Chennai: The Madras High Court has quashed the 2018 notification of Tamil Nadu’s Food Safety Commissioner, banning the sale and manufacture of gutka and pan masala in the state.
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), and this was being extended continuously by notifications issued by the Food Safety Commissioner.
A division bench of Justices K. Kumaresh Babu and R. Subramanian, in their order, said that the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) doed not provide for a complete ban on gutka products.
“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,” it said.
The court also said that the successive notifications issued by the Food Safety Commissioner are not within the official’s powers and that they have exceeded their powers in issuing such notifications.
The bench also said that it was quashing the successive notifications issued by the Commissioner as they were in excess of the official’s powers.