The Calcutta High Court on Friday said if soft drinks majors Coca Cola and Pepsi failed to comply with its order in filing affidavits on a writ petition, it would be constrained to ban their drinks' sale in West Bengal.
A division bench comprising Justice A N Ray and Justice A K Mitra directed the managements of Coca Cola and Pepsi companies to appear before it and file their affidavits on the writ petition which demanded disclosure of the contents of their drinks.
The bench observed that if the companies failed to do so, then it would be constrained to ban the sale of their drinks in the state.
Petitioner Subhas Dutta submitted that these companies used huge quantities of water to manufacture their drinks and lifted underground water for this purpose and thus caused its depletion.
He claimed that the soft drink manufacturers were not harvesting rainwater as was being done in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
Manik Das, counsel for West Bengal Pollution Control Board, submitted a report on the allegations of pesticide contamination of these drinks.
He said there was no standard for pesticides in soft drinks under the Environment Act and Rules and as such the WBPCB was not in a position to give any opinion in the matter.
The matter is scheduled to come up for hearing again in the first week of December.