Coca Cola fined for tobacco pouch in bottle

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{image-coke logo_28012008.jpg}Patiala, Jan 28: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed soft drink company Coca Cola to pay Rs 15,000 after a consumer found a tobacco pouch in an unopened bottle of Coca Cola. The complainant, Kanwar Manjit Singh, from Patiala, had got the case registered on June 8, 2006, against Coca Cola India and M/s Gian Singh and Sons, the grocery shop from which he had purchased the contaminated drink.

The Consumer Forum, presided by Gurdev Singh, in its order said "The bare perusal of the contents of the bottle reveals that it contains a pouch of tobacco which is dangerous to the human consumption and the sale of contaminated drink is a matter of deficiency of service." The Forum directed the opposite party to make the payment of Rs 15,000 with interest at the rate of 9 per cent from the date of filing the complaint till its realisation for harrassment, mental agony and cost of the petition to the complainant.

The complainant had purchased six bottles of Coca Cola from the retail outlet on May 4, 2004. On reaching home he was shocked to see a pouch of tobacco in one of the bottles. He immediately brought the matter to the notice of the owner of the grocery shop who passed the buck on to the local distributor of Coca Cola from whom he gets the supply.

When the local distributor could not satisfy the complainant, he lodged his protest with the President of Coca Cola India and Coca Cola Headquarters at Atlanta through telephone calls, e-mails and registered letters.

When the matter could not be resolved despite a long correspondence with Coca Cola authorities he lodged a complaint with consumer court where the case was decided in his favour.


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