Health concern: Court orders raids against profiteers, adulterated edibles

Food secretary says samples sent to laboratory but results delayed.

Our Correspondent July 31, 2013
Food secretary says samples sent to laboratory but results delayed. PHOTO: INP

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday directed officials to monitor the price and quality of daily commodities so that those violating the official price list and involved in adulteration may be booked.

A division bench comprising PHC Chief Justice (CJ) Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali issued the orders while hearing a suo motu notice taken upon reports of PHC Human Rights Directorate stating adulterated and substandard daily commodities were being sold in the open market.

The court observed selling poor quality food meant playing with the lives of people, adding the practice needs to be restrained and those involved brought to justice. Justice Khan questioned Food Secretary Fazl-e-Amin as to why they had failed to curb such activities and arrest those responsible.

Amin, however, replied saying it was the health department’s task to take action against those involved. He said the food was tested and 670 samples were sent to a laboratory in Ramazan, but the results were delayed due to excessive burden on the lab.

Amin clarified Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has taken notice of the issue and has ordered to establish more laboratories in the province.

The bench later summoned provincial secretaries of finance, planning and development, and health to appear in court to devise a strategy for obtaining test results promptly, while chief secretary, home secretary, additional chief secretary Fata, commissioners, political agents, deputy commissioners and district police officials were directed to visit markets daily and check prices
along with the quality of edible items.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.