3.1.1: Holding of inquiry
1. On receipt of the copy of the report of Food Analyst in Form VIIA from the Designated Officer, the person from whom the sample was taken or the persons, whose names and addresses and other particulars have been disclosed under Rule 2.5 of these rules or wholesaler or manufacturer has preferred an appeal against the findings of the report of the Food Analyst before the Designated Officer in terms of sub-section (4) of section 46 of the Act and the same has been dismissed, or the referral laboratory has, pursuant to the reference made by the Designated Officer in terms of sub-section (4) of section 46 of the Act confirmed the findings of the Food Analyst in his report, or if no appeal has been preferred, the Designated Officer shall examine the case on the basis of the sections under which the person has been charged as to whether the contravention is punishable with imprisonment or the same is punishable with fine only under the Act. However, if no contravention is established and the sample conforms to the requirement of FSS regulations, the same will be communicated to the Food Business Operator immediately.
2. If the Designated Officer decides that such contravention is not punishable with imprisonment but only with fine under the provisions of the Act, he shall cause and authorize the Food Safety Officer to file with the Adjudicating Officer an application for adjudication of the offence alleged to have been committed by the person from whom the food sample has been taken or the person whose name and address and other particulars have been disclosed under Rule 2.5 of these rules and/or the seller or manufacturer of the food item in respect of which the report has been received.
3. On receipt of the communication from the Designated Officer authorizing the filing of the adjudication application, the Food Safety Officer shall file the application for adjudication with the Adjudicating Officer for adjudication of the offence/contravention alleged to have been committed.
4. On receipt of the application for adjudication from the Food Safety Officer, the Adjudicating Officer shall commence the inquiry proceedings.
5. The Adjudicating Officer shall have power to hold an inquiry for purpose of adjudicating offences punishable under sections 50,51,52,53, 54,55,56,57,58,64,65,66 and 67 of the Act.
6. For holding an inquiry for the purpose of adjudication under section 68 of the Act as to whether any person(s) has/have committed contravention of any of the provisions of the Act referred to in Rule 3.1.1.(5) herein or the rules or regulations in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed, the Adjudicating Officer shall, in the first instance, issue a notice to such person or persons giving him or them an opportunity to make a representation in the matter within such period as may be specified in the notice (not being less than 30 days from the date of service thereof)-
7. Every notice under Rule 3.1.1.(6) to any such person shall indicate the nature of offence alleged to have been committed by him or them, the section(s) of the Act alleged to have been contravened, and the date of hearing of the matter. A copy of the report of the Food Analyst shall also be annexed to such notice.
8. On the date fixed for hearing, the Adjudicating Officer shall explain to the person or persons proceeded against or to his authorized representative, the offence alleged to have been committed by such person, indicating the provision of the Act, rules or regulations in respect of which the contravention is alleged to have taken place.
9. The Adjudicating Officer shall then give an opportunity to such person or persons to produce such documents or evidence as he may consider relevant to the inquiry and if necessary the hearing may be adjourned to a future date
Provided that the notice referred to in Rule 3.1.1. (6) may, at the request of the person concerned, be waived.
Provided further that the Adjudicating Officer shall pass the final order within 90 days from the date of first hearing mentioned in Rule 3.1.1 (8) above.
10. The State Government may appoint a presenting officer from amongst the panel of advocates of the court of local jurisdiction, in an inquiry under this rule.
11. While holding an inquiry under this rule, the Adjudicating Officer shall have the power to summon and enforce the attendance of any person acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case to give evidence or to produce any document which, in the opinion of the Adjudicating Officer may be useful for or relevant to, the subject matter of the inquiry.
12. If any person fails neglects or refuses to appear as required by Rule 3.1.1 (6&7) before the Adjudicating Officer, the Adjudicating Officer may proceed with the inquiry in the absence of such person, after recording the reasons for doing so.
3.1.2: Order of the Adjudicating Officer and matters relating thereto
1. If, upon consideration of the evidence produced before the Adjudicating Officer, the Adjudicating Officer is satisfied that the person or persons or any of them against whom the inquiry has been conducted, has become liable to penalty and/or any suitable administrative action under any of the sections referred to in Rule 3.1.1. (5) he may, by order in writing, impose such penalty as he thinks fit, in accordance with the provisions of the relevant section or sections of the Act.
2. If however, the Adjudicating Officer is satisfied that the person or persons or any of them against whom the inquiry has been conducted for the contravention of provisions of the Act, has or have not been proved beyond doubt, the Adjudicating Officer shall dismiss the case.
3. Every order made under Rule 3.1.2. (1) shall specify the provisions of the Act or the rules or the regulations in respect of which the offence has taken place and shall contain brief reasons for such decision. While imposing monetary penalty, the Adjudicating Officer shall have due regard to the provisions of section 49 of the Act. Such penalty will be remitted in the form of a crossed demand draft drawn on a nationalized bank in favour of "Adjudicating Officer, District" payable at the station where the Adjudicating officer is located
4. Every such order shall be dated and signed by the Adjudicating Officer.
5. The Adjudicating Officer shall send a copy of the order made under Rule 3.1.2 to the person or persons against whom the inquiry was conducted and the Food Safety Officer who has filed the application for adjudication.
6. A notice or an order issued under these rules shall be served on the person or the persons against whom the adjudication proceedings were held or inquiry has been conducted, in any of the following manner:
(i) by delivering or tendering it to that person or his duly authorized representative or
(ii) by sending it to the person by registered post with acknowledgement due to the address of his place of residence or his last known place of residence or the place where he carried on or last carried on, business or personally works or last worked for gain or
(iii) if it cannot be served in the manner specified under Rule 3.1.2 (6) (/) or (ii) by affixing it on the outer door or some other conspicuous part of the premises in which that person resides or is known to have last resided or carried on business or personally works or has worked for gain and written report thereof should be witnessed by two persons.
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