Maggi ban: Nestle questions consumer disputes commission's jurisdiction to try suit
Nestle India Limited on Thursday questioned the jurisdiction of the apex consumer court to try the Centre's Rs 640 crore suit against it for alleged unfair trade practices pertaining to Maggi noodles, saying the Bombay High Court has already dismissed a similar plea.
The company told the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) that there was nothing new in the government's suit as all the contentions were dismissed by the High Court in its August 13 order, which had set aside the countrywide ban on its Maggi noodles.
The counsel appearing for the firm said that Department of Consumer Affairs in its present suit has not relied upon any new evidence than what was proposed before the High Court. The noodle manufacturer also raised doubts on the samples collected by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and claimed that these might have been tampered with.
The commission's bench, headed by Justice VK Jain, fixed the matter for October 15 for further hearing.
Citing Bombay High Court order, the company sought to recall an earlier NCDRC order by which it had admitted the government's present suit against the noodles manufacturer.
In its petition, Department of Consumer Affairs has alleged that Nestle India had "indulged in unfair trade practices by false labelling of Maggi Noodles in as much as it states 'No added MSG' prominently on packet, despite presence of MSG."
The department has also alleged that the company sold "defective" goods to the public by selling Maggi noodles with the presence of lead and MSG and indulged in unfair trade practices by offering for sale Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker without risk assessment and product approval.
It also sought a direction to the company to recall all "defective" and "hazardous goods" with respect to Maggi noodles with Tastemaker in all its variants and Maggi Oats Masala Noodles with Tastemaker, and sought a direction to it for issuance of corrective advertisement to neutralise the effect of the misleading advertisements.
"This commission be pleased to direct the opponent company to remove 'No added MSG' from the packets and labels of all the variants of Maggi noodles.... This commission be pleased to direct the opponent company to ensure strict compliance with labelling regulations for its entire range of products," the department's complaint, filed before the commission, said.
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