The High Court of Himachal Pradesh today reserved its judgement on the issue of notification of the State Govt. banning 25 junk food items in plastic packaging. The State government vide notification dated 26.06.2013 had banned junk food items viz. chips, kurkure, biscuits, noodles etc. in plastic/non-biodegradable packaging from sale/ stocking etc. with effect from July 1, 2013 in compliance to the orders of the High Court.
The Division Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice V.K. Sharma further directed that the interim order of stay on the notification will continue till the pronouncement of judgement. The Court passed these orders on the petitions of Sanyukt Vyapar Mandal Khalini, Indian Biscuits Manufacturers Association NOIDA and Haroli Block Industries Associations, Tahliwal Una. Earlier the High Court vide orders dated September 3 had stayed the said notification till November 19, 2013, which time limit expired today.
Vide orders dated 10.01.2013, the High Court had directed the Govt. to ban the said items in plastic packaging w.e.f. April 1, 2013, but had extended the time limit to implement the orders for three months on the request of the State Govt. citing far reaching consequences and multiple stake holders. The govt. had said that additional time was required to evaluate the possible consequences that may arise as a result of ban on sale of identified food items and the aspects with respect to relocation of workers, the status of loans obtained by local units, machinery and infrastructure etc. The govt. had submitted that the immediate impact of ban will be on 6000 workers directly employed in 270 local units manufacturing products. The time limit granted by the Court had expired on June 30 and the govt. had gone ahead with banning the said 25 food items in plastic packaging w.e.f. 1 July 2013.