J&K lacks paraphernalia under FSSA, HC miffed 

Says it’s enough to shock conscience of every- sensitive soul
Asif Iqbal
Srinagar, April 25: The high court on Monday expressed serious concern about state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir after it was informed that there is no paraphernalia available as per Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) 2006 in the state.
“The statement made at bar by counsel for the respondents and even by Commissioner Food Safety (who was present in court) is enough to shock conscience of every- sensitive soul, inasmuch as, there is no paraphernalia available in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with mandate contained in provision of Jammu and Kashmir Food Safety and. Standard Act, 2006,” a division bench of the court comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed while hearing a suo-moto Public Interest Litigation.
“There is no testing laboratory worth the name under this Act in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It appears that people of the State are made to consume adulterated food. All those, who are responsible to check this adulteration, probably have forgotten to perform their statutory duty,” the division bench of the court said and questioned as to who will compensate those suffering chronic diseases due to the consumption of adulterated food.
Earlier, the health department filed a compliance report but after its perusal, the division bench said that it does not comply with its directions issued on the previous hearing.
“The respondents to respond to the suggestions placed on record in writing by amicus. They shall also give full details about the issues raised on last date. The details shall be provided by or before the next date,” the court said and posted the PIL for further consideration on 27 April.
Taking suo-moto cognizance of media reports last month, the court had initiated the PIL and sought the reply from the government.
The reports has highlighted lack of infrastructure and manpower at the Valley’s lone Food Testing Laboratory in Srinagar, and also the acute lack of treatment and diagnostic facilities for cancer patients, especially at the SK Institute of Medical Sciences and GMC-associated hospitals.
“This court being the guardian and sentinel of the rights of the people is duty-bound to respond to the alarming situation that is created by the life-threatening diseases and non-availability of infrastructure to tackle the same,” the court had said, adding, “The causes have to be known as to why a large section of population is afflicted with the life-threatening diseases. Simultaneously, the remedial measures and necessary infrastructure have to be provided We are duty bound to enforce the fundamental rights of the large population.”