The Punjab Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a Dera Bassi-based company to pay Rs 10,000 to a 22-year-old resident of Kurali for selling a contaminated beverage.
The youth,Robin Verma,had initially filed a complaint in the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Mohali,claiming that the bottled beverage which he purchased from a store in Kurali in May 2006 had fungus and particles in it,even though the bottle was sealed.
Verma said he asked the owner of the confectionary shop to replace the bottle,but this was not done. The store owner told him to approach the manufacturer. Verma issued a legal notice to the company. When compensation was not given to him,he filed a case in the Mohali Consumer Forum.
In its reply,the company stated that the complaint was frivolous,and had been filed with the objective of harassment. Verma produced the bottle before the court as evidence.
After considering the case,the forum directed the company in 2007 to pay Rs 10,000 to Verma as exemplary damages,and Rs 1,000 as litigation costs. The company appealed against the order in the Punjab Consumer Commission.
After considering the case,presiding judicial member Jagroop Singh Mahal and member Vinod Kumar Gupta dismissed the appeal filed by the company,and upheld the order given by the forum as legal and valid. The commission held that the company had no explanation as to how foreign material jumped into the sealed bottle and fungus developed inside it too.
The commission held that even though Verma didnt have a receipt for the purchase,the complaint was maintainable because for such purchases,a receipt was neither given nor demanded.
Regarding the claim of the company that the foreign material had not been examined,the commission held that the contamination was visible to the naked eye and hence testing was not essential.