HINDUSTAN CIBA GEIGY Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
HINDUSTAN CIBA GEIGY
UNION OF INDIA
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S. B. Sinha, J. -
(1.)The substantial question of law involved in this appeal under Section 55 of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 ('The Act') is whether under Section 36-A of the Act, (as it stood then, causation of loss or injury to the consumer of goods or service is a sine qua non for initiation of a proceeding thereunder.
(2.)One H. D. Murzello made a complaint before the Director General of Investigation and Registration alleging unfair trade practice against the appellant herein as regards an advertisement issued by them which appeared in "The Times of India" dated 16th September, 1986 to the following effect.
"Aerocol's family background :
Aerocol's credibility as a wonder wood adhesive stems from 2 facts -
*An addition to the Araldite and Aerolite family, it is a product from Hindusthan Ciba Geigy;
*Already a market leader in UK, it is known for living up to its promise."
(3.)On the said complaint the Director General was directed to make a preliminary enquiry. Upon such inquiry, a report was submitted on 15th April, 1987. On the basis of the recommendations made in the said investigation report, a Notice of Enquiry was issued by the Commission on 30th July, 1987 against the appellant herein; the relevant portion thereof is as under :-
"The respondent abovementioned is engaged in selling adhesive under the trade name Acrocol. It had issued an advertisement that appeared in Times of India dated 16-9-1986, making claim that the product is manufactured by it. It has come to the notice of the Commission that the said product is manufactured by M/s. Kiran Industries, The respondent by misrepresenting to the public that the product is manufactured by it while it is manufactured by some other company has caused loss and injury to the consumers and thereby indulged in the unfair trade practice falling within the purview of Section 36-A(1)(v) of the Act.
The respondent had also claimed that its product is the market leader in United Kingdom. It has come to the notice of the Commission that the claim made by the Respondent has not been duly substantiated by it. The respondent, by making such tall claim, has caused loss and injury to the consumer and indulged in the unfair trade practice falling within the meaning of Section 36-A(1)(i) of the Act."
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