An association of sweets sellers failed to get an interim relief from the Bombay high court on Tuesday for using silver leaves (varq) on sweets.
A division bench of justices SC Dharmadhikari and Gautam Patel was hearing a petition filed by Shree Mumbai Mishtann Vyavasai Sahakari Mandal that had sought a stay on a circular issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The association’s petition stated that the BMC circular dated October 24 imposed a complete ban on the use of silver leaves on sweets. However, counsels for the BMC — Suresh Pakale and Trupti Puranik — told the court that the civic body hasn’t imposed a blanket ban, but had only regulated its (silver leaf’s) use for health purposes.
“There are traders who use material other than silver. That’s harmful for the public,” said Pakale.
Petitioner’s advocate Anjali Yajurvedi claimed that the last-minute circular would only create panic among general public. Even earlier, the BMC had issued such a circular on mawa, she said.
Opposing the circular, the petitioner claimed that such last-minute circulars cause heavy losses to the traders as they have already accepted orders from customers who may not want to buy the sweets now (in the absence of silver leaf on them).
The petitioner alleged that the circular was to stop the sale of Indian sweets.
Refusing to grant any relief, the court, however, said, “The BMC issues licences with certain conditions and has the power to check. If the civic body finds that they (the conditions) are being violated, it has all the powers to stop the same in larger public interest.”
The petitioner then claimed that, as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the BMC health officers have no such powers to regulate or conduct inspections.
The HC said it will hear the matter further after the Diwali vacation.