The national consumer court on Wednesday directed Nestle India to file its arguments against the Centre’s plea for retesting the company’s Maggi noodles before October 8, while expressing surprise that the firm would oppose fresh tests.
While arguing against the Centre’s `640 crore class action suit against them, the company told the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench comprising justices VK Jain and BC Gupta that they were not in favour of getting fresh tests.
“What is the need for fresh testing when Bombay high court is seized of the matter,” Nestle India’s lawyer senior advocate Arvind Nigam said.
The commission, however, questioned why Nestle India should have a problem with the testing of their own products, and said, “The government wasn’t producing the product”.
Nigam then said that no other company making noodle products besides Maggi had been tested nor were there any bans on other similar consumer goods.
“It has caused a huge damage to our reputation... to the extent that my competitors are making fun of me (company). While my product has been banned, government is not taking any action against any manufacturer of similar products... I (Nestle India) am being singled out,” Nigam said to the bench.
Countering Nigam, additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain sought more time from the commission to present the fresh tests on the 27 sealed samples of different variants of Maggi collected from the market, to which Nestle had raised objections.
Jain, along with counsels Mrinalini Sen Gupta and Prabhsahay Kaur, also placed the samples of different variants they wished to be tested before the court.
The government also asked that the Food Safety Standards Authority of India to be made a party in order to assist with further testing of Maggi products.