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Insects in bottle; Coke fined Rs 1.2 lakh

By Krishnadas Rajagopal in New Delhi
April 28, 2006 18:10 IST
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In yet another 'eye-opener' judgement, Coca Cola was on Friday ordered by a city consumer court to pay over Rs 1 lakh after a man found dead insects in an unopened bottle of "Sprite" advertised as the company's top product in the softdrink market.

"It seems that MNCs have only focussed their eyes on their one-point programme - make money. For that end they will even play with the public's health," District Consumer Redressal Forum (North) comprising president K K Chopra and members R K Prabhakar and Neeru Mittal said.

The complainant had registered the case against Coca Cola Company, Atlanta, USA; Hindustan Coca Cold Manufacturing Co. Pvt. Ltd; local manufacturer Moon Beverages Ltd and Suri Cold Drink, the retail outlet from which the complainant had purchased the contaminated drink.

Directing Coca Cola and its three ancillaries to pay the damages "jointly or severally", the forum directed them to pay Rs 1 lakh to the Consumer Legal Aid Fund here and Rs 20,000 towards the complainant towards mental agony caused to him.

Pepsi fined; condom in bottle

This judgement follows an earlier one by the same forum ordering identical compensation against softdrink major Pepsico after a consumer chanced upon a condom in a sealed Pepsi bottle.

The complainant, Atul Khattar, a resident of Malka Ganj near New Delhi, had on August 10, 2003, purchased the bottle from the outlet near Sarai Rohilla locality near new Delhi.

Khattar, who then happened to take a glance at the sealed bottle, was shocked to find dead insects floating in the "chilled" fizz.                                                                                

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Krishnadas Rajagopal in New Delhi
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