Indore, Mar 14 (PTI) The district consumer forum here has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Coca-Cola India's bottling arm and three other respondents in a case where a worm was found in a sealed soft drink bottle of the company nearly 10 years ago. District consumer dispute redressal forum president Omprakash Sharma and member Atul Jain said Tuesday that the recovery of the worm in the soft drink bottle amounted to deficiency in service.
The forum disposed of a petition filed by local resident Naveen Jain against Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the bottling arm of Coca-Cola India. "The fault in service provided by the respondents has inflicted mental torture to the petitioner and for this the respondents should pay Rs 25,000 to him in two months," the forum observed in its nine-page order. The forum directed the respondents to pay Rs 8 as well to the petitioner -- the price at which he bought the worm-infested cold drink bottle then.
It also imposed a cost of Rs 3,000 on the respondents to be paid to the petitioner, who had spent the sum on suing them. Jain had filed a petition with the forum stating he had bought 12 bottles of 'Sprite', a soft drink created by Coca-Cola, from a shop, Raj Enterprises, located on the Dhar Road here on April 29, 2009 for the birthday party of his son. The petitioner stated that when he went home he found a worm in one of the bottles.
Thereafter, Jain filed complaints with Madhya Pradesh-based Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages plant at Rajgarh district, the company's Indore office and two local firms Raj Enterprises and Mittal Agency. In its defence, the HCCB rejected the petitioner's claim and said they make high quality soft drinks and their bottles are sealed with automatic computerised machines. After this, the packed soft drink bottles are carted out of the plant, the company had told the forum during the hearing of the petition.