SC to hear pleas of Pepsi, Coca Cola against Kerala govt

Last Updated: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 00:15

New Delhi: The Supreme court would hear the
pleas of global softdrink majors Pepsi and Coca-Cola together
against Kerala government`s decision to prosecute them for
allegedly selling drinks having pesticides beyond prescribed
norms.

A bench comprising Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Cyriac
Joseph and Justice Deepak Verma directed to tag the two
seperate petitions involving Pepsico India Holding and
Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd after remarking that both
has common issues.

The court has directed listing of both the matters on
August 2 for next hearing.

The Court`s direction came during the hearing of a
petition filed by the Pepsi challenging the decision of the
Kerala government which had initiated criminal proceedings
against the cola major for its alleged adulteration of the
soft drinks.

During the proceedings, senior advocate Iqbal Chagla,
appearing for Pepsi, said that as per law there is no
provision for any pesticide adulteration in cold drinks.

There is no standard set for pesticide residues in soft
drinks under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954,
and Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, said Chagla.

Coca-cola is also having a similar matter in the apex
court, in which the question has been raised if the state can
take action against it as the rules and regulations have not
set any standard.

Pepsi`s counsel further submitted that now it is
universally accepted that pesticide residues are present in
all food articles.

"By mere small presence of pesticide, it cannot be
adulterated. It cannot also be injurious to health also," he
argued.

In August, 2009, the apex court had issued a notice to
Kerala government on Pepsi`s petition seeking quashing of the
criminal proceedings initiated against it.

-PTI



First Published: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 00:15

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