The Supreme Court on January 3, 2019, resuscitated a ₹640-crore class-action suit filed against Indian branch of the Swiss food giant Nestle by the government on behalf of thousands of consumers of the iconic Maggi noodles.
A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud revived the suit filed by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in August 2015 against Nestle India Limited on grounds of “unfair trade practices, sale of defective goods and sale of Maggi Oats Noodles to the public without product approval.”
The suit was filed under Section 12(1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This provision allows the Centre or a State, either in its individual capacity or as a representative of the interests of the consumers, to file a complaint in the consumer forum.
The department claimed that Nestle was liable to pay ₹284.55 crore along with punitive damages of ₹355.4 crore for “gross negligence, apathy and callousness” on its part. Thus, demanding a total of ₹639.96 crore from Nestle.
The Bench would hear the suit on the basis of a report filed by the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute in 2016.