Suo moto cognizance on media reports
Srinagar, Apr 12: The State High Court today sought response from the Government on food adulteration causing life threatening diseases in the State.
The Division Bench of Justice MH Attar and Justice J R Kotwal sought response from the Government about food adulteration in the State as the suo moto proceedings have been taken by the High Court after media reports asserting that consumption of adulterated food items in the Valley leads to carcinoma that is on rise in Kashmir. Court today sought response from the Government on the issue by next date of hearing.
The court has appointed Senior Advocate Bashir Ahmad Bashir, as Amicus Curie in the PIL and he was asked to file his suggestions so as to curb the menace of food adulteration. Court took the suggestions of amicus on record and those suggestions will be considered by the court on next date of hearing.
The suggestions include that Chief Secretary of the State, Commissioner /Secretary H&ME Department, Secretary Health and Family Welfare Government of India, Director Health Services of both divisions of the State, Commissioner of Municipal Corporation of both divisions, Drug Controller of the State, All Deputy Commissioner of the State and All recognized Food Testing Laboratories in the State should be made as respondent in the PIL.
Amicus curie in his suggestions said that the PIL involved security and protection of precious lives of lakhs of people who are consuming different food items which are allegedly contaminated and carcinogenic causing terminal diseases.
It is further stated in the suggestions on which court will deliberate on next date of hearing that situation is aggravated by lack of scientific facilities for checking and testing the contaminated food items like food testing laboratories, equipments, man power(both technical & non-technical) as also the supervisory staff.
Advocate Bashir submitted that the Food Safety and Standards Act is applicable to whole country and the State of J&K so it must have scientific committee or panel of advisory committees at Central level and to execute the provision of laws of the Act.
The court it may be mentioned here took serious note of media reports with regard to poor eatables and infrastructure, manpower and mechanism to check the safety of the foods.
It was reported in various press reports that food testing laboratory in the Valley lacks equipment, infrastructure and manpower to check the adulterated consumption of food in Valley. It is said that the adulterated food is leading to multiple diseases among people, including cancer whose rate had doubled in the Valley during the past less than a decade.
The lone food testing laboratory (FTL) of the Valley situated in Srinagar is said to be having ancient and outdated equipments while old methods are put into practice to test samples of foods. There is no mechanism to check the safety standards of food items like oils and dairy products consumed by general masses.