Panaji: A year after the lady officer Iva Fernandes ‘confirmed’ the presence of ‘formalin’, a cancer-causing agent, in the fish imported from the neighbouring states, she has been relieved by the health department of her responsibilities as the South Goa designated officer of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
In an order dated July 17, 2019, issued by Secretary Health J Ashok Kumar, the department has appointed North Goa designated officer of FDA Richard Noronha and given him the charge of the food safety administration of both, North Goa and South Goa districts with immediate effect.
However, in the order, the department has not cited any reason for Fernandes’ removal.
Fernandes had filed a case before the Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) in September 2018 alleging that she was being harassed by FDA director Jyoti Sardesai.
In her complaint, Fernandes had claimed that she was being subjected to open hostility on an almost daily basis by the FDA director and humiliation in front of staff members and the public after the formalin-in-fish raid episode of July 12, 2018. She has also claimed that she was sidelined and bypassed while taking the administrative decision after the raid.
The GHRC, which has taken cognisance of her complaint, has adjourned the matter for receiving affidavit-in-evidence to start cross examination.