Maharashtra govt will not seek fresh ban on Maggi noodles

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in Maharashtra will not approach the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order lifting a ban on Nestle’s Maggi noodles. The decision was taken on Tuesday at the level of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who came to the conclusion that the move to file a special leave petition (SLP) in the apex court would send wrong signal to investors and adversely impact Maharashtra’s image as a business-friendly state.

The state government also feared it might be isolated on this issue especially when none of the other states has so far moved the apex court, seeking a fresh ban on Maggi noodles. Fadnavis’ firm stand compelled the state minister for food and drugs Girish Bapat to toe his line and withdraw from his plan to move the apex court.

A senior BJP minister, who did not want to be named, told Business Standard : “The (Tuesday’s decision) was necessary as the filing of SLP would have attracted investors’ criticism, especially when the government is rolling out a red carpet and taking a slew of steps for ease of doing business. This apart, Nestle India has made investments in the state. Maharashtra would have faced isolation on this issue and, therefore, it was decided at the chief minister's level not to approach the apex court.”  

The minister added all three laboratories mandated by the Bombay HC had cleared 90 samples of Maggi. Nestle India has already started the sale of Maggi noodles. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had on Monday had criticised the government for its decision to move the apex court. NCP spokesman Nawab Malik attacked Bapat for making repeated statements in this regard, alleging the move was to promote noodles launched by Baba Ramdev.

In June, Nestle's Maggi noodles had been declared unfit for consumption for containing high lead content. In August, the Bombay High Court lifted the nationwide ban on Maggi noodles, while asking Nestle to conduct fresh tests before re-launching it.

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