LAHORE  - The Punjab government intends to set up special courts for speedy trial against the food adulterators and mafias by amending the relevant law, it has been learnt.

Official sources Friday said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had taken notice of low convictions of adulterators even after the Punjab Food Authority was established in Punjab through an act. He said that the CM had directed the concerned department to make the act of adulteration as non-bailable offence.

They said that the chief minister had sought details about the action against those involved in acts of food adulteration. When he was apprised of the fact that the conviction rate was low, he directed the chief secretary to look into the matter and give recommendations. The CM had also desired to extend the jurisdiction of the PFA to at least four other district besides enhancing action against the adulterators in other districts as well.

An officer privy to the development told this paper that the government intended to amend the relevant law PFA Act 2011. He said that earlier the PFA had to act on the complaint filed by any citizen but after proposed amendment in the law, FIR could be lodged again the offender. Moreover, the government might increase.

Moreover, the role of prosecution department to pace up speedy trial will also be augmented, the sources held. They said that after the promulgation of new law, it would be hard for the adulterators to continue their business at the cost of health of citizens.

As per the provisions of the PFA 2011, on information received from a Food Safety Officer or any other person, the Food Authority may order prosecution of a person, suspend or cancel the licence of the food operator, impose on the food operator fine which may extend to five hundred thousand rupees, decide, if the circumstances so warrant, not to take any action on the information.

Furthermore, if the Food Authority cancels the licence or imposes fine on a food operator, the food operator may, within fifteen days of the communication of the order, prefer an appeal against such order to such Appellate Authority.