Coca-Cola not to go back to Plachimada

The Supreme Court on Thursday recorded a submission by Coca-Cola that it has no intention to open and resume operations in its controversial Plachimada factory in Kerala, thus drawing to a close the 12-year-long litigation fought tooth and nail between the people of Perumatty panchayat and the multinational soft drink major.

A Bench led by Justice Rohinton Nariman was told by senior advocate K.V. Vishwanathan, appearing for Coca-Cola, that the litigation should be declared infructuous as his client does not intend to return to the Plachimada premises in future to start operations.

High Court order

The Supreme Court had, on 2005, issued notice to Coca Cola on an application by the Perumatty panchayat seeking to stay the decisions of Kerala High Court allowing the company’s Plachimada-based bottling unit to draw 500,000 litres of ground water a day.

The application sought to stay the Kerala High Court decision of April 7 and June 1 of 2005. The panchayat in Palakkad district had argued that it had a right to refuse withdrawal of large quantities of groundwater by Coca-Cola, keeping in view the interests of agriculture and domestic consumers.

The High Court held in Coca-Cola’s favour, permitting its bottling plant at Plachimada to draw groundwater not exceeding 5,00,000 litres a day. It concluded that the panchayat was not justified in refusing the renewal of licence to the plant before a scientific assessment had been made.

The question of law in the case whether local self-governing bodies such as panchayats should be empowered with licensing powers and decide the future of industry continues to remain open in the Supreme Court.

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Printable version | Oct 13, 2021 9:38:03 PM |

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