The Supreme Court of India has stayed the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) from proceeding in a suit filed by the Central government against Nestlé India.
The court reportedly said that the NCDRC would not proceed with the hearing of the class action suite filed by the union of India claiming Rs.640 crore from Nestle for marketing noodles with suspect quality.
A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and P.C. Pant also said Nestlé’s Maggi noodles samples—which NCDRC had directed to be tested at a Chennai laboratory—will now be tested at the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysore.
“As against the directions of NCDRC to send the samples for testing to the export inspection agency, Nestle has consented to send the same samples to a NABL accredited government referral laboratory,” Nestle said in a statement.
“Reports of 13 samples have already been sent to CFTRI Mysore and the additional 16 which are being sent to CFTRI are to be forwarded to the Supreme Court instead of NCDRC, ” Nestle added.
The court said the order from the Bombay high court on 13 August, lifting the ban on Maggi, had to be considered. “Had the Bombay high court not cleared them, it would have been a different matter,” the court said.
On 10 December, the NCDRC ordered testing of 16 samples of Maggi at a Chennai laboratory.
The court directed that the reports of two tests ordered by the NCDRC—on 15 October and 10 December—be placed before it. Both tests will be conducted by the CFTRI lab, which is approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
The court will now hear the case on 13 January along with an appeal filed by the food regulator against Bombay high court order lifting the ban on Maggi noodles.