JAMMU, Apr 10: In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Voice for Rights against use of calcium carbide in artificial fruit ripening, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Sanjeev Kumar has asked the State to take all possible steps to implement Food Safety and Standards Act.
After hearing Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat for the PIL, DB observed, “this court vide order dated 09.06.2017, took cognizance of the grievance projected by the petitioner and put State and other official respondents to notice with the direction to submit the report with regard to the action, if any, taken by them to prevent the use of such toxic chemicals by the fruit vendors”.
“In compliance to the order dated 09.06.2017 passed by this court, Divisional Commissioner Jammu submitted an action taken report indicating therein that the Controller, Drugs and Food Control Organization had been taking requisite action under law and wherever violations were noticed, the same were dealt in accordance with provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act and the Regulations framed thereunder”, the DB observed.
“This court vide order dated 20.09.2017, while taking note of the action taken report submitted by the Divisional Commissioner, passed some further directions to ensure that the provisions of the Act and regulations are strictly implemented. The Controller, Drugs and Food Control Organization has also filed compliance report in terms of order dated 20.09.2017 indicating the steps to redress the issues raised in the petition”, the DB said.
After going through the action taken reports filed from time to time and more particularly the compliance report in terms of order dated 09.06.2017 of Divisional Commissioner and dated 20.09.2017 filed by the Controller, Drugs and Food Control Organization, the DB said, “we are satisfied that the respondents have taken and are taking adequate measures to redress the grievance projected by the petitioner in this Public Interest Litigation. Nothing more is required to be done in the matter except directing the respondents to continue their drive and curb the menace of artificial ripening of fruits by the use of calcium carbide and other toxic substances”, adding “this action will also include milk adulteration”.
Accordingly, DB closed the petition. However, the petitioner was given the liberty to approach the court again, in case the respondents fail to perform their duties enjoined by the provisions of the Food, Safety and Standard Act.