Food safety officials press for prosecution of trader held for adulterating edible oil

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IMPHAL, August 12: The case against M/S Ajay Traders for adulteration of edible oil has been placed before the Imphal East ADM Adjudication Office for prosecution on July 21.

It may be recalled, a raid by the police on June 9 at around 11:45 am in a godown at Khabam Lamkhai, sensationally revealed the organised crime of this trading firm.

According to an official source, the concerned food safety office has pressed for prosecution after the Commissioner Food Safety verified the adulteration report of the seized edible oil from the State Food Testing Laboratory at Lamphel. The Commissioner Food Safety has given the go ahead for launching a case against Ajay Traders on July 14.

The seized oil samples collected from the spot were sent to the State Food Testing Laboratory for examination on June 9.

The Food Safety Officers of the State had earlier cancelled the license of Ajay Traders and sealed the shop of Moolchand Paean at Thangal bazaar.

The report from the laboratory was received on June 30 and sent to the Imphal West Medical Director. The report revealed the presence of unhygienic husky grains and earthy materials in the oil sample.

According to the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2011, the accused proprietor can be awarded penalty through prosecution. The errant shopkeeper has to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh under section 56 for engaging in unhygienic and unsanitary process with food products. He may have to pay Rs 2 lakhs under section 57 for engaging in food adulteration not causing injury to health. Under Section 63, selling food products without an official licence can land one into prison for six months or a fine of Rs 5 lakhs.

The sources said that the case has been placed before the ADM adjudicating officer for food safety and his verdict is awaited.

Meanwhile, the Central government has directed the State government to conduct sustained and extensive drives at districts, municipal areas, panchayati areas to monitor the compliance of food safety standards, but as yet the State government has not been able to follow the directives due to lack of manpower.

Though the State Cabinet has approved the development of infrastructure and the addition of manpower by recruiting more food safety officials, the food safety officials are still facing a lot of problems.

Recently, the Assembly has also allocated funds for food safety but on account of financial constraints the staffs can’t perform drives to check the registration of licence for standard food in our State

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