New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday admitted a petition challenging a government notification banning the production, sale and use of non-iodised salt for human consumption.
A three-Judge Bench comprising Justice B.N. Agrawal, Justice P.P. Naolekar and Justice R.V. Raveendran admitted the petition filed by Academy of Nutrition Improvement and asked the government to file its response in four weeks.
The petitioner contended that the ban on non-iodised salt across the country was arbitrary and discriminatory. It violated the citizens' Fundamental Rights to life and equality under articles 21 and 14 of the constitution.
Holding the ban to be "against the public interest and opposed to public policy", the petitioner contended that it was "unjust, unwarranted, malafide and suffered from the vice of non-application of mind." It was also contrary to the provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
The petition said that goiter and other Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) occurred not only in areas deficient in iodine but also in areas where water supply was unhygienic or water was hard.
It said the government had totally ignored the fact that certain advanced countries, which had introduced iodised salt on mandatory basis, had to withdraw it and were compelled to make both types of salt available in the market.