Saturday, March 31, 2012

ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഗുണനിലവാരനിയമം; വ്യാപാരികള്‍ രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന് മടിക്കുന്നു

കോഴിക്കോട്: ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഗുണനിലവാര നിയമപ്രകാരം ഭക്ഷ്യസാധനങ്ങള്‍ നിര്‍മിക്കുകയും വില്‍ക്കുകയും ചെയ്യുന്ന സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളുടെ രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷനുള്ള സമയപരിധി തീരാറായിട്ടും ഒരുവിഭാഗം കച്ചവടക്കാര്‍ വിട്ടുനില്‍ക്കുന്നു.നിലവിലുള്ള ലൈസന്‍സിന്റെ സമയപരിധി മാര്‍ച്ച് 31-ന് തീരും. ഈ നിയമപ്രകാരം ലൈസന്‍സ് നേടാത്ത സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് ആറുമാസംവരെ തടവും അഞ്ചുലക്ഷം വരെ പിഴയുമാണ് നിയമം അനുശാസിക്കുന്നത്.ചില വ്യാപാരസംഘടനകള്‍ നിയമം നടപ്പാക്കുന്നതിനെതിരെയും രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ ഫീസ് നിരക്കിനെതിരെയും രംഗത്തുവന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഈ സംഘടനകളില്‍പ്പെട്ട കച്ചവടക്കാരാണ് രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന് മടിക്കുന്നത്.നഗരപ്രദേശങ്ങളിലെ കച്ചവടക്കാരേക്കാള്‍ ഗ്രാമപ്രദേശത്തുള്ളവരാണ് രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ നടത്താത്തത്. 90 ശതമാനം കച്ചവടക്കാരും ഇപ്പോള്‍ രജിസ്റ്റര്‍ ചെയ്തിട്ടില്ല. ചെറുകിടകച്ചവടക്കാര്‍ രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ നേടിയില്ലെങ്കില്‍ ഒരുലക്ഷം രൂപയാണ് പിഴ. നിയമം പൂര്‍ണമായി നടപ്പാക്കുന്നതോടെ എല്ലാ കച്ചവടക്കാര്‍ക്കും രാജ്യമെമ്പാടുമായി പതിന്നാല് അക്കമുള്ള ഏകീകൃത രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍നമ്പര്‍ നിലവില്‍ വരും. ഓണ്‍ലൈനായി കച്ചവടക്കാരുടെ വിവരം ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥതലത്തില്‍ രാജ്യത്തിന് എവിടെനിന്നും പരിശോധിക്കാനാവും.നിലവില്‍ തദ്ദേശസ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ നല്‍കുന്ന ലൈസന്‍സ് ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ ആര്‍ക്കും ഭക്ഷണസാധനങ്ങള്‍ നിര്‍മിച്ചുവില്‍ക്കാനാവും. ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഗുണനിലവാരനിയമപ്രകാരം ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ കമ്മീഷണറാണ് രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ നല്‍കുക.2011 ആഗസ്ത് മുതലാണ് ഇന്ത്യയില്‍ ഈ നിയമം പ്രാബല്യത്തില്‍ വന്നത്. ലൈസന്‍സ് നല്‍കുന്നതിനും മറ്റു നടപടിക്രമങ്ങള്‍ പൂര്‍ത്തിയാക്കുന്നതിനും 2012 ആഗസ്ത് അഞ്ചുവരെ സമയം നല്‍കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. ലൈസന്‍സ് നേടുന്നതിനുള്ള അവസാനദിവസമാണ് 2012 മാര്‍ച്ച് 31. ഇതിനായി ഓരോ ജില്ലാ ഫുഡ് ഇന്‍സ്‌പെക്ടര്‍ കാര്യാലയത്തിന്റെയും ആഭിമുഖ്യത്തില്‍ ക്യാമ്പുകളും ബോധവത്കരണങ്ങളും നടത്തിവരുന്നുണ്ട്.ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കള്‍ വില്‍ക്കുന്ന സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളുടെ വിറ്റുവരവിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിലാണ് ലൈസന്‍സ് നിര്‍ബന്ധിതമാക്കുന്നത്. ചെറുകിടക്കാര്‍ക്ക് രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ മതി. വാര്‍ഷികവിറ്റുവരവ് 12 ലക്ഷത്തിന് മുകളില്‍ വരുന്നവര്‍ക്കും പ്രത്യേക ലൈസന്‍സ് വേണം. 2000 രൂപ ലൈസന്‍സ് ഫീസും രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ ഫീസ് നൂറു രൂപയുമാണ്.ഹോട്ടലുകള്‍, ബേക്കറികള്‍, പലചരക്കുകടകള്‍, പാല്‍, മുട്ട, മാംസം തുടങ്ങിയവ വില്‍ക്കുന്ന സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളും പാനീയ നിര്‍മാതാക്കള്‍, തട്ടുകടകള്‍, ഭക്ഷ്യസാധനങ്ങള്‍ വില്‍ക്കുന്ന മറ്റ് ചെറുകിട തെരുവുകച്ചവടക്കാര്‍ തുടങ്ങിയവരെല്ലാം ഈ നിയമത്തിന്റെ പരിധിയില്‍ വരും. ഉത്പാദിപ്പിക്കുന്നതും വില്‍ക്കുന്നതുമായ സാധനങ്ങളുടെ ഗുണനിലവാരം ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തുന്നതിനാണ് നിയമം ലക്ഷ്യമിടുന്നത്.

പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാരം പരിശോധിക്കുന്നതിന് സ്ഥിരം സംവിധാനം - ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ കമ്മീഷണര്‍

അന്യസംസ്ഥാനങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നുവരുന്ന പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാരം പരിശോധിക്കുന്നതിന് സ്ഥിരം സംവിധാനം ഏര്‍പ്പെടുത്തുമെന്ന് ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ കമ്മീഷണര്‍ അറിയിച്ചു. തമിഴ്‌നാട്ടിലെ തേനി ജില്ലയില്‍ പാലില്‍ ചേര്‍ക്കുന്ന ചില മാല്‍റ്റോഡെക്‌സ്ട്രിന്‍ എന്ന രാസവസ്തു പിടിച്ചെടുത്തതിനെ തുടര്‍ന്നാണിത്. സംശയം തോന്നുന്ന പാലിന്റെ സാമ്പിള്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥരുടെ സഹായത്തോടെ ജില്ലകളില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന ക്ഷീരവികസന വകുപ്പിന്റെ പാല്‍ഗുണനിലവാര ലാബുകളില്‍ പരിശോധിപ്പിക്കാം. പരാതി ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ തൊട്ടടുത്ത ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഓഫീസ്/ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ കമ്മീഷണറേറ്റില്‍ ബന്ധപ്പെടണം. ഫോണ്‍: 0471-2322833, 2322844.

ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാനിയമത്തിലെ അപാകം പരിഹരിക്കണം -വ്യാപാരികള്‍

കാസര്‍കോട്: മായംചേര്‍ക്കല്‍ നിരോധനനിയമം രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന് പകരമായി കേന്ദ്രസര്‍ക്കാര്‍ കൊണ്ടുവന്ന പുതിയ ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാനിയമം അപാകങ്ങള്‍ പരിഹരിച്ച് മാത്രമേ നടപ്പാക്കാവൂ എന്ന് കേരള വ്യാപാരി വ്യവസായി ഏകോപനസമിതി ജില്ലാകൗണ്‍സില്‍ യോഗം ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടു.
ലബോറട്ടറി പരിശോധനയ്ക്ക് സൗകര്യം ഏര്‍പ്പെടുത്താതെ ധൃതിപിടിച്ച് വ്യാപാരികളെക്കൊണ്ട് രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍ എടുപ്പിച്ച് നിയമത്തെ അംഗീകരിപ്പിക്കാനുള്ള ഗൂഢശ്രമമാണ് ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥതലത്തില്‍ നടത്തുന്നതെന്ന് യോഗം ആരോപിച്ചു.സമരത്തിന്റെ ആദ്യഘട്ടമായി 19ന് കലക്ടറേറ്റിലെ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി ഓഫീസിന് മുന്നില്‍ ധര്‍ണ നടത്താന്‍ യോഗം തീരുമാനിച്ചു.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Corporation delays NOC for ‘eatery on wheels'

