The High Court of Bombay at Goa has directed the South
Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) to file an affidavit in relation
to the steps taken to improve the wholesale fish market at Margao, South Goa,
in a case related to the issue of presence of formalin in fish.
The High Court’s division bench comprising Justice M S
Sonak and Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu observed, “The details of the steps
taken till now to be placed on record latest by March 13, 2020. Since we are
informed that the SGPDA is specially meeting to consider the issues in relation
to the wholesale market, they are also directed to take into consideration all
the issues raised by the petitioner on Thursday.”
The counsel for the Food Safety and Standards Authority
of India (FSSAI) D Lawande stated that the progress report as directed has been
filed on February 15, 2020, after delay of one day.
The Court said, “The delay is condoned and the report is
taken on record. Copies of the report to be furnished to the counsels for the
petitioners as well as the other concerned respondents.”
The Court also observed that the assistant director of
FSSAI has filed an affidavit enclosing the progress report in pursuance of our
earlier directions. The affidavit/progress report is taken on record. The FSSAI
to file further progress report by June 10, 2020. This is necessary because in
terms of the earlier timelines the entire work is to be completed by FSSAI by
first week of August, 2020.
The FSSAI had stated
before the Court that “research on the naturally occurring formalin in fish is
taking time due to the large categories of fish involved.” The FSSAI had stated
that the research work will be complete by June 2020. The Court was also told
that report will be prepared by July 2020 and notified in August 2020.
It may be noted that by the order dated October 29, 2018,
the Court had directed the FSSAI to specify the standards in relation to the
sale of fish in the State of Goa in the context of the issue of presence of
formalin therein. Since the Court was informed that this exercise would involve
consultations with experts, the Court had deliberately granted sufficient time
to FSSAI for this purpose.
The report was expected within six months or thereabout
from the making of the Court order.
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Source:: The Navhind Times