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Is Nimbooz Lemonade or Fruit Juice? Supreme Court Steps in to Discuss

The drink was launched in 2013 by PepsiCo and the drink was described as made of real lemon juice with no fizz and hence, it sparked the debate about its categorization into either lemonade or fruit juice or fruit pulp-based juice.  (Credits: News18/YouTube)

The drink was launched in 2013 by PepsiCo and the drink was described as made of real lemon juice with no fizz and hence, it sparked the debate about its categorization into either lemonade or fruit juice or fruit pulp-based juice. (Credits: News18/YouTube)

Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna led the bench and the case was filed by a company named Aradhana Foods that wanted the drink to be categorized as lemonade instead of its current status of fruit pulp of fruit juice-based drink.

In a bizarre case, a Supreme Court bench decided to take up the conflict of whether ‘Nimbooz’ is lemonade or a fruit pulp/juice-based drink to determine the excise duty amount on it. Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna led the bench and the case was filed by a company named Aradhana Foods that wanted the drink to be categorized as lemonade instead of its current status of fruit pulp of fruit juice-based drink. Earlier, Justice Dilip Gupta and P. Venkata Subba Rao categorized Nimbooz as a fruit juice-based drink. The consequence was that the drink came under tariff Item 2022 90 20 of the Central Excise Tariff. They passed the order with the statement – “The product ‘Minute Maid Nimbu Fresh’ (hereinafter referred to as MMNF) manufactured by Brindavan Beverages Private Limited, and 7UP ‘Nimbooz Masala Soda’ or 7UP ‘Nimbooz’ manufactured by PepsiCo India Holdings Private Limited are classifiable under Tariff Item 2022 90 20 of the Central Excise Tariff Schedule under the category of fruit pulp or fruit juice based drinks.”

The bench said in its order that the Nimbooz would be classified under CETH 2022 10 20 rather than the aforementioned tariff section. The statement read – “In view of the aforesaid order of the Larger Bench of the Tribunal, ‘Nimbooz’ would be classifiable under CETH 2022 10 20 of the First Schedule to the Central Excise Tariff Act,” due to which the bench decided to consider the appeal filed by Aradhana Foods.

The drink was launched in 2013 by PepsiCo and the drink was described as made of real lemon juice with no fizz and hence, it sparked the debate about its categorization into either lemonade or fruit juice or fruit pulp-based juice. Nevertheless, the drink can be found in any of your nearest grocery stores or online platforms if you want to go for it.

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first published:March 24, 2022, 18:07 IST