Published On : Thu, Nov 5th, 2015

Guilty of adulteration may go scot free from courts

All due to failure to prove adulteration

Lab of Public Health Centre, Nelson Square Nagpur
Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is in a tight compartment these days due to Supreme Court orders. The Apex court orders say that after any raids made or action taken by FDA, the accredited samples  be sent to Lab for test, otherwise the cases may remain weak and not be proved in the court. The FDA in Nagur does not have its own Lab, and all collected samples are sent to the Lab of Public Health Department, situated at Nelson Square, on Chhindawara Road, for test. Here, the question crops up as to how authentic the said Lab is. The FDA has never bothered to know it, and the samples are still forwarded as usual to the same Lab for test.

The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 vide its Section 43 says, the Food Laboratories and Research Institutes should be accredits by National Accreditation Board or any other equivalent government organisation. Not only this, Section 46 of the said Act emphasizes that the collected samples must be tested within 14 days, and there are certain other laid down conditions to be abided by.

Despite all such provisions, the FDA, jsut to escape, got issued an advisory on July 4, 2011. The advisory was issued by Director (Info) addressed to all departments that they may get their samples tested by Lab of Public Health Department. The advisory was challenged in the High Court and later in the Supreme Court, and it suffered defeat at both places.

Bombay High Court in Writ Petition No. 2740/ 2013 questioned as to how a department can issue advisory against any Act, for no advisory can stand without being tabled before the Parliament. When the issue reached Supreme Court it maintained the decision of High Court.

In the wake of these developments, the FDA must have its own Lab, or else all efforts made by it in conducting raids and collecting the samples of adulterated food items will go in vain, as they will not stand in courts.