CHENNAI: The Pepsico India, Gurgaon in Haryana, was slapped with a total fine of Rs 15,000 for supplying a soft drink with dead insects floating in the bottle, by the Chennai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North) on April 13. The manufacturer of the drink cannot escape its liability, if consumer finds dead insects in the drink. Hence, the complainant had suffered mental agony and thereby entitled to compensation.
Therefore it would be appropriate to order a sum of Rs 10,000 towards compensation for mental agony to the complainant besides a sum of Rs 5,000 towards litigation expenses, the forum headed by K Jayabalan, chairman and T Kalaiyarasi, member, said. The amount shall be paid within six weeks, the forum added.
According to a complaint from P Thalapathy of Aminjikarai, he went to a bar attached to a Tasmac shop on Strahans Road and purchased Mirinda on July 27, 2013. Before use, he noticed with naked eyes some dead insects floating inside the bottle. He lodged a complaint with the forum, alleging deficiency in service, both against Pepsico and the Tasmac bar.
The forum, however, absolved the bar, as it sold the bottle only as a seller and the defect has been found only at the time of manufacture of the product.
Pepsico argued that the contents of the impugned bottle are not manufactured by it. The bar would have tampered with the bottle by changing its contents, it alleged.
According to a report of the agency, to which the bottle was sent for analysis, the bottle was sealed and found to be aerated with metal crown cap.
The analyst has not stated in the report that the sample was tampered with. He only stated that the bottle was sealed. Therefore the arguments of the company that the bar would have tampered with the bottle cannot be accepted, the forum said.
Rejecting another contention of Pepsico that the complainant has not suffered any loss or injury and therefore, he is not entitled to any relief, the forum said that the manufacturer of the drink cannot escape its liability, if consumer finds dead insects in the drink. Therefore the complainant suffered from mental agony and thereby he was entitled to compensation, the forum added and gave the direction.