HC directs private milk firms to test products every 3 months.

GFN 2

The Madras High Court today ordered three private milk manufacturers to get their products tested in a certified lab every three months and submit the report before it, pending disposal of their suits claiming damages from a Tamil Nadu minister over his allegations about their quality.

Justice C V Karthikeyan said his July 10 interim order restraining Dairy Development Minister K T Rajendra Balaji from making allegations on quality of the products of the manufacturers without any proof would continue till the disposal of the suits. The judge was hearing an application filed by the Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, Dodla Dairy Ltd and Vijay Dairy and Farm Products Pvt Ltd.

In the application, they had sought an interim order directing the minister not to make general allegations. The judge directed the companies to test samples of their products in certified labs every three months and submit the lab reports in the court till the suits were adjudicated. In their suits, the companies had each claimed Rs. one crore damages from the minister over his allegations that they had indulged in adulteration of their products.

On July 26, Balaji had moved the court, seeking dismissal of the suits saying it “is a blackmail action (by the companies) “. He had said even the Supreme Court had directed the central and state governments to take steps to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, effectively.

Balaji had claimed he had material to prove that the firms had indulged in milk adulteration. Besides seeking the damages, the firms had submitted that the minister’s remarks were meant to create a “sense of fear and panic” among consumers and a sense of “disgust and revulsion” on milk and milk products manufactured by private dairies as a whole and their product in particular.

Source: Business line.

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