SC modifies HC order on food adulteration
New Delhi, June 7: The Supreme Court today modified a Jammu and Kashmir High Court order and asked a state traders’ body to give an undertaking that if the food items supplied by them are found to be adulterated, then the authorities will take action as per law instead of sealing their units.
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court had earlier this year asked the traders’ body to give an undertaking that if prima facie, the food items supplied by them were found to be adulterated, then their units would be liable to be sealed.
A vacation bench of Justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy directed the concerned authorities in the state not to seal the establishments and instead take action as per the provisions of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act if any adulteration is found.
“Instead of sealing, the concerned authority shall take necessary action as per provisions of the Act. We are modifying only this part of the order,” the bench said, while clarifying that the traders will have to give an undertaking.
Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for the J&K Traders and Manufacturers Federation, said the interim order of April 24 of Jammu and Kashmir High Court in a “suo motu PIL is illegal as petitions on similar facts are pending adjudication before the apex court.”
He said the High Court order directed the owners/Managing Directors of food manufacturing/processing units to file an affidavit indicating as to how and in which manner the food manufacturing/processing units are following the provisions of the FSSAI Act.
Bhushan said it has been directed that food manufacturing units should file an undertaking before the Registrar of the High Court certifying that the units will supply food items fit for human consumption to the consumers, and if it is prima facie found that these items are adulterated, the units will be liable to be sealed.
The Federation had further said that the High Court judge had erred in not appreciating the fact that the petitioner, which is a group of petty food business operators, are already complying with the mandatory provisions of the Act and registered under the law for different business operations.