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Sealed sago factories not to be reopened without permission:HC

8,September, 2015
 

The Madras High Court today made it clear that when factories are sealed by Food Safety officer on account of adulterated sago, it should not be reopened without the permission of the court.

The First Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice T S Sivagnanam directed the Government that l sago which fails the tests must actually be handed over to the food safety department officer for appropriate action in accordance with law, as on return of it to manufacturers such sago is often sold at discounted price.

The bench gave the direction on a PIL filed by Kallakurichi Vellalapatti Vivasayigal Munnetra Sangam in Namakkal district.

The bench made it clear that wet starch is sold in the market, which also creates a problem, which is purchased by the manufactures at discounted value and then sold after adding the chemicals the sale of wet srarch should be banned.

Earlier a frist bench had directed the Officer, Food and Safety Department, Salem District, to be present in the Court after filing an affidavit to assist the court.

The Farmers association in its PIL alleged that the Tamil Nadu Tapioca Natural Sago Manufacturers Association of Salem who are predominant manufacturers in the entire country and suppliers of sago, was purchasing Tapioca from the farmers has started adding acid and other chemicals in order to make the sago look attractive which is highly harmful to public.

The petitioner said the states Maharashtra, Bihar, Madyapradesh,Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat are the states. However, mixing of acid and other chemicals in Sago which resulted ultimately in reduction of demand.

Dr T Anuradha, Designated Officer, Food Safety Department, Salem, appeared in person today before the Bench as per the order of it.

She submitted that it emerges that when tapioca is to be processed, the skin has to be removed, but in some of the cases, the small manufacturers may not have the process to do so and without removing the skin, they process it and give it to the larger manufactures. Apart from that, the allegation is that, to whiten the sago, various harmful chemicals are used.

The sago is scrutinized by the Erode district collector through a nine-test process, and where the tests failed the sago is returned to the manufacturers.

The bench also directed the Assistant Public Prosecutor to hand over the list of cases which are already initiated and charge sheet filed to the registrar of the High Court, who will submit a report as to what steps have been taken to expeditiously deal with the cases and adjourned the case to November 17.

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