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HC to TS: Appoint food safety officers in 90 days

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday directed both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to take steps for filling the posts of food safety officers (FSOs) and other required staff in three months. Further, it wanted both the states to double the number of existing posts of FSOs in the near future.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice P Naveen Rao was dealing with a PIL case which was taken up suo moto based on a news item published in a vernacular daily last year on rampant usage of calcium carbide chemical for artificial ripening of fruits in AP and Telangana.
Following the court direction, principal secretary to medical and health of AP state Poonam Malakondaiah appeared before the bench on Wednesday. The bench earlier ordered for appearance of the official before it to explain the reasons for delay in filling the vacant posts in the food safety wing.  During the course of hearing, the bench felt that a constant vigil on adulterators is required to prevent food adulterations and also use of chemicals in preserving foods and ripening of fruits keeping in view of safety and health of future generations.
Advocate general of AP Dammalapati Srinivas, appearing for the senior official, submitted that the government has issued a GO to fill vacancies of 9 assistant food controllers, 26 food safety officers, 13 office superintendents and 13 junior assistant which are vacant in 13 districts of the state.
The bench asked about the time to be taken for filling the above sanctioned vacancies.
In reply, the AG said that the AP Public Service Commission (APPSC) has to fill the vacancies once the authorization letter is sent to the commission by the government.
Meanwhile, the special counsel of Telangana A Sanjeev Kumar said that they had already authorised the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) for filling the posts of FSOs and other vacancies of the department.
After hearing the counsels of both the states, the bench said that as both the commissions are not parties to the present case, it would request both the commissions to complete the recruitment within three months if both the governments fulfil all formalities in authorising the commissions on the issue.
The bench posted the matter after six weeks for further hearing.

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