New Delhi: The Department of Consumer Affairs is all set to file a complaint against Nestle over Maggi issue in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) using a provision for the first time from the nearly three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act.
According to sources, the complaint is to be filed on the basis of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements and the government may seek financial penalties among other actions.
The development comes amidst the Indian unit of the Swiss multinational withdrawing Maggi from the markets after several states banned the famous '2-minute' instant food brand as tests showed them containing taste enhancer MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate) and lead in excess of permissible limits.
On behalf of consumers across the country, the department will file a complaint and it has been approved by the Minister, a source said. Describing the alleged lapses related to food safety standards in Maggi noodles as a "serious issue", Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had earlier said that NCDRC will investigate the matter and take appropriate action.
Usually, NCDRC comes into play following complaints filed by a consumer, but a section of this Act of 1986 also provides for the government to register a complaint. For the first time, government is taking action under Section 12-1-D of the Consumer Protection Act, under which both Centre and states have powers to file complaints. This particular section deals with the manner in which a complaint can be made before NCDRC.