Maggi ban case: Big relief for Nestle as SC allows favourable report on MSG, lead content in noodles

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Updated: Jan 03, 2019 7:52 PM

In a big relief to Nestle India, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a test report to be the basis of proceedings in a three-year-old class-action lawsuit over MSG, lead content in Maggi.

In a big relief to Nestle India, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a test report to be the basis of proceedings in a three-year-old class-action lawsuit over MSG, lead content in Maggi. In a big relief to Nestle India, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a test report to be the basis of proceedings in a three-year-old class-action lawsuit over MSG, lead content in Maggi. (Image: PTI)

In a big relief to Nestle India, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed a test report to be the basis of proceedings in a three-year-old class-action lawsuit over MSG, lead content in Maggi. Nestle India’s lawyer told the court that the report has found that lead content in Maggi noodles was within the permissible limit, PTI reported.

The apex court revived the three-year-old case against Nestle, filed by the government in National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) seeking Rs 640 crore for allegedly unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements.

The class-action lawsuit was filed after Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned Maggi noodles after it found excess level of lead in samples, terming it as “unsafe and hazardous” for human consumption.

The SC, after hearing Nestle India’s arguments, ordered that the said report of the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysuru, from where the samples of Maggi noodles were tested, will form the basis of proceedings before NCDRC.

While the company argued that Maggi had permissible limit of lead, Justice Chandrachud asked, “Why should we be eating Maggi with lead in it?”

“We are of the view that CFTRI report be evaluated by the NCDRC in the complaint before it. It will not be appropriate for this court to pre-empt the jurisdiction of NCDRC… All the rights and contentions of the parties will remain open,” the SC bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta ordered.

Nestle also argued that the report found that there was no presence of MSG (monosodium glutamate).

The Consumer Affairs Ministry had in 2015 filed a complaint against Nestle India before the NCDRC using a provision for the first time in the nearly three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act.

It had filed a complaint against Nestle for causing harm to Indian consumers by allegedly indulging in unfair trade practices and false labelling related to the Maggi noodles product.

It was for the first time that the government had taken action under Section 12-1-D of the Consumer Protection Act, under which both the Centre and states have powers to file complaints, the news agency reported.

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