New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) The government on Monday told an apex consumer forum hearing its Rs.640-crore class action suit against Nestle India that it would like to test 31 more samples of Maggi instant noodles, after which the matter was posted for hearing on Tuesday.
“We have identified 31 samples from different batches in a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) godown, which we would like to test and videograph the proceedings,” the government counsel told a bench of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), consisting of Justice V.K. Jain and Justice B.C. Gupta.
The counsel said there was a need to test samples from different batches as noodle samples already drawn had expired while the class-action suit hearings progressed.
“This class action suit is not just about the lead and monosodium glutamate contents. It is about the government representing consumers of the country regarding mislabelling, misbranding and other unfair trade practices resorted to by Nestle,” the lawyer added.
Senior counsel Iqbal Chagla, representing Nestle India, and the government’s counsel had heated arguments over more tests proposed by the government, after which the consumer forum posted the matter for Tuesday.
“Considering Maggi noodles is back in the market after it has passed necessary tests as mandated by the Bombay High Court, what is the need for fresh tests,” Chagla asked.
If NCDRC orders another round of tests, it could affect the consumers who are purchasing the product and raise questions, he added.
Tests were conducted on October 15 on 13 samples of Maggi noodles from nine batches on a request by the government’s counsel.
These samples were sent to the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysuru, Karnataka, though the test results haven’t been presented before the apex consumer court yet.