Love having pani poori or taking chilli chicken from roadside eatery but scared of the hygiene? Not any longer, as the Food Safety and Drug Administration Department is working on ensuring quality.The Food Wing officials of the Department have given a list of ‘dos and don'ts' to roadside eateries and the latter have expressed willingness to abide by the directions. Standing between the vendors and the Department officials is the Coimbatore Corporation, which, as the local body, has to accord no-objection certificate.Only if the civic body issues the NOC to the vendors, will they be able to register with the Department, say the officials, citing provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Regulation, 2011. The vendors have to pay an annual registration fee of Rs. 100 to the Department, which after issuing the same, will conduct periodic inspections to ensure that they abide by the rules.The officials say that around 500 persons have obtained application forms for registration but are unable to submit the same for want of the NOC.V. Karuppaiah, a street food vendor from VOC Park, says that the vendors have approached the Corporation officials for early of NOC, which will enable them to run business from designated places on road boundaries and public places. The vendors along with tea stalls, bakeries, mess, restaurants, food manufacturers have to apply for permission from the Department to run their business.Earlier, the food establishments have to approach the local body.Mr. Karuppaiah says that a conservative estimate indicates that there are around 2,000 roadside eateries in Coimbatore selling chat, fast food, tiffin, lunch, gruel, ice cream, etc. Coimbatore Corporation sources say that after discussing the issue at the Council, the civic body will talk to the city police to identify places that do not hinder traffic flow and then issue NOC. It may also look at collecting a fee, say Rs. 10, Rs. 20 or Rs. 30 depending on location, from the vendors so that more money flows in the Corporation's coffers.

FDA files case against Pune vendor

The Pune division of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has finally taken action under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
On March 16, officials from the FDA, Pune lodged a case under section 31 (1) of the act against a Kothrud-based food vendor for running a food business without possession of a valid licence.This is the first case lodged in Pune division against a food vendor for doing business without licence under the act, which came into force eight months ago on August 4, 2011.The vendor was caught during the mass food poisoning incident in September 2011. Hundreds of people on a fast across the state took ill after consuming varai (samo rice) flour. Most of the cases happened in Solapur (222) and Pune (60). While a temporary ban on sale of varai flour was imposed, samples were drawn from food vendors across the city. During investigation, samples were drawn from Anand Trading Company in Kothrud’s Bhelkenagar run by proprietor Ashok Shah.“Initially the state public health laboratory rejected the sample as sub-standard. The vendor challenged the report and samples were sent to referral laboratory in Mysore where it was found fit.However during investigation we realised that he didn’t have a valid licence for running the shop,” said AR Deshmukh, food safety inspector.Deshmukh said Shah earlier owned a shop on the same name on the opposite side of the road that had a licence. “When he shifted location, he didn’t take a licence. We sent a proposal to our seniors for taking action and after we received permission, we lodged a case in the chief judicial magistrate’s court,” he said.The registered criminal case number is 0401021/2012 which was lodged on March 16 under section 31 (1) of the FSSA, 2006.“The punishment for violation of this section is covered under section 63 of FSSA, 2006 which carries maximum imprisonment of six months along with fine of Rs5 lakh. We want to send out a strong message to all food business operators that we are serious about cracking down on unlicenced or unregistered vendors,” said Chandrakant Salunkhe, joint commissioner (food), Pune. He added that while issuing new licences or registrations is an ongoing process, the last date for businesses to convert to the new law is August 4, 2012.“After that we will begin a crackdown on old licence holders that haven’t come under the new law too,” said Salunkhe.

16.3 lakh cans of energy drink seized in FDA raid

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized 16.3 lakh cans of the energy drink Red Bull worth Rs6.40 crore from two premises in Thane on Wednesday. A similar raid at a Vikroli–based distributor led to the seizure of 2,008 cans worth Rs 1.90 lakh.
FDA officials said the
raid was conducted because the caffeine content in the energy drink was between 250 parts per million (ppm) and 300ppm. According to Indian food safety laws, the caffeine content permitted in carbonated beverages is 145 ppm.Maharashtra has become the second state after Tamil Nadu to crack down on energy drink Red Bull for exceeding permissible limits on caffeine content.Caffeine, a mildly addictive stimulant, is commonly found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and  energy drinks. Increased caffeine consumption can lead to health problems such as anxiety, nervousness, irritability, insomnia, low heart rate and issues with maternal fertility.“Caffeine is addictive and it has a long term impact. Youngsters today are increasingly consuming alcohol with Red Bull. Parents should be keeping a check on what their children are drinking,” said Mahesh Zagade, commissioner, FDA.“Manufacturers claim it’s an energy drink and not a carbonated drink. But when you open a Red Bull can, there's fizz and it contains carbon dioxide. We are preparing for legal battle,” Zagade added.Though there are no separate standards for caffeine content in energy drinks, the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 has stated that all drinks containing caffeine should follow the rules applicable to carbonated beverages.At present, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is working on setting new norms for energy drinks. It is trying to create a new category for energy drinks to allow a higher caffeine content.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Keep the Food Safety and Standards Act in abeyance

