A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday registered a suo motu case in connection with the food poisoning incidents in Kasaragod, which claimed the life of a student and led to the hospitalisation of around 30 others.
The Bench, comprising Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice P.G. Ajithkumar, observed that the court was appalled at the terribly unfortunate turn of events and was pondering how it could happen when strict enforcement and analytical regimes and systems were in place under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Should never recur
The court said that it was firm that this shall never recur, especially because the food in question — shawarma — appeared to have obtained great popularity in the State. Therefore, the court deemed it pressing in the interest of the health and life of citizens to seek report from the authorities on the measures taken, or to be taken, to ensure the safety of the food. This was all the more "acme" since the Commissionerate of Food Safety was invested with the duty of implementing and ensuring efficient implementation of food safety, its standards, and other unexpendable requirements under the Act and regulations.
The court observed that it was only when the twin legal duties of enforcement and analytics, with special emphasis on “watch, guard and accountability,” was discharged by the officers diligently, could the well publicised motto of the Commissionerate of Food Safety, ‘Safe Food for Healthy Life’, obtain real meaning.
The court posted the case for further consideration on May 6.