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Court raps govt for non-implementation of food safety law

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Orders compliance within 3 weeks

By: Rashid Paul

Srinagar, Feb 28: The J&K High Court today expressed its discontent over the non-implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, especially the engagement of the required manpower for the purpose and asked the government to fill up the created posts within three weeks.

“For the last eight months nothing has been done except the creation of the post of Food Safety Commissioner (FSC)” observed the court and directed the government to fill the post within three days.

“The authorities shall take all necessary steps for filling up of the post in question (FSC) along with the required staff,” it directed.

“In case of any default the concerned authorities shall appear in person before the court,” it warned.

The official lawyers informed the court that the laboratories in respect of the Act have been equipped with required machinery and apparatus have been installed in both the labs at the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

The Commissioner Secretary Health Department informed the court that the government has sanctioned about 14 posts as support staff to the FSC but only three posts have been cleared by the State Finance department.

“This would not be enough for FSC to make the office functional and work properly,” opined the Commissioner in his report.

Assistant Commissioner Food, Srinagar submitted before the court that a special squad has been formed and some action has been initiated against the unit-holders, shopkeepers and the vendors trading or manufacturing the adulterated and unhygienic food items.

“However we have certain security concerns as during the checking as we are being attacked by the offenders,” he pleaded.

The court accordingly directed the Senior Superintendents of Police of the concerned districts to provide all assistance from their concerned police lines to the Assistant Commissioners wherever they require protection in the line their duties.

The court had earlier directed the district officers to file status reports on the list of adulterated foods in their respective jurisdictions before the bench hearing the case.

The court had also expressed its deep concern over the roadside food stalls selling unhygienic pickles and other eatables.

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