The government should keep the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act in abeyance for three years so as to give time to frame rules that would not harm the domestic industry. In its present form, the FSS Act would favour only multinational companies and strike the death knell for the indigenous industry, said S. P. Jeyapragasam, president of Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association, on Friday.Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Jeyapragasam said that the definition for ‘adulteration' was not clear in the FSS Act. In a country like India, it would be difficult to produce ingredients for food products with uniform quality.The Act stipulated standards that were prevalent in 1954, he claimed and said that agricultural practices had changed over the decades through infusion of technology, fertilizers and pesticides. It took six months to grow paddy in 1954 but it was now possible to harvest the crop in 90 days.Mr. Jeyapragasam said that the enforcing authorities in the State lacked clear knowledge of the Act and familiarisation programmes were being conducted for them now.The food standards prescribed in FSS Act conformed to European and US standards but India was a vast country that produced cereals, pulses and grains of varying quality in different climatic conditions. The nutritional value and protein, sugar and moisture content were not the same and hence would not match the parameters of the Act.He claimed that certain preservatives had to be used in the preparation of food items and this could not be termed as adulteration.The Act prohibited the use of sodium bicarbonate and insisted on the use of sorbic acid in ‘appalam.'But sodium bicarbonate was allowed to be used in instant mixes. Mr. Jeyapragasam felt that a clause calling food items that did not contain ingredients with the prescribed quality, but were not harmful to health, as ‘sub-standard' could be included in the Act.The association president also pointed out that food analysis laboratories were located only in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur and Palayamkottai and it would be difficult for all manufacturers to get all their ingredients tested in time with the available facility.Mr. Jeyapragasam appealed to the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to persuade the Centre to keep the implementation of the FSS Act in abeyance for three years till the Standards Review Cell studied the suggestions and objections from manufacturers and traders.

Friday, March 23, 2012

പി.എഫ്.എ ആക്ട് റദ്ദായത് എന്ന് ?

പി.എഫ്.എ ആക്ട്  റിപ്പീല്‍ ചെയ്തു കൊണ്ടുള്ള കേന്ദ്ര ആരോഗ്യ കുടുംബക്ഷേമ വകുപ്പിന്റെ ഗസറ്റ് നോട്ടിഫിക്കേഷന്‍













29-07-2010 ന് സെക്ഷന്‍ 97 പ്രാബല്യത്തില്‍ വന്നെങ്കിലും  പി.എഫ്.എ ആക്ട്  2011 ആഗസ്റ്റ് 4 വരെ നിലവിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്ന് വ്യക്തമാക്കുന്ന അലഹബാദ് ഹൈക്കോടതി വിധി
Source:http://elegalix.allahabadhighcourt.in/elegalix/WebShowJudgment.do


eLegalix - Allahabad High Court Judgment Information System (Judgment/Order in Text Format)

