HC questions blanket ban on Maggi, asks why no showcause notice issued

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In a boost to Nestle India, the Bombay High on Thursday questioned the blanket ban on Maggi 2-minute noodles.

The Court asked the government why the entire product was banned if just one batch was found to be bad. The Bombay HC further questioned why a showcause notice was not issued before imposing the ban.

“If 32 out of 73 samples were found to have lead above permissible limits, didn’t it warrant a showcause notice?” said the High Court.

The observations by the court came a day after the Food Safety Standards Association of India (FSSAI) on Wednesday argued in the Bombay High Court that a mere suspicion about a food snack being sub-standard in quality would be a reasonable ground to take appropriate steps to stop the sale of the product.

This was stated by FSSAI Counsel Anil Singh after a bench of Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabwala raised a query whether the food requlator should ban a particular batch of a food item whose quality was found sub-standard or stop the sale of the entire product line.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Nestle India against FSSAI’s June 5 order banning nine variants of Maggi and Maharashtra government’s order prohibiting the sale of Maggi.