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J&K HC seeks monthly reports on enforcement of laws to check food adulteration

High Court has directed the Government to place monthly reports before it regarding enforcement of laws aimed at checking food adulteration in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta while hearing PIL on curbing of food adulteration has sought reports on monthly basis indicating as to what action is being taken for checking food items in order to curb the menace of adulteration.
Court after perusal of the record said the reports by the authorities are not being filed and in order to obviate any situation, court sought monthly reports on food checking with the rider that if the authorities failed to do so then the Financial Commissioner H&ME Department has to remain present before the court on next date of hearing.
The direction followed after the court has been informed that since September 2019 no report has been filed which itself reveals that how much non serious the authorities are in curbing the food adulteration.
Affidavit filed by Commissioner Food and Drugs Administration reveals that in Jammu division out of 38 lifted samples only 6 reports were received and these six samples were declared as misbranded and unsafe.
In Kashmir division only 9 samples have been lifted and only 3 samples received but the result of these 3 samples have not been mentioned.
The Commissioner in compliance of court directions and in order to monitor the production of different kinds of food items in J&K constituted two divisional level teams headed by the respective Deputy Commissioners of Food Safety to do the necessary surprise checking and monitoring of food items.
Both the Deputy Commissioner of Kashmir and Jammu submitted their report to Food Commissioner and the inspections of both teams shows that in Jammu division 37 units were inspected last year, 7 units were found closed, 10 improvement notices have been issued, food articles worth Rs 13,21,400 seized, 2 food licenses suspended and 3 manufacturing units sealed.
In Kashmir division inspection report reveals that 14 manufacturing units were inspected last year, 13 units have been issued notices, 1 unit sealed and 1 license suspended for violating the rules.
Principal Secretary to Government H&ME Department has already submitted before the court that further strengthening the Department of Food Safety a new proposal of 306 posts of various designations has been sent to Finance Department for concurrence and the proposal was returned back for some clarification and thereafter has been sent back of department and the same is still pending with Finance Department.
Secretary of SSRB is under direction to file an affidavit as to how many posts has been received by the H&ME Department for process of selection and if such posts are referred then he has been directed to ensure that such posts are processed for selection.
There are no existing officers in the feeding cadre who could be considered for promotion and in this view of the matter Commissioner/Secretary to Government of J&K, ARI, Training Department was under direction to resolve the issue but no results till date.

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