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HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH 
(Reserved) 
Writ Petition No. 4252 (M/B) of 2010 
Shyam Narain Pandey versus State of U.P. others 
And 
Writ Petition No. 10044 (M/B) of 2010 
Shyam Narain Pandey versus State of U.P. others 
Hon'ble Pradeep Kant, J. 
Hon'ble Ritu Raj Awasthi, J. 
These are two writ petitions which involve purely legal questions of law. The State has filed its response. 
Counsel for both the parties have agreed to proceed with the hearing of the these petitions. 
Heard the learned counsel for the parties. 
The issues raised in Writ Petition No. 4252 (M/B) of 2010 required the Court to consider whether the State Government could have issued the Government Orders dated 5.4.2010, 19.1.2010 and 7.5.2010, which, in substance provided for appointment of administrative officers as local health authorities of the State, replacing the technical persons having knowledge of medical and health matters, namely, Chief Medical Officer, Deputy Chief Medical Officers, Health Officers, etc. The said Government Orders are under challenge in these petitions. 
The decision to carve out a new Food and Drugs Administrative Department to shift the powers and responsibility from the persons having technical knowledge in the subject concerned i.e. Class I Medical Officers having knowledge of the impact of different chemicals and edible and non-edible items on human body, to the administrative machinery of district under the control of District Magistrate, having no knowledge about the technical and medical aspects of different items on the health of human-beings, has been assailed in the present writ petitions filed in the nature of public interest litigation. 
It is also the case of the petitioner that in the absence of any competent and effective machinery being in existence, the business of edible items by the restaurants, hotels and factories, which are running without licence after 30th March, 2010, is a great danger to the life and health of the public in general. 
By means of the Government Order dated 5.4.2010, the powers to issue food licences were withdrawn from the Additional Chief Medical Officers and it was directed that no new food licence be issued nor existing licences be renewed. Since food licenses were valid only till 31st March of each year, therefore, owing to this Government Order, presently the entire food industry in the State of U.P. remains unchecked and is running without licence required under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, hereinafter referred to as the PFA Act and the U.P. Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1976, hereinafter referred to as the Rules, 1976. 
This Court made a query from the State Counsel as to who is the food licencing authority at present, in response to which another Government Order dated 7.5.2010 was pressed into service and it was said that by means of the said G.O. vide Placitum 3, the powers given to the Additional Chief Medical Officers under Rule 41(b) of the Rules, 1976 were cancelled and vide Placitum 4 of the same Government Order, City Magistrates in view of the Government Order dated 19.1.2010 were made Food Licensing Authority in urban areas and Chief Food Inspectors were made new licensing authorities of rural areas. By the Government Order dated 7.5.2010, Rule 4(1-A) and (1-B) were said to have been amended by the State Government. 
Section 3 of the PFA Act provides that there shall be the Central Committee for Food Standards which will advise the Central Government and the State Governments on matters arising out of the administration of the Act and to carry out the other functions assigned to it under the Act. Section 24 provides that the State Government may, after consultation with the Committee, make rules for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the Act i.e. to define the powers and duties of the food (Health) Authority, prescribe the forms of licences, levy fee, impose fines and provide for the delegation of the powers and functions conferred by the Act on the State Government or the Food (Health) Authority to subordinate authorities or to local authorities; meaning thereby that the State Government cannot make or change any rule made under the PFA Act without consultation of the Central Committee constituted under Section 3. 
There is no denial by the respondent State that no such exercise was undertaken, nor the aforesaid rules have been amended and thus, ignoring all these statutory rules, the State Government, without any consultation with the Central Committee, apparently took the Rules as amended, by issuing the impugned Government Order, which could not have been done. Even otherwise, by means of the Government Order, statutory provisions of the Act or the Rules cannot be said to have been amended nor could be amended, and admittedly no new rules have been framed. 
The Special Secretary, Department of Food and Drugs Administration, Government of U.P appeared in person before this Court on 5.8.2010 and he said that the licensing authority had been appointed by the State Government under Rule 59 (2) of the Rules, 1976, hereinafter referred to as the Rules, 1976. 
The petitioner's counsel, however, did not dispute the aforesaid appointment, but said that the appointment of licensing authority could not be made under Sections 23 or 24 of the PFA Act, to which the Special Secretary, replied that the steps shall be taken for amending the Rules, but as already observed, the Rules have not yet been amended. 
The posts of Chief Medical Officer and Nagar Swasthya Adhikari are interchangeable and inter-transferable which are governed by the same service Rules of Medical Health and Family Welfare Department and now although Nagar Swasthya Adhikari, as indicated in Rule 4 of the Rules, 1976 is retained but for reasons best known to the respondents, by means of Government Order dated 5.4.2010, entire working of grant or renewal of food licences has been stopped. 
