Nestle India failed to get any relief today with the Bombay High Court refusing to stay orders of the central food safety regulator and Maharashtra government banning nine variants of its “Maggi” noodles from the market for being “hazardous” to public health.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawalla, hearing the petition filed by Nestle India Ltd challenging the ban orders, directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) and Maharashtra government to file their affidavits in reply to the company’s petition within two weeks.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on June 30.
The bench opined that the product (Maggi) was already off the shelf and hence no stay on the ban order was required at this stage.
The court, however, said if the FSSAI wants to initiate prosecution against Nestle then it should give the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational 72 hours notice.
Nestle has sought quashing of the June 5 order of Delhi-based Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and its Chief Executive Officer asking the company to withdraw and recall all its nine variants of Maggi from the market as they were unsafe and hazardous for human consumption.
The impugned orders also asked the company to stop production, processing, import, distribution and sale of their products with immediate effect, said Nestle.
The company said the orders do not comply with the mandatory provisions of section 34 of Food Safety and Standards Authority Act which deals with Emergency prohibition notices and orders. It said the orders were passed without any authority and without following due process of law.
The company also said the orders were illegal, arbitrary and violative of the principles of Natural Justice as well as the Constitution of India.