Supreme Court Directs Government to Set up Panel to Examine Cola Contents
Indian Express
February 27, 2006

NEW DELHI: Charges of the presence of lethal chemicals continue to haunt soft drink majors, including Coca Cola and Pepsi. The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to constitute an expert panel to find out whether there were any harmful chemical contents in soft drinks.

A bench of Justices Ruma Pal and Dalveer Bhandari, which issued the direction, ordered that the panel would also, inter alia, go into the "broader issue" of all lethal contents in soft drinks and not restrict itself to the charge of pesticide content.

The interim direction came on a PIL by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) a legal activist organisation. The apex court has given three week's time to the Centre for setting up the panel. The PIL contended that the soft drinks contained harmful chemical ingredients like phosphoric acid.

Counsel for the CPIL Prashant Bhushan suggested the name of Sunita Narain, Director of Centre for Environment, as a possible member of the expert committee but the judges rejected it holding that Narain was a "social activist" and what the committee needed was a "technical member" to advise on scientific aspects.

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