By means of notification dated 20.12.2008, the Additional Chief Medical Officer was designated as Local Health Authority besides the Chief Medical Officer and now by means of Government Order dated 19.1.2010, the powers of Local Health Authorities have been withdrawn from the Chief Medical Officer/Additional Chief Medical Officer and have been given to City Magistrates, Additional Collectors or authorised Assistant Collectors, who have been made Local Health Authorities by means of the aforesaid G.O. dated 19.1.2010 while these persons to whom the powers of Local Health Authority have been delegated, have no experience or qualifications in relation to human health and the impact of different edible items including their clinical reaction on human body. 
The Food Inspectors appointed under Section 9 of the PFA Act work as per the provisions of the PFA Act and the Rules, 1976 under the supervision of Local Health Authority. Under Section 10, the approval of Local Health Authority is required for prohibition on sale of any edible items and under Section 10(4-A), satisfaction of Local Health Authority is necessary for destroying the deteriorated food articles, harmful for human consumption. Under Section 11(1)(c), the samples collected by Food Inspectors are sent for analysis under intimation to the Local (Health) Authority and under Section 13(1), the Local (Health) Authority can examine the report of analyst and under his authority, charges are framed under different Sections of PFA Act. All these provisions show that the Local (Health) Authority in the State is having discretionary powers to be exercised on the basis of the gravity of offence/matter evaluated on the basis of the impact of adulteration on the human body, which can only be done by a person having knowledge of human body and the impact of different chemicals and edible or non-edible items on the human body, which cannot be efficiently done by administrative authorities having no experience and knowledge in relation to impact of substances over human body. 
In regard to shifting of powers of Local Health Authority from the Medical and Health Department to the District Administration headed by the District Magistrate, the State Government says that it is to reduce the burden of Medical and Health Department and therefore, the new Food and Drugs Administration Department is carved out. 
The creation of a separate department in the name of Food and Drugs Administration Department vide Government Order dated 30.7.2009 has been challenged in Writ Petition No. 10044 (M/B) of 2010. 
In Writ Petition No. 4252 (M/B) of 2010, the prayer made is that the aforesaid Government Orders dated 5.4.2010, 19.1.2010 and 7.5.2010 be quashed and the existing Local Health Authority of the State vested in Chief Medical Officer and Additional Chief Medical Offi9cer be restored with powers of food licensing authority. 
So far as Writ Petition No. 10044 (M/B) of 2010 is concerned, the petitioner has alleged that the creation of new Food and Drugs Administrative Department by the State Government is without jurisdiction and is not in public interest, which also loses control over the Local Health Authority and other licensing authority, and thereby gives absolute liberty to this new department to violate the law at the risk of public health. This writ petition actually proceeds with the assumption that the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 having come into force and it being the stand of the State Government before the High Court that in view of Section 97 of the said Act, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, seven other Acts and Orders were repealed by virtue of notification dated 29.7.2010, therefore, a direction be issued to the respondents to implement the entire Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 in the State of U.P. at the earliest and to constitute the Food and Drug (Administration) under the administrative control of department of Health and Family Welfare of State of Uttar Pradesh as required under the various notifications of Central Government and accordingly quash the Office Memorandum dated 30.7.2009, by means of which the new department was created. 
The prayer for implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 appears to have been made for the reason that the State Government in Writ Petitions No. 8254, 8255 and 8256 of 2010 (M/B) in re: M/s Pepsico India Holdings (Pvt) Limited and another versus State of U.P. and others, has taken the stand that on the enforcement of the aforesaid Act, the PFA Act and the Rules, 1976 stand repealed. We will discuss the aforesaid issue at latter stage of this order. 
So far as the appointment of officers of the district officers as licensing authorities and local health authorities is concerned, the learned State Counsel could not satisfy us nor could show any provision under the Act or the Rules which permits such an appointment by the State Government, that too by issuance of a Government Order, without amending the Rules made under the PFA Act. The officers of the district administration, who are supposed to have no knowledge of public health and the ingredients used in various types of food products, the process under which such food items are cooked or prepared and the effect of such materials, namely, oils and chemicals used, on human body, cannot be entrusted with this work. Such persons cannot check adulteration as they neither can find out the degree of adulteration nor can work out the impact thereof on human and living beings. Chief Medical Officers and Additional Chief Medical Officers, who are experts in the medical field, they being degree-holders in medical sciences, cannot be replaced even in public interest with those who are non-experts in the field, or in other words quacks. That apart, the rules having not been amended, as is admitted to the State Counsel, no Government Order or Office Order could be issued contrary to the statutory rules. Since the Rules themselves prescribe and designate the Chief Medical Officer/Additional Chief Medical Officer as the licensing authority, this statutory prescription cannot be withdrawn by executive order or by issuing a Government Order. 
