India court quashes cola ban

A court in southern India has lifted a ban on the manufacture and sale of soft drinks by Coca-Cola and Pepsi, amid claims that their beverages contained pesticides.

    Coca-Cola and Pepsi should soon be back on the shelves

    The government in Kerala state had imposed the ban on August 11 after claims by a New Delhi-based environmental group, but the Kerala High Court ruled on Friday that the state government did not have the authority to do so.

    Chief justice VK Bali and justice M Ramachandran said in their ruling: "The ban order issued by the state government was not within the legal powers that rest with the government. Thus we set aside the government order."

    The cola companies, both of which have bottling plants in the state, welcomed the order.

    Coca-Cola said: "This order protects the interests of big and small retailers, local entrepreneurs and employees which have been affected by this illegal ban."

    Five more of India's 29 states have banned or restricted the sale of Coke and Pepsi after the pesticides claim was made in early August.

    Coca-Cola said it hoped that other state governments would reconsider similar orders.

    The rivals, who account for 99 per cent of India's soft drinks market, have insisted that their locally bottled drinks meet international safety standards.

    Both Indian and US business leaders have said that the controversy could tarnish India's investment image abroad, and earlier this month the United States sent a letter to the Indian government urging fair treatment for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.

    Anti-cola activists in the state, however, said they would continue their campaign against the multinationals. Kerala residents say a Coca-Cola plant in the state was causing pollution and had depleted ground water supplies.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Can Aamir Khan create lasting change in Indian society or is he just another Bollywood star playing the role of a hero?