Bombay HC refuses to grant relief to Nestle

New Delhi: Bombay High Court on Friday refused to grant immediate relief to Nestle’s noodle brand Maggi.  The next hearing has been slated for June 30, by when all respondents have been told to give affidavit on details of investigations leading to the recall and halting production of Nestle’s Maggi.

The court was hearing a plea by the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational seeking a judicial review of the food safety regulator’s order calling for the withdrawal of its top-selling nine variants of Maggi instant noodles on health issues.

Nestle India had moved court on Thursday against the Indian food regulator and Maharashtra unit of food safety.

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice B P Colabawala said the next hearing will be on June 30.

The company’s lawyer urged the court to hear the matter urgently as Nestle had suffered losses due to the food regulator’s orders. The order had directed the company to withdraw and recall its products from the markets immediately as they were “hazardous to public health due to presence of lead more than permissible limits”.

Nestle urged HC to quash the June 5 order of Delhi-based Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and its CEO asking the company to withdraw and recall all its nine variants of Maggi from 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.

Nestle had been ordered to withdraw Maggi by the food safety regulator after some samples were allegedly found to contain higher-than-permissible levels of lead – a premise that was rejected by the company, saying its own independent tests suggested otherwise.

Several states have also issued their own ban orders, even as the regulator widened its testing process to other brands of instant noodles and pasta with tastemaker.

(With PTI inputs)

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