India's Bombay High Court has ruled against the ban on popular noodles brand Maggi by the country's food regulator, giving some relief to Nestle, who recently received a penalty of over $100m.
Questioning the way in which the Food Safety Standard Association of India (FSSAI) imposed the ban on the product, the court said that not even a notice was issued before announcing the move.
The court further added that samples were not even sent to authorised laboratories that were accredited to the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
A division bench comprising Justice VM Kanade and Justice BP Colabawalla said that the products will not hit the shelves immediately.
The court has instructed that five of the nine variants of Maggi are to be tested by government accredited and recognised laboratories.
The samples that are to be checked for excess lead content will be sent to laboratories located in Hyderabad, Mohali and Jaipur.
The division bench was quoted by the Economic Times as saying: "We are very concerned with the public health and safety and hence those three laboratories will check whether the lead content is within the permissible limits and will give it's report to FSSAI within six weeks.
"If the lead content is within the permissible limit of 2.5ppm, only then will the company will be allowed to sell the product in the market."
Nestle was forced to impose a ban on nine variants of Maggi in June after tests in several states allegedly revealed that the product contained seven times the permissible amount of lead.