Food adulteration | HC directs govt to file monthly test reports

J&K High Court has directed Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education department to remain present on October 12 in case monthly reports about testing of food items were not filed before the Court.

While hearing a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on food adulteration, the division bench of Chief Justice, Gita Mittal and Justice Puneet Gupta expressed dismay over defiance of its direction on filing the reports.

“In case the respondents do not comply with our orders within two weeks from today regarding filing of all reports till date, the Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education department shall remain present in the Court on the next date of hearing,” the Court said.

Citing its February 24 order, the Court said the status report filed by the government had indicated that 34 samples were lifted in Jammu while 14 samples were lifted from Kashmir.  It said test reports of only three samples had been submitted to the Court.

The Court observed that nearly eight months have passed when the samples were taken but nothing was placed by the authorities before the Court.

The Court directed the authorities to place record of the monthly reports regarding the action taken on implementation of food adulteration laws in J&K.

In 2016, the High Court had taken suo-moto cognisance of news reports published in Greater Kashmir on food adulteration and rising cancer incidence and treated the reports as the PIL.

For implementation of Food Safety and Standard Act-2006, the Court has issued a slew of directions during the past four years.