Superstar Amitabh Bachchan today sought dismissal of a complaint against him by a consumer rights’ activist for promoting Maggi noodles, banned in some states in the wake of detection of high levels of MSG and lead, saying it was “completely infructuous.”
In his affidavit filed before Tamil Nadu State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission through his counsel, the actor said he had agreed to promote the noodles and variants under the brand name Maggi only from June 5, 2012 to September 5, 2013 when there was no complaint about its quality.
Bachchan said he had not been promoting the products since September 5, that the retailer here had been granted all statutory approvals for the product and that there were no adverse reports on the products or ingredients during that period.
He submitted that complainant K Manavalan had failed to ascertain and verify the facts and without due cause had made him a party to the complaint with ‘ulterior motive.’ “The petition was liable to be dismissed,” the actor said.
Bachchan said he had acted in 190 Hindi films and the union government honoured him with Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan awards. He had also won many film awards.
The complaint was frivolous and vexatious and hence the forum should direct Manavalan to delete his name in the complaint and consequently dismiss it with costs, he said.
When the case came up today, Judicial member K Annamalai and member M Murugesan directed Manavalan to submit his reply on September 9, 2015 after he sought time to do so.
Manavalan, in his petition, pointed out that the Madurai bench of state Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had issued notices to seven persons, including Chairman-cum- Managing Director of Nestle India Ltd, actors Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Preity Zinta and the Commissioner of Food Safety (Chennai).
It had also directed the designated officer of the Deputy Director of Health Services, Madurai, to lift at random samples of Maggi noodles with tastemaker from different shops and to test them at the appropriate laboratory, he said.
The bench had directed the officer to file a test report along with opposite parties’ opinion on safety of consuming Maggi noodles.
“Prima facie case made out in the complaint. Considering the seriousness of the allegations pertaining to the health and public safety of the consumers, we are inclined to grant the relief sought for by the petitioner,” the Commission had said.
The petitioner had also sought the forum’s directions to Nestle India not to distribute Maggi noodles and to withdraw it from sale, saying it was in violation of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Manavalan had sought a direction from the forum to the actors not to promote the product through advertisements containing ‘false representations’ about the quality and safety of the product.