Mumbai, The Bombay High Court has quashed three orders of the Maharashtra government. This included revoking the company’s license, revoking Johnson & Johnson’s permission to manufacture, distribute and sell its baby powder.
The High Court termed the decision to cancel the license of Johnson & Johnson Company and ban its manufacture and sale as harsh, irrational and unfair. The Bombay High Court in its order also reprimanded the State Food and Drug Administration.
Justice Gautam Patel and Justice S. Yes. Questions were also raised about the delay in testing the samples of the company’s baby powder seized by the Dighe bench in December 2018.
The High Court bench said that it is important to maintain quality and safety standards for cosmetic products, but it is not appropriate to stop the entire manufacturing process because of a minor defect in any single product. Such an attitude leads to disorder and waste in the business.
The court said that the license cancellation order was announced on the basis of a lab report which revealed that the pH level of the powder was higher than the prescribed standard.
The court, in its order, said that the fresh investigation revealed that the baby powder was manufactured as per all prescribed standards.
The bench passed the order on the company’s petition challenging three orders of the state government. In which he was canceled by the state government on September 15, 2022, while on September 20, 2022, the production and sale of baby powder was ordered to stop immediately. A third order was announced on October 15, 2022 and upheld both the earlier orders.
The court also slammed the FDA for delaying testing of the company’s baby powder samples seized in December 2018. According to the company, the sample was tested in December 2019.
The bench said that such delay is wrong, unacceptable. This is against the provisions of the Act. The court said that from the time samples were taken for testing in 2018 until the license was revoked in 2022, the company continued to manufacture and sell it.
A watchdog like the FDA is necessary, but it should not do its job lazily. When sample testing is delayed, its purpose remains unfulfilled.HS1MS