Sri D.K.Upadhyay, learned Chief Standing Counsel appearing for the State could not satisfy the Court as to under what authority or law, such a change has been effected. The Government Orders impugned are per se illegal in so far as they make a change against the statutory prescription and designate the officers of district administration as local health authorities in place of Chief Medical Officer/Additional Chief Medical Officer. 
In view of the legal position as discussed above, the appointment of City Magistrates or in their absence Deputy Collectors, nominated by the District Magistrates under the PFA Act, 1954 as local health authorities for the districts, cannot be sustained, which authority has to be in consonance with the provisions of Rules 2, 4 and 8 of the Rules of 1976. 
So far as the licensing authorities are concerned, they are also to be appointed as per Rule 4(1)(b) of the Rules of 1976 and any appointment made contrary to the aforesaid Rules, can neither be allowed to continue nor can be said to be valid. The rules have not been changed/amended by following the provisions of Section 24 of the Act till date. 
Rule 2(b) of the Rules of 1976 defines "Food (Health) Authority", which means the Director of Medical and Health Services, Uttar Pradesh, whereas Commissioner has been made the Food (Health) Authority, which cannot be done in pursuance of the aforesaid Rules. 
The next plea of the petitioner, that in view of Section 97 (1) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, seven other Acts and the Rules, 1976 stand repealed and, therefore, a direction be issued to implement the entire Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 in the State of U.P. effectively, is to be considered by appreciating the fact as to whether any notification under Section 97(1) of the said Act repealing the aforesaid Acts has been issued or not by the Central Government. True, the stand of the State Government is itself contrary as on the one hand in the writ petitions of Pepsico (supra), they have taken the stand that the PFA Act and the Rules stand repealed in view of the notification issued under Section 97(1) of the said Act and on the other hand, in the present case, they stated that the process for amending the aforesaid Rules is in progress. If the PFA Act and the Rules, as per the own assertion of the State Government, stood repealed, then there is no occasion or question for amending the said Rules which are no more in force. 
Dr. Ashok Nigam, learned Senior Advocate assisted by Sri Neerav Chitranshi, appearing for the Central Government, has submitted that Section 1, sub-section (3) of the Act of 2006 provides that the Act of 2006 shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any such provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision, meaning thereby that different Sections of the Act can come in force at different times and, therefore, in exercise of this power, the Central Government has issued the aforesaid notification making Section 97 enforceable with effect from 29.7.2010. This notification does not mean the notification which is required to be issued under Section 97, sub-section (1). He categorically states that Section 97 on its commencement, enables the Central Government to issue a notification for repeal but the said notification has not yet been issued. 
Dr. Ashok Nigam further submitted that the aforesaid judgment in Pepsico case is per incurium, as it does not take into consideration Section 97(1) of the Act, 2006 and raises a presumption that on the issuance of the notification by the Central Government on 29.7.2010, the old Act has been repealed, whereas the said notification has not been issued under Section 97(1) of the Act, but has been issued under Section 1(3) of the Act. 
During the course of arguments, Sri Umesh Chandra, learned Senior Advocate moved an application for impleadment on behalf of 'Pepsico', saying that the matter be deferred as a Special Leave Petition has been filed against the judgment and order dated 8.9.2010 passed in writ petitions bearing nos. 8254, 8255 and 8256 of 2010 (M/B) filed by Pepsico, and later on informed that notices have been issued to the respondents by the Supreme Court in the aforesaid case. We do not find it expedient to implead 'Pepsico' in the present petitions as we are not to adjudge the merits of the case, in which judgment has been delivered by a Division Bench of this Court and moreso when it is in appeal before the Supreme Court. We have, however, heard Sri Umesh Chandra. His submission is that this Court cannot take a different view, contrary to the view taken in the case of Pepsico. 
We have gone through the judgment in the case of Pepsico, which has been placed before us and we find that the Court has presumed that the repealing notification has been issued under Section 97(1) of the Act, 2006 and, therefore, PFA Act and the Rules of 1976 stand repealed. We are not on the merits of the issue which has been considered and decided in the case of Pepsico (supra), nor we make any attempt to scrutinize the findings recorded on merits of that case in the said judgment, but we have been persuaded by Sri Anurag Narain, learned counsel for the petitioner to delve upon the issue whether the PFA Act and the Rules, 1976 actually stood repealed by operation of law on issuance of notification dated 29.7.2010. 
We are, therefore, of the view that the PFA Act and the Rules are in operation and in the absence of a notification under Section 97(1), the provisions of the said Act and the rules would continue to be operative unless the aforesaid Act and the rules are repealed. 
The notification said to have been issued by the Central Government on 29.7.2010 is in fact a notification issued under sub-section (3) of Section 1 of the Act, 2006. This means that Section 97, which was hitherto not in force, has been enforced with effect from the said date. Section 1, sub-section (3) and Section 97 of the Act read as under : 

