MUMBAI — The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed Nestle to export Maggi noodles instead of recalling and incinerating them. The ban on domestic sales will continue.
The court will again hear the matter on July 14. Maggi was banned by the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on June 5 after it tested several samples and found excess quantities of lead and monosodium glutamate.
Since then, Nestle has incinerated 170 billion packs of Maggi, said the company's counsel Iqbal Chagla to the two-judge division bench of the court. Maharashtra government's counsel said instead of incinerating the noodles in cement factories, they can be exported to countries who have found it to be safe for consumption. The judges agreed.
Nestle shares gained 4 percent in intraday trade after the judgement.
Nestle India had challenged the ban on grounds that it was 'unauthorised, arbitrary, unconstitutional for violating right to equality and trade', and violative of principles of natural justice, arguing that the company was not given a proper hearing.
Nestle exports India-made Maggi noodles to Singapore, Canada, United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The US Food and Drug Administration is testing Maggi samples for safety, and Australia has suspended imports. Singapore's food regulator tested the noodles and found that they do not pose a safety risk.