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Whirlpool hauled to court over false claim

New Delhi, Aug. 23 (PTI): LG Electronics and a customer of Whirlpool of India (WIL), today filed a joint complaint before the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Commission (MRTPC), alleging WIL was adopting unfair trade practice by claiming that its frost-free refrigerators are certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The fresh case comes in the wake of two separate cases filed by WIL and Godrej earlier this year in which they have alleged that LG has misled its consumers by overstating capacity of three models of its frost-free refrigerators.

All the three cases will now come up for hearing on September 18.

In the complaint, under Sections 36A (1), 36(B) and 36(D) of the MRTPC Act, LG alleged that WIL, “Having failed to compete with the high quality and technologically superior products of LG, has maliciously tried to impress upon the consumers that the refrigerators of LG are inferior to those manufactured by the respondent”.

LG also charged WIL of obtaining “totally incorrect, unfair and biased report from the central power research institute (CPRI)” and misusing its contents in its sales promotion material.

When contacted, a WIL spokesperson said, “the timing of the filing of the petition is to deflect the ongoing capacity petition which was slated for hearing this morning”.

He said compliance with BIS is voluntary and does not need a certification from the bureau while quoting a BIS letter dated July 18 which says “IS 1476 (part I): 2000 is for voluntary adoption by all concerned”.

The Whirlpool spokesperson also denied that CPRI was no longer a member of BIS, adding “CPRI figures in the list of approved BIS agencies, a copy of which is available with us”.

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