The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has cancelled the licence given to the pan masala manufacturing unit at Nallanthottam near Sulur from where the police seized large quantities of gutkha on April 29. According to officials, the licence given to the unit for making pan masala and supari, both non-tobacco-based items, was cancelled on April 30 following the seizure of 648 kg of gutkha.
A food safety officer of the FSSAI working in the area has also come under the scanner of the police team investigating the seizure as he had reportedly inspected the manufacturing unit in January this year and given it a clean chit. The unit named Amit S. Fragrance owned by Delhi-based Amit Jain was granted a licence for the manufacture of non-tobacco-based pan masala for four years in 2014. The licence was valid until July this year.
Modification submitted According to the police, it has the licence to manufacture one tonne of pan masala per day. They said that the unit submitted an application in January for the modification of the existing licence to manufacture half tonne each of pan masala and supari per day, both in-tobacco-based products. The police said that a food safety officer named Sakthivel who has been working in the area for over five years inspected the unit in January and submitted a report affecting the modification of the licence.
The food safety officer, however, had claimed that there was no illegal activity in the pan masala unit when he inspected the place. Meanwhile, the special team of police which left for New Delhi and other locations in search of Mr Jain is yet to trace him.