In September, Food Safety Commissioner TV Anupama banned three spice products of food brand Nirapara on charges of adulteration, including using cheaper starch powder. However in October, the Kerala High Court lifted the ban on prohibiting the manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of chilly, turmeric and coriander powders of the brand.
In response to the court verdict, many have been raising their voices, asking the Kerala government to appeal against the single judge bench's recent order. Congress MLA VT Balram has also requested the government to appeal against the order.
Reports suggest that the government might file an appeal on the case after the Puja holidays.
Earlier, the Food and Safety department, Kerala government, had issued an official order, saying: "In spite of the notices sent under section 46 (4) of FSS Act in all the cases and subsequent adjudications filed in some cases, the offender is continuing with the activity of manufacturing and selling adulterated spices powder claiming it to be pure in the packets and in media advertisements. In the present cases, the offender is repeatedly adulterating his products with cheaper substance – starch, for the purpose of making huge profit which amounts to cheating of customers. The analysis report of Food Analyst and Appellate Laboratory clearly indicate the presence of added starch in Nirapara brand spices powdered manufactured by KKR food products".
Meanwhile, social media users have been pouring support to Anupama using the hashtag #ISupportAnupamaIAS for taking action against the food brand.
Soon after the ban news became public, there were reports that Anupama will be moved from her post of Food Safety Commissioner.
An online petition titled "Kerala Government should allow IAS Officer Anupama to continue in her current post. We need sincere young energetic officers like Anupama in Food and Safety Department" has been posted on Change.org website.