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Kerala HC to hear Cola majors' plea tomorrow

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Aug 24 (UNI) The Kerala High Court will hear tomorrow the petitions filed by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd., and Pepsico India Holdings Ltd. challenging the state government ban on the manufacture and sale of the aerated drinks.

The cola majors have challenged the government order of August 11 saying that the Union government alone had the power to prohibit a food article on the ground that it was injurious to health.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice V K Bali and Justice M Ramachandran, today called for the files relating to the writ petitions and posted the matter for a hearing tomorrow.

The court said in view of the urgency involved, it would hear the matter tomorrow.

Earlier in the morning, a single judge bench of Justice S Siri Jagan referred the beverages majors' separate writ petitions challenging the ban to the division bench headed by the Chief Justice.

Justice Siri Jagan noted that a public interest petition filed by People's Forum for Natural Justice, Palakkad, was pending before the bench, headed by the Chief Justice.

The PIL had sought a direction to the Union and State governments to prohibit the manufacture and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

They also contended that the ban order was ''arbitrary'' and passed without any independent inquiry into allegations of excessive pesticide residues in the colas.

UNI XR ARC JJ YA RS1556

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