FDA to lodge FIRs in gutka seizures

Jan 22, 2013, 06:59 IST | Urvashi Seth

The department is contemplating filing FIRs in unsolved gutka smuggling cases at the jurisdictional police stations where banned products were seized and trace the sources

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently mulling over plans to file an FIR against every seizure they have made involving gutka. The department will be looking at minute details in order to investigate unsolved cases pertaining to gutka seizures made in the recent past and use help from the police to track down and stop the racketeers once and for all.

A gutka consignment valued at Rs 11 lakh was seized by the Food and Drug Administration from aboard a train in December, after a statewide ban was announced in July last year. File Pic

According to a source, the department is now seeking legal help and will file an FIR for every seizure it has made since the statewide gutka ban was announced. Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner, FDA said, “Yes, we are seeking legal opinion in the matter and are planning to file an FIR in all the seizure cases we have made so far.

We will now tighten the noose and will not let anybody supply the banned product in the city. FIRs will be filed in the respective police stations location-wise. The police will also be helping with investigations and cases can be solved faster. Till date, we were merely seizing the banned material, but will now open a proper inquiry into the matter.”

Deshmukh added that a decision will be taken shortly as to whether the department should file FIRs in new cases or in all cases registered with the FDA till date. So far, the FDA has seized gutka worth Rs 1 crore. “We need involvement and help of each department. The railways has been assigned a food safety officer to monitor any movement of the banned products through trains,” Deshmukh said.

Latest bust
On Sunday, the FDA seized three sacks of Vimal gutka valued at Rs 3.24 lakh and five sacks of Rajashree gutka worth around Rs 2.60 lakh. The consignments had arrived at Bandra Terminus on the Dehradun Express. The total value of the seized product is Rs 5.84 lakh.  

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