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HC asks authorities to act tough on food adulteration

The J&K High Court Wednesday directed the concerned authorities to seal on-spot the enterprises involved in supply and sale of adulterated spices and other food articles and submit a compliance report to the court by the end of this month.

A division bench of the court hearing a PIL on food adulteration directed the Assistant Commissioners, Food Safety and Security (FSS) of all the districts of the State to submit a detailed list of registered/licensee enterprises dealing with spices and other food articles of their respective districts.

“The officers should submit a list of enterprises which are running without any registration or license, and in case found so, they shall also be sealed on the spot by Assistant Commissioner of the respective district, a compliance report be submitted by or before next date,” it directed.

The direction followed the information to the court by Assistant Commissioner, FSS, Srinagar, who had inspected two enterprises including Idrees Enterprises at Bagi-Ali Mardan Khan, and another unlicensed unit at Mughal Mohalla, Rainawari.

“Keeping in view the astonishing situation, we are persuaded to issue a direction to all the Assistant Commissioners, FSS, of Jammu and Kashmir and to all concerned authorities of the department including the Municipal Corporations to take swift action so as to control supply and sale of adulterated spices and other food articles,” the bench said.

The court also impressed upon all the Assistant Commissioners, FSS, and Commissioner SMC to ensure that samples of food articles are taken and tested forthwith and to take follow-up action which may include penal as well as preventive, and to report compliance.

It directed the Commissioners of FSS and SMC and Assistant Commissioner FSS, to remain present in the court on February 28 to make suggestions and the plan of action for controlling sale, storage, stock of all such adulterated food articles.

The court observed that FSS Act 2006, which was not implemented for a long time, now with judicial intervention its implementation is in progress.

Commissioner of FSS has been created and supporting staff has also been sanctioned. Appointment/posting of Commissioner of Food Safety is still awaited, it observed.

It said that lifting of samples on regular basis and testing, launching of prosecution is good but something more is required to be done by the authorities concerned.

Simply launching of prosecution and lifting of samples is not to cure the disease, some prohibitory including preventive measures are required to be taken, said the court.

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