Condom, dyspepsia cost Pepsi Rs 1 lakh
WHEN SUDESH Sharma of Delhi bought two bottles of Pepsi, he got things he had not bargained for: dirt and a condom. Three years later, on Wednesday, a city consumer court asked soft-drink giant Pepsi to pay over Rs 1 lakh as compensation.india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 01:45 IST
WHEN SUDESH Sharma of Delhi bought two bottles of Pepsi, he got things he had not bargained for: dirt and a condom. Three years later, on Wednesday, a city consumer court asked soft-drink giant Pepsi to pay over Rs 1 lakh as compensation.
Terming the case "rare", as one having a serious bearing on public health, the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (North) directed PepsiCo India to pay Rs 1 lakh to the Consumer Legal Aid Fund and Rs 20,000 to Sharma.
Sharma, a resident of Ujhani village in Delhi, had purchased the two Pepsi bottles from a shop near Kashmere Gate in 2003. After guzzling from the first bottle, he suffered from severe dyspepsia and headache, followed by insomnia.
His condition worsened over a period of time and he had to seek medical treatment.
But before checking in to the hospital, Sharma had a closer look at the bottle - there were dirt and solid particles in the one he had drunk from. Worse, in the other bottle -- which was still sealed -- was a condom. "The case is an eye-opener for others who are engaged in manufacturing soft drinks and are required to maintain the prescribed standards of purity," said the court.
Denying any negligence on its part, the counsel for Pepsi said it did not have any authorised dealer near Kashmere Gate and that the drinks might have been illegally marketed under its brand name.
To this, the court said the soft-drink major had failed in its duty by not taking action against those who passed off spurious products as Pepsi.
Dismissing Pepsi's argument that Sharma had not submitted any proof of purchase of the bottles, the court said shopkeepers did not give bills when someone purchased a couple of bottles. Pepsi said it would challenge the order, which it called "erroneous".