Govt files case against Maggi seeking Rs 640 cr in damages

New Delhi: Acting against Nestle India over the Maggi issue, the government on Tuesday approached consumer forum NCDRC seeking damages worth Rs 640 crore from the company on charges of unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements of the popular noodles brand.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry filed a complaint against Nestle India before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) using a provision for the first time in the nearly three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act. 

The case has been filed after the Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan cleared the file yesterday.

"Under section 12(1D) of the Consumer Protection Act, we have filed a complaint before NCDRC against Nestle India over the Maggi issue. We have sought damage of about Rs 640 crore," a source said.

The Department has filed a complaint against Nestle for causing damage to Indian consumers by allegedly involving in unfair trade practices and false labelling related to the Maggi noodles product.

"The company said no added MSG, despite presence of MSG," sources said adding that the company has been charged for misleading advertisements that Maggi noodles is healthy.

Usually, NCDRC comes into the picture 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, the government is taking action under Section 12-1-D of the Consumer Protection Act, under which both the Centre and states have powers to file complaints.

This particular section deals in the manner in which a complaint can be made before NCDRC.

In June, food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles after it found excess level of lead in samples, terming it as "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.

FSSAI had also said Nestle violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer 'MSG' and ordered the company to submit a compliance report on its orders.

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