Chennai, Jan 25 (BPNS)
The Madras High Court has quashed a 2018 notification of the Food and Safety Commissioner of Tamil Nadu banning the sale and manufacture of gutka and pan masala in the state.
It may be noted that the Tamil Nadu government had imposed a ban on the sale and manufacture of gutka and pan masala products under the temporary provisions of the Food Safety and Security Act (FSSA). This ban was extended continuously by issuing notifications by the food safety commissioner.
The division bench of the court comprising Justices K . Kumaresh Babu and R. Subramanian while pronouncing the judgment said that the Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) do not provide for a complete ban on gutka products.
The Court said, “ If we are to uphold the power of the food safety commissioner, to issue successive notifications under the FSSA, thereby imposing an almost permanent ban on a food product, we will be permitting something which was not contemplated by law.”
The court also said that the successive notifications issued by the Food and Safety Commissioner are not within their powers and that they have exceeded their powers in issuing such notifications.
The division bench of the Madras High Court also said that the bench was quashing the successive notifications issued by the commissioner as they were in excess of the powers of the commissioner.