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FSSAI: Gutka makers can’t challenge ban

The state government on Tuesday justified the ban on the manufacture, sale and storage of gutka and paan masala sachets on the grounds that it is its duty to “improve public health and raise the level of nutrition”.

This was stated in an affidavit filed by Kamlesh Sankhe, joint commissioner (food) of the food and drug administration, before the Bombay high court in reply to many petitions by gutka and paan masala manufacturers challenging the government notification of July 19.

A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Nitin Jamdar had restrained the government from destroying gutka and paan masala sachets seized during raids after the notification was issued. The manufacturers have sought quashing of the notification and two regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) under which the ban was brought into effect.

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