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Allahabad HC Seeks State Food Safety Commissioner's Personal Affidavit In PIL Seeking Constructive Disposal Of 'Used Cooking Oil'

Sparsh Upadhyay
16 March 2022 6:06 AM GMT
Allahabad HC Seeks State Food Safety Commissioners Personal Affidavit In PIL Seeking Constructive Disposal Of Used Cooking Oil
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The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) has directed the Commissioner, Food Safety & Drug Administration (State of UP) to file his personal affidavit in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea praying for setting up a State level Monitoring Committee for formulating a Standard Operating Procedure for collection and utilization of Used Cooking Oil (UCO).It may be noted that Used Cooking...

The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) has directed the Commissioner, Food Safety & Drug Administration (State of UP) to file his personal affidavit in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea praying for setting up a State level Monitoring Committee for formulating a Standard Operating Procedure for collection and utilization of Used Cooking Oil (UCO).

It may be noted that Used Cooking Oil (UCO), are oils and fats that have already been used for cooking or frying and since its chemical composition contains carcinogenic substances (which promotes carcinogenesis, the formation of cancer) that resulted from the frying process, it is advised not to consume the same.

The Bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I observed that the PIL plea raises important issue relating to public health and therefore, asked the Commissioner, Food Safety & Drug Administration to file his personal affidavit on behalf of the State.

About the PIL Plea

Essentially the court was hearing a PIL plea moved by Udgamya Seva Samiti Society through advocate Anagh Misra submitting that the Food Safety And Standards Authority Of India [FSSAI] had issued several directions to ensure proper disposal and collection of UCO from operators to ensure that such used cooking oil is neither directly used in the food preparation nor re-enter the food chain.

However, the plea adds, despite being duty-bound to carry out various functions and duties as per Section 30 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the State Food Security Commissioner had failed to put in place a mechanism for proper disposal of UCO in the State of Uttar Pradesh, thereby creating a health risk for the residents.

The petitioner submits that he had made several representations before the State authorities and made efforts to seek compliance with the directions and thereby preventing entry of UCO in the food chain, however, it did not result in any concrete actions and therefore, the petitioner moved the Court.

"Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India, despite the said fact no concrete phase-wise strategy has been adopted for the implementation of the RUCO environment. That let alone the food operators being identified, not even a committee has been formulated for developing a Standard operating procedure for collection and utilization of UCO, thereby preventing its inflow into the food chain," the plea submits.

Further, the plea stresses that the right to the wholesome health of the citizens has totally been put at stake, and there is no justification on part of the respondent no. 2 [State Food Security Commissioner] to delay implementation of the RUCO ecosystem in the State. 

Further, the plea states that efforts ought to be undertaken to promote the disposal of UCO through aggregators/ biodiesel manufacturers by offering incentives to the food business operators or otherwise to ensure proper disposal and preventing the entry of the same in the food chain.

Against this backdrop, the PIL plea prays for a direction to the respondent authorities to set up a State level Monitoring Committee for formulating a Standard Operating Procedure for collection and utilization of UCO.

It also prays for a direction to the State Food Security Commissioner to take immediate steps for disposal of UCO by food business operators only through the authorized collection agencies and to take steps for consumer awareness in respect of UCO.

Case title - Udgamya Seva Samiti Society Registered Under The Provisions Of The Societies Reg.Lko Thru.President v. The Food Safety And Standards Authority Of India New Delhi And Anr

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