Maharashtra is planning to move the Supreme Court to challenge the lifting of the ban on Nestle India’s Maggi noodles, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat said in Mumbai on Friday.
“Our legal department is examining all aspects, the pros and cons and depending on their (legal) opinion, we plan to challenge the issue in the Supreme Court,” Bapat said.
Justifying the move, Bapat said certain batches have been tested and there is a possibility that other batches could cause health issues among the consumers.
“Accordingly, we want the ban on the noodles to continue and shall take a decision on moving the Supreme Court soon depending on the legal opinion, as public health is of utmost concern,” Bapat added.
When contacted Nestle India’s spokesperson said, “The ban imposed by the Maharashtra government has been set aside by the Bombay High Court order. Maggi noodles is being made available in the states where there is no ban, and for a few where there is a ban, we are engaging with authorities.”
Maggi noodles has cleared the required tests ordered by the Bombay High Court and the company would defend itself “vigorously” if required, the spokesperson said, without commenting on Maharashtra’s likely move to challenge the revocation of the ban on the popular snack.
To ensure that the government plea is not rejected by the apex court, the state plans to build “a solid case” against Nestle India to seek reversal of the Bombay High Court relief.
Following the successful test results claimed by Maggi, the Bombay High Court withdrew the ban on August 13 and the product hit the markets just before Diwali.
On October 16, Maggi announced 100 percent successful laboratory tests on samples and on November 4 it said results from three labs accredited to the National Accreditation Board for Testing Calibration Laboratories, mandated by the Bombay High Court, also were cleared.
In June, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ordered a pan-India ban on the company’s noodles on the ground that these were “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption due to presence of lead, allegedly beyond permissible limits.
Later, on August 13, the Bombay High Court gave a significant respite to the company by lifting the ban on the sale of the noodles while also ordering fresh tests to be conducted in three separate labs to ascertain that the product complied with the country’s food safety norms.