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Vittan v. State Of U.P. And Others - CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. - 12175 of 2007  RD-AH 16265 (3 October 2007)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
(COURT NO. 44)
In Re: FOOD ADULTERATION MATTER
(Arising out of Crl. Writ Petition No. 12175 of 2007:
Vittan Vs. State of U.P. and others)
Hon'ble Imtiyaz Murtuza, J.
Hon. Amar Saran, J.
In response to an earlier order dated 20.8.2007 a counter affidavit has been filed today by Dr. Anil Misra, Dy. SP (Legal Cell), DGP (Headquarters), U.P., Lucknow, on behalf of DGP, State of U.P.
It is gratifying to note that Sri Vikram Singh, DGP, U.P. has taken the directions in the order dated 20.8.2007 seriously in the right spirit and perspective. By Task Order No. 25 dated 28.8.2007, he has directed all the zonal IGs, regional DIGs, SSPs/SPs in UP to take strict action in pursuance of the earlier order passed in this writ petition (i.e. W.P. No. 12175 of 2007). He has sought details of all the prosecutions launched in respect of adulterated/spurious products in the last five years and for submission of the investigations and also directed that a drive be launched consisting of joint teams of district administration, police, health department which would register cases under section 16(1A) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, and under sections 272 and 273 IPC as amended by Act No. 47 of 1975. If some matters could be covered under National Security Act, 1980, then detention orders may even be passed against major offenders therein. He has also directed that daily reports of the campaign in the matter be sent to the ADGP (Law and Order) and ADGP (Crime) and the matter be strictly monitored by ADGP (Law and Order). The report was to be submitted to the DGP by 11.9.2007. The SSPs and SPs were also directed to obtain status reports in respect of the progress in the matters relating to action against adulterators of food items in the monthly meetings in the districts, and to forward the status reports to DG (Crime) by the 5th of each month.
The DGP has also written a letter dated 29.8.2007 to the Principal Secretary (Health), U.P. Government, forwarding therewith a copy of the High Court's earlier order for coordinating action of the administration, police and health departments in respect of adulterated food articles which are harmful for health and for taking action against the sellers and producers of the said commodities. He has also requested that a DO letter be issued to all the commissioners and district magistrates in this respect.
In pursuance of the earlier order in this writ, a meeting of the Principal Secretary (Health), U.P., Principal Secretary, Urban Development, U.P., Principal Secretary, Food and Civil Supplies, U.P., ADGP (Law and Order), U.P., Secretary (Home), U.P., and the DIG (Public Grievance), U.P. was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, U.P. on 18.9.2007 for effective monitoring of the cases relating to adulteration of food articles and also for controlling the production, sale and distribution of adulterated food articles in an effective manner and, where necessary, special teams consisting of the officers/officials of the police, health and scientific laboratory etc. were to be constituted. However, the subsequent progress report of the said meeting and directions described above are still awaited, and we hope that by the next date of listing the detailed report shall be available. We also hope that we will be given concrete examples of what has been achieved by conducting a genuine campaign for checking adulteration of food items, and that the same does not become a one-time endeavour, or merely an example of convening meetings and engagement in paper work with no actual implementation or impact at the ground level. Adulteration of food items is a crime which has now assumed the proportions of a social scourge, endangering all unwary consumers of food items in their different forms, as one and all must partake of food items, which means that no one is safe any more.
The last annexure contains the list of matters relating to adulteration of food items. The said list shows that a total of 132 cases were registered in the past five years, which included 28 from Meerut, 22 from Moradabad, 17 from Kanpur, 16 from Agra, 11 each from Bareilly and Lucknow, 10 from Saharanpur etc. A total of 359 accused were involved in these cases, out of whom 320 had been arrested, 18 had surrendered and 18 remained to be arrested. Charge-sheets had been submitted in 94 cases. In 7 cases final reports have been submitted and in 31 cases investigations were pending.
A perusal of this chart shows that only 132 cases of grave food adulteration have been detected in the last five years. This is obviously only the tip of the iceberg and the number of raids must be increased manifold for putting any dent on this grave crime of adulteration of food stuffs in the astounding variety of ways that it is being carried out. It should be obvious to all and sundry that the mere registration of 132 such cases in the last 5 years shows that governments have not been serious so far in tackling this grave social menace. Also on the next date we would like to have the reports with respect to the progress of trials in the cases where charge-sheets have been submitted in the courts, with trial number and description of the Courts concerned as we expect the trial courts to proceed with the trials of these matters most expeditiously. The investigation in 31 matters where investigations are still pending must be expedited and the cases brought to trial.
List the case on 20.11.2007 for further orders/hearing and for receiving further compliance and progress reports in the matter as directed above.
On that date the learned Addl. Advocate General Sri Devendra Arora may also appear.
On that date, this case should be listed independently and not be connected with Crl. Writ Petition No. 5520 of 2006, which relates to another matter where the issue adulteration of food items is not involved. Copy of this order may be given to the AGA within 10 days.
Dated: 3 .10.2007
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