A private firm importing and distributing sachets of powder used for artificial ripening of fruits knocked the doors of Telangana High Court alleging that police were harassing purchasers and distributors of the product by registering false cases.

Justice T. Vinod Kumar of the High Court, who heard the petition, directed the Registry of the petition along with another one with similar content. The two pleas would be heard on Wednesday. SGS International, a Nagpur-based partnership firm, in a writ petition stated that the Centre through Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on August 16, 2018 issued an order permitting usage of Ethephon as a source of Ethylene gas, in powder form, for artificially ripening fruits. The petitioner imports Ethephon and distributes it all over the country.

The petitioner also claimed that FSSAI issued a note explaining that Ethylene gas, sachets containing Ethephon in powder form, are allowed to artificially ripen fruits like mango, banana and papaya. But Telangana police are interfering with the business of sale and distribution of the sachets by wrongly interpreting a memo issued by State government.

In that memo, the government encouraged use of safe source of Ethylene such as En-Ripe, a new product developed by a private party. “It appears that the sales are being encouraged by the government of Telangana,” the petitioner alleged in the writ petition. While the government did not ban use of Ethylene or Ethephon, the police are booking cases against purchasers and distributors of its product, the petitioner said.

The firm maintained that mango fruit season would not last more than for a fortnight and the police action was adversely affecting its business interests.

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