On Monday, the Madras High Court ordered Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji not to make allegations against private companies without substantiation.
This comes after three private milk companies, Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, Dodla Dairy Ltd and Vijay Dairy, filed a civil case in the Madras High Court against Rajenthra Bhalaji for making allegations without evidence that private milk companies are selling adulterated milk. They stated in the petition that his allegations have caused damage to their companies and demanded a compensation of Rs. 1 crore each.
The case was heard by Justice CV Karthikeyan and he has asked Rajenthra Balaji to submit his response in a week's time. The case has thus been adjourned to July 27, 2017.
Hatsun Agro Product Ltd has issued a statement which reads, â€śWe welcome the interim order by the Honourable Madras High Court restraining Mr. Rajenthra Bhalaji from making any further unsubstantiated claims on private dairy companies. We cannot make any further comments as the matter is subjudice".
On May 24, 2017, Rajenthra Bhalaji had made serious allegations against the private milk companies claiming that they sell adulterated milk which was the cause of cancer in many children. The minister said, â€śMilk sold by private dealers is definitely adulterated. The milk that is banned in Kerala is being sold in Tamil Nadu according to my investigation.â€ť
He also alleged that the companies were using preservatives and that the milk sold by state-run milk cooperative Aavin was safe for consumption. He further made an astounding declaration that private companies were "turning curd back into milk using chemicals.â€ť
Rajenthra Balaji's series of panic-inducing allegations include the claim that milk samples from private companies showed the presence of formaldehyde, a chemical which is used to preserve bodies from decaying.
â€śTests at state laboratories showed that formaldehyde is being used in milk. This is the same chemical used by medical colleges to preserve bodies. We have sent the samples to four Central government laboratories for evaluation which would take 30 days,â€ť he said.
Last month, Rajenthra Bhalaji accused two private companies for using caustic soda and bleaching powder in spoilt milk. While speaking to reporters, the minister had said, â€śThese two brands are using caustic soda and bleaching powder in spoilt milk. After using these chemicals in the milk, they convert it to powder which is consumed by children. How safe is it for children to drink this milk?"