No one has right to manufacture, sell adulterated food: HC

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Asif Iqbal
Srinagar, April 28: Observing that human being is the superior most creation of almighty god and has natural right to lead his life in a pure manner, the J&K high court had said high court today directed personal appearance of Chief Secretary and several other officers.
“Article 21 of the constitution, which recognizes the right to life, by judicial engineer, has been further chiseled to mean right to live a meaningful life. No one has a right to manufacture, produce and sell adulterated food as it has direct impact on the human health,” a division bench of the court comprising Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said while hearing suo-moto Public Interest Litigation.
The court also impleaded chief secretary, Commissioner Secretary Health, Commissioner Food Safety, Financial Commissioner (planning department) and owners and managing directors of food manufacturing or processing units, whose particulars were given by government in the status report in PIL.
In another direction, the division bench directed owners, MDs of food manufacturing or processing units to file affidavits by or before May 4, indicating as to how and in which manner, they are following the provisions of the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006.
The court also directed them to provide information about the laboratories set up in their Units, the equipment installed and the number of persons, having expertise in accordance with FSSA 2006, working in such laboratories.
In the yet another direction, the companies, corporations or individuals dealing in different kinds of milk have been asked to indicate in their affidavits as to how much milk they are supplying each day along with the sources of procurement.
“All the owners, MDs of Food Manufacturing or processing units shall file undertaking before the Registrar Judicial, satisfying therein that they will supply food items fit for human consumption to consumers. They shall also undertake that in the event it is, prima facie, found that food item are adulterated, then their units may be liable to be sealed,” the division bench said in one more direction.
Lastly, the division bench directed all the hoteliers, restaurants owners and shop keepers to ensure that adulterated or unsafe food is not supplied to the consumers.
Referring to the stay by its orders by Apex Court on a similar PIL in 2012—S M Ayoub Vs state, the division bench said that the stay orders on the matter by Supreme Court would not prevent the high court from making up the cause of the people of the Stale, who are continuously made to consume the adulterated foods and some of the persons, companies continue to manufacture, produce and process adulterated food items.
“The status report by respondents is sufficient to indicate that the people of the state have been left at the mercy of god. For checking of adulterated food, there are neither effective and adequate laboratories nor the requisite equipments. Besides this, even the manpower in terms of the Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) 2006 is not available,” the division bench observed.
Every human being, the division bench said, has inherent and inalienable right to lead a healthy life.