1 Aug 2023 10:39 AM GMT
The Calcutta High Court has suggested the State's Health and Family Welfare Department to conduct periodic raids in order to quell instances of illegal manufacture of packaged drinking water, without license.Previously, the Court had sought a report regarding the measures taken by the State to ensure the safety of packaged drinking water. Upon perusing such report on Tuesday, a division-bench...
The Calcutta High Court has suggested the State's Health and Family Welfare Department to conduct periodic raids in order to quell instances of illegal manufacture of packaged drinking water, without license.
Previously, the Court had sought a report regarding the measures taken by the State to ensure the safety of packaged drinking water. Upon perusing such report on Tuesday, a division-bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya disposed of the writ petition observing:
[This] problem is not a one-day affair and requires vigilant monitoring over all packaged drinking water manufacturers. Court suggests that a database be created by relevant department of State where all certified manufacturers can be enlisted and a caution notice be issued that without licenses no unit can produce packed drinking water. Apart from continuous monitoring, public may also be sensitized through leaflets and boards during festivals, warning the public not to drink water which are packed and do not display requisite permissions. The court trusts that the monitoring system is strengthened and continuous monitoring be done so that the safety and health of general public can be maintained.”
The PIL filed by ‘Nigrani Sansthan’ sought directions upon the State to create a task force to coordinate among various departments and constitute units that would undertake surprise checks of the facilities which manufacture illegal drinking water, and take steps under FSSAI, Bureau of Indian Standards (“BIS”), IPC and other relevant laws and regulations.
In response, the State had filed a report, placing on record the available safeguards that have been put in place, as well as the raids undertaken by it in pursuance of the same.
Upon perusing the report, the Bench remarked:
Report says checks and balances are there, but how effective is it. Some more effective monitoring is required, especially of the water-sachet. Bottled water has to have a seal, and label…that is one thing, but sachet water has to be monitored, it is being given in functions. Also water bottles that are being sold, and later being reused by being refilled and resealed. How to prevent that? That is more dangerous. You can conduct periodic raids. Where there is not BIS certification, you revoke the certificate and let him apply. There is another advisory committee headed by the Chief Secretary, the steps taken by [them] have also been taken into account. Awareness camps are being organised by food safety officers for businesses selling packaged drinking water. With regard to criminal prosecution, [the State submits] that the same will fall within the ambit of the respondent police, and keep food safety officers in the joint raid team. Seizures have happened and cases registered.”
Case: Nigrani Sansthan Vs State Of West Bengal And Ors.
Coram: Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Cal) 203