Friday, March 9, 2012

ഭക്ഷ്യവ്യവസായത്തിന് ലൈസന്‍സ് മാര്‍ച്ച് 31ന് മുമ്പ് പുതുക്കണം

കൊച്ചി: ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ നിയമം അനുസരിച്ച് ഭക്ഷ്യവ്യവസായത്തിന് ലൈസന്‍സ് നിര്‍ബന്ധമാക്കി. 2011 ആഗസ്ത് അഞ്ചിന് നിലവില്‍ വന്ന ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ നിലവാര നിയമമനുസരിച്ച് ലൈസന്‍സില്ലാതെ കച്ചവടം നടത്തുവാന്‍ പാടില്ല. 2012 ആഗസ്ത് അഞ്ച് മുതല്‍ ലൈസന്‍സ് നമ്പര്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യ ഉത്പാദകര്‍ അവരുടെ ഉത്പന്ന ലേബലുകളില്‍ പ്രിന്റ് ചെയ്യണം. തദ്ദേശസ്വയംഭരണ സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്ന് ലഭിച്ചിട്ടുള്ള ലൈസന്‍സ് മാര്‍ച്ച് 31ന് മുമ്പ് പുതുക്കണം.
പുതുക്കാന്‍ സമര്‍പ്പിക്കുന്ന ലൈസന്‍സിനോടൊപ്പം പഴയ ലൈസന്‍സിന്റെ കോപ്പി, സ്ഥാപനത്തില്‍ ഭക്ഷണസാധനങ്ങള്‍ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യുന്ന ജീവനക്കാരുടെ ലിസ്റ്റ്, ലിസ്റ്റില്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെട്ടവരുടെ മെഡിക്കല്‍ ഫിറ്റ്‌നസ് സര്‍ട്ടിഫിക്കറ്റ്, ലൈസന്‍സുള്ള വ്യക്തിയുടെ ഫോട്ടോപതിപ്പിച്ച തിരിച്ചറിയല്‍ കാര്‍ഡ് എന്നിവ സമര്‍പ്പിക്കണം. 31ന് ശേഷം സമര്‍പ്പിക്കുന്നവ പുതിയ ലൈസന്‍സ് അപേക്ഷയായി പരിഗണിക്കും. ഇതിന് കൂടുതല്‍ ഡോക്യുമെന്റുകള്‍ ഹാജരാക്കേണ്ടിയും വരും. വിശദവിവരങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് സംസ്ഥാന ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി കമ്മീഷണറുടെ വെബ്‌സൈറ്റായ foodsafetykerala.gov.in സന്ദര്‍ശിക്കുക.
Source:http://www.mathrubhumi.com

  Source: manoramaonline.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Source: manoramaonline.com

Food adulteration rampant in Mumbai, but conviction rate zero in 3 years


From mixing of edible oils with inferior varieties to ripening of bananas with banned chemicals, Mumbai is home to the worst kind of adulteration of food in the country. While these details are startling, what is alarming is the fact that most of the culprits engaged in this illegal activity in Mumbai go unpunished. The city has registered zero conviction rate during 2009, 2010 and 2011. As per the details obtained by Food and Beverage News in two separate RTIs filed with Maharashtra Food and Drug Control Administration and its Greater Mumbai wing, not a single person or a company has been convicted for food adulteration in the city in the last three years.While responding to a question seeking the names of the individuals or companies held guilty for food adulteration in different courts in the city in the last three years, the FDA replied in the RTI, “Not a single person or company has been found guilty of food adulteration by any court.”
Interestingly, according to the information provided in the RTI, there were around 1,175 and 1,208 cases running in the magistrate court in 2009-10 and 2010-11, respectively, for instances of food adulteration/misbranding of food and such others. Out of these, merely 12 cases were decided in 2009-10 and 8 cases in 2010-11. Surprisingly all 20 accused were acquitted. Thane district registered the highest number of prosecutions in the state with as many as 1,175 pending cases in 2009-10 and 1,208 in 2010-11 but not a single case was decided by the court in these three years. 
Extremely low conviction rate raises a finger at the probity of the enforcement officials to book the culprits. There is no denying the fact that the officials do file a case against a company when its food samples are found adulterated in the laboratory.However, the evidence is eventually distorted and the court is misled through weak representation of the case after some monetary bargain with the implicated trader. In an international food industry conference held, those manufacturers were asked to raise their hands who had never bribed a food inspector, only one hand was raised and ironically he was involved in a number of cases pending against him. The nexus between the culprit and the authority is thus conspicuous. “For every minor contravention, the inspector would ask for a bribe anywhere between Rs 1,000 and 10,000. The new Food Safety and Standards Act gives more power to the inspectors so much so that they are also involved in the prosecution procedures. We fear even more corruption and greater inspector raj,” says a member of an industry body on condition of anonymity. He, however, admits that corruption is more rampant among the lower rank officials and that the officials at the top are mostly unscathed. When this newspaper approached the authority, the FDA chose to blame it on the delays in the magistrate court.