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Shardul new hire Ameya Gokhale handles Bombay HC mandate for Nestle seeking review of Maggi ban

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (SAM) partner Ameya Gokhale, who joined the firm in recent months, is representing Nestle India on its judicial review of food safety watchdog FSSAI, which banned its Maggi instant noodles for allegedly containing too much lead and MSG.

A division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice BP Colabawala posted the matter for Friday after the company's lawyer mentioned it in the court on Thursday. Earlier, the matter had been listed for June 18.

Gokhale specialises in Bombay high court litigation, and was practising in the chambers of Pradeep Sancheti after having left Khaitan & Co in August 2013 as a principal associate before joining SAM He had begun his career after graduating from NLSIU Bangalore in 2005 at the Cyril Shroff-managed Mumbai office of Amarchand Mangaldas, as it then was before the break-up of the firm into two halves run by Cyril and Shardul Shroff.

In a stock exchange filing, Nestle said: “As part of the efforts to resolve the Maggi noodles issue, Nestle India has today approached the Bombay high court, raising issues of interpretation of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2011 while seeking a judicial review of the order dated June 6, 2015, passed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Maharashtra and the order dated June 5 passed by FSSAI,” according to the PTI. “At the same time, we are continuing withdrawal of Maggi noodle products. This action will not interfere with this process.”

The Indian Express, which has seen a copy of the petition, wrote that Nestle claimed that its noodles' tastemaker might only have contained naturally occurring glutamate, but not artificially added monosodium glutamate (MSG):

Pointing out that the Maggi tastemaker is not a standardised product, Nestle said all its ingredients are specified and regulated to be used under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2011. “Thus, the tastemaker cannot be classified in the residual category of ‘food not specified’ which has a tolerance of 2.5 ppm as majority of the ingredients used in the making have an individual tolerance limit of 2.5 ppm or more and a large number of ingredients have a tolerance of 10 ppm,” the petition said.

Hat-tip to @superselector5 and @aamirkhan_1987 on Twitter.

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