Bombay HC sets aside order banning Maggi, but fresh tests required
The Bombay High Court today set aside the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s order on banning Nestle’s Maggi brand of instant noodles. However, as per these news reports, the court said the ban would be lifted only after one more round of tests is completed.
The FSSAI had banned Maggi in June for having impermissible levels of Monosodium Glutamate and Lead. A variant of the noodles, “Maggi Oats Masala Noodles” also landed in trouble for failing to adhere to labelling standards.
A bench comprising Justices VM Kanade and BP Colabawalla held that Maggi and its variants will be subject to testing at three NABL certified laboratories. The tests are to be completed within six weeks.
Bombay HC gives 6 weeks time to test 5 samples of all 9 varianst of maggi at 3 different the NABL labs #MaggiBan
— Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha (@Mrityunjoykjha) August 13, 2015
According to the same news report, the court said that if lead is found to be within permissible levels, which is 2.5 ppm (parts per million), then Nestle is free to begin manufacture and sale of Maggi noodles.
Nestle was represented in the high court by Senior Counsel Iqbal Chagla and Amit Desai, along with a team from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, including Managing Partner Pallavi Shroff and Litigation Partner Ameya Gokhale.
The Additional Solicitor General also asked for a stay of this order, as the FSSAI plans to appeal in the Supreme Court. However, it which was rejected by the high court.
The high court’s order will probably throw a spanner in the works of the government’s plan to file a class action suit against Nestle in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. The government has instituted the suit seeking damages to the tune of 640 crore from Nestle. This matter is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.
(Also read Lawyer’s Lingo – Understanding the legal implications of the Maggi “ban”)
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