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Kerala HC refuses to stay ban on Coke, Pepsi

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Aug 25: A division bench of the Kerala high court today refused to stay the state government ban on the manufacture and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.

The bench, consisting of Chief Justice V K Bali and Justice M Ramachandran, adjourned to September 11 for detailed hearing the separate writ petitions filed by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd. and Pepsico Holdings Ltd., challenging the Kerala Government ban order, issued on August 11.

The court directed the parties to complete the pleadings in the meantime.

While counsel for the petitioners pressed for a stay, the court was not inclined to pass any interim order. The bench said that this being a controversial matter, a detailed hearing was required before passing any interim stay.

The cola majors have moved the court contending that the Central Government alone has the power to prohibit food articles on the ground that they are injurious to health and that the state government does not have the power to pass such an order.

They also termed the Kerala Government decision ''arbitrary'' and said that no independent inquiry had been held into allegations that there were excessive pesticide residues in the beverages.

UNI

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