deficiency of staff. As per rules of Food Safety and Standard Rules 2011, the Presiding Officer of the Tribunal shall be entitled to staff cars but the vehicles have not been provided.
They mentioned that the Health and Medical Education Department is moving at slow pace to fulfill its statutory obligations in making the tribunal functional.
The officers demanded that a nodal officer is required to be nominated by the department in order to look up the deficiencies of the tribunals.
“No serious steps have been taken by the department to seek the transfer of pending cases to Appellante tribunals at Jammu and Srinagar,” they mentioned in the application



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