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Test Reports Showed Lead Content Is Within Permissible Limit: Kerala HC Closes PIL Seeking Ban Of Maggi Noodles [Read Judgment]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
18 Aug 2019 9:55 AM GMT
Test Reports Showed Lead Content Is Within Permissible Limit: Kerala HC Closes PIL Seeking Ban Of Maggi Noodles [Read Judgment]
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The Kerala High Court, last month, closed a Public Interest Litigation seeking ban of Maggi Noodles manufactured and sold by Nestle India Limited.

One Thampi Subramanian had approached the High Court in the year 2015 alleging that Maggi Noodles contain Monosodium Glutamate and particles of lead in excess of permissible limits.

When the matter was called for final hearing, Senior Advocate Bechu Kurian Thomas, who appeared for Nestle India Ltd., brought to the notice of the bench a judgment of Bombay High Court that had set aside an order of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which had directed the Company to withdraw and recall the Maggi Instant Noodles from the market, and to stop further production.

In its counter affidavit, the company submitted that, following the direction of Bombay High Court, a total of 90 samples of MAGGI Noodles covering six different available variants were collected and sent to three independent accredited laboratories notified by FSSAI. The test reports from the 3 accredited laboratories were received which showed that the lead levels were within the permissible limits, it was submitted.

The bench comprising the Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar closed the PIL after perusing the test reports submitted by the Company. 

Bombay HC on Maggi

In the above quoted judgment of the Bombay High Court, the writ petition filed by Nestle India was allowed on the following grounds

  • Principles of Natural Justice were not followed
  • The Food Laboratories where the samples were tested were not accredited and recognized Laboratories as provided under the Act and Regulations for testing presence of lead mandatory procedure which has to be followed as per Section 47(1) of the Act and Regulations framed thereunder, was not followed.
  • The mandatory procedure which has to be followed as per Section 47(1) of the Act and Regulations was not followed.

The High Court had also directed the company to give five samples from each batch cases out of 750 for testing in three accredited laboratories and further observed that if the lead is found within permissible limits then the company would be permitted to manufacture all the Variants of the Noodles for which product approval has been granted by the Food Authority. 

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