Terming them guilty of deficiency in services, the district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed the manufacturer and seller of water-based restorative drink B'lue to pay Rs 33,000 to a Sector 51-resident for selling him a fungus-infested bottle and not replacing it.
In his complaint before the forum, Gagandeep Singh had submitted that he found fungus floating in a sealed bottle of B'lue Guava-flavoured mineral water bottle that he purchased for Rs 30 from Sector-8 based Rama store on September 23, 2012.
He said he approached the shop to replace the bottle on September 24, 2012. However, the shopkeeper, showing his inability to replace the bottle, asked him to contact the distributor or the company. He said all his efforts to get his complaint redressed failed to yield results.
Relying on the report of Food Analyst Punjab, Chandigarh, the consumer forum, presided over by Rajan Dewan, in its order held, “The suspended matter in the bottle in question, which was purchased during the period of 'best before date', was not fit for human consumption and its sale even before its expiry date was an act of deficiency in service on the part of shop.
The manufacturer having allowed a product, to be sold, which was unfit for human consumption, too has committed a deficiency in service.”
The forum thus directed Danone Narang beverages Private Limited, Mumbai, Pune-based Pushpam Food and Beverages Private Limited and Sector-8 based Rama Stores to “jointly and severally” pay Rs 33,000, including `25,000 as compensation, Rs 7,000 as litigation cost and Rs 1,000 incurred by Gagandeep for getting the mineral water bottle tested by the Food Analyst Punjab, Chandigarh.
Pushpam Food and Beverages Private Limited was proceeded ex parte.
In it reply, Danone Narang Beverages Private Limited, Mumbai, submitted, “The bottle did not contain any fungus,” and prayed for dismissal of the complaint. They said Gagandeep failed to place on record any bill or any other document of the alleged purchase.
Sector-8 based Rama Stores, in its reply, said Gagandeep had not placed on record any bill or any other document of the alleged purchase and that he wanted to illegally extort benefits from them by misusing the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.