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Kerala to challenge decision on colas

The state govt will appeal against the lifting of ban on the soft drinks by HC.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 16:26 IST

The Kerala High Court on Friday lifted the ban imposed by the state government on the production and sale of colas but Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan said the state would appeal against the decision.

"The lifting of the ban by the division bench of the High Court is unfortunate. We will seek opinion from the state advocate general and other legal experts and will certainly go in for an appeal," Achuthanandan told reporters in Kannur.

The multinational companies Coca-Cola and Pepsico had in separate petitions on August 18 challenged the order banning their aerated drinks on the ground that state government's action was unconstitutional.

After hearing the arguments of all concerned, the bench consisting of Chief Justice VK Bali and Justice M Ramachandran said that the state had no right to ban the products.

"This decision can be taken only by the Central government and the state government has no right. The orders of the state government banning the products were harsh, unreasonable and taken hurriedly," said the bench.

It also noted that the cola companies had not got social justice.

The Kerala government had on August 9 banned the manufacture and sale of the soft drinks Pepsi and Coke in the state after tests by the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment showed high quantities of pesticides in 12 branded samples.

In their petitions, the cola giants pointed out that their products were safe and no scientific studies had shown any harmful contents. Both Pepsi and Coke have bottling plants in Palakkad district.