Kerala High Court on Monday declined to stay the state government order banning the production and sale of Coca Cola and Pepsi products in the state.
Admitting the petitions of Hindustan Coco Cola Beverages Ltd and Pepsi India Holding Private Ltd, Justice S Sirijagan, issued notices to the state government and director of health services.
Even though the counsel of the petitioners had pressed for an interim stay order, the court declined it before hearing the government's arguments. The case has been posted to August 24 for further hearing.
In separate petitions, the petitioners also sought a direction prohibiting the state government from taking action against them. They also wanted the government order of August 10 and August 11 order of the Director of Health services (DHS) on the ban to be set aside.
The petitioners submitted that the state government and DHS had no jurisdiction or authority to pass orders banning their products.
The orders were passed as a 'knee jerk' response, without making any independent investigation or enquiry to verify the truth or significance of the claims made in the report of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), they said.