File photo of Bombay High Court
The Bombay High Court today made serious observations on delays in commercial cases and its impact on business, when government lawyers representing government's food safety regulators were not present for a hearing.
The bench of Justices VM Kanade and BP Colabwala was hearing a petition filed by Nestle India against the Food Safety Standards Association of India (FSSAI) June 5 order banning nine variants of Maggi, and state government's order prohibiting the sale of Maggi.
The Court observed, "We have been going around from country to country asking people to come and do business with us but commercial matters often remain pending for years. It is for this reason that Parliament thought it was necessary to set up commercial matters benches so that cases could be disposed of soon."
Observing that delays lead to business moving away from the country, the Court also said, "People prefer to go to Singapore and London to do business instead of India due to delays."
The Court has been conducting regular hearings in the case and advocates for FSSAI and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were scheduled to begin arguments at 12:30pm today. The observations were made when the Court was informed of the lawyers not being present.
Earlier in June, Nestle withdrew all varieties of Maggi noodles amid country-wide scrutiny on the product for high content of monosodium glutamate (a taste enhancer) and lead in some samples. Nestle has maintained the noodles are safe, and had challenged the ban on Maggi in the Court.
Over the last few months Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Make in India campaign where the focus is to get big companies to set up businesses and manufacturing units in India. One of the major complaints of business houses has been bureaucratic and litigation related delays.