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PIL seeks mandatory sealing of cosmetic, hygiene products

The Bombay High Court asked the Centre to file a reply, within four weeks, to a public interest litigation demanding that cosmetic goods, personal hygiene products, skin and hair care creams and lotions should be sold only in sealed packets or containers.

Advocate Gitanjali Dutta, the petitioner, contends that currently such products are often sold without being sealed and it results in contamination or adulteration.

The division bench of Justices Naresh Patil and Ajay Gadkari also asked the petitioner to conduct a survey of the international norms for sealing of such products which India exports and give a copy of survey report to the Centre before the next hearing.

Some manufacturers, with whom she corresponded on the issue, contended that sealing was not mandatory under the law and if they were asked to sell the products in sealed containers, the price would go up for the end-consumer.

However, the petitioner pointed out that some products in this category, such as the Parachute oil’s miniature bottles, come sealed and are available at a reasonable price of below Rs. 15, so other manufacturers should have no problem emulating the example.

Counsel for the Union Government said a committee had been formed to conduct a survey and file a report. “We are awaiting this report and hence need time to file a reply,” he said.

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