Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – Food Poisoning – Mazaa Cold Drink – Fungus, insects and dirt in the bottle – Complainant proved his case that the bottles ,which, he had purchased, contaminated with fungus and other inorganic material. The medical certificate clearly proves that the patient was admitted, took the treatment for the same.
NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION NEW DELHI
BEFORE: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE J.M. MALIK, PRESIDING MEMBER HON’BLE DR. S.M. KANTIKAR, MEMBER
REVISION PETITION NO. 2272 OF 2013
Dated : 04 May 2016
(Against the Order dated 04/03/2013 in Appeal No. 44/2008 of the State Commission Madhya Pradesh)
1. VIKAS MITTAL MANAGING DIRECTOR, & 2 ORS. COCA COLA PLANT, INDUSTRIAL AREA, RICHHAI, JABALPUR M.P
2. SUPERIR DRINKS PVT LTD., M.I.D.C HINGNA NAGPUR – 440028 MAHARASTRA
3. NANAK RAM BATRA, S/O SHRI N.D BATRA, ISHWARI MARKETING, GHANTAGARH KATNI M.P ………..Petitioner(s)
1. MOSOOF AHMED & ANR. S/O MARUF AHMED HANFI, R/O JASVI COMPLEX, BARAHI ROAD, GURUNANAK WARD, KATNI M.P
2. MUKESH AGGARWAL, PROP AGARWAL STD., PROVISION STORES, NAI BASTI KATNI M.P ………..Respondent(s)
For the Petitioner : Ms. Anuradha Mutatkar, Advocate For the Respondent : For the Respondent No. 1 : In Person For the Respondent No. 2 : Ex parte -1-
DR. S. M. KANTIKAR, MEMBER
1. Shri Mosoof Ahmed Hanfi alias Bittu, a practising advocate purchased two bottles of Mazaa Cold Drink manufactured by OP No. 3/Coca Cola Plant. OP No. 3 is represented by Mr. Vikas Mittal. The complainant paid Rs. 20/- for the bottles and deposited Rs.20/- as security for empty bottles on 25.05.2007. He consumed one bottle in the night and after 10-15 minutes, he felt uneasiness in the stomach, Vomiting, Diarrhoea and fainting sensation. He was taken to the doctor. Few pathological tests were conducted and the report thereof revealed that it was a case of food poisoning. He got three days’ treatment but felt weakness. He produced second bottle to the doctor, who noticed fungus, insects and dirt in the bottle. Therefore, the complainant wrote a letter to the OP/Mr. Mukesh Aggarwal, the proprietor of Agarwal S.T.D. Provision Stores. Thereafter, sent legal notices to all the opposite parties on 23.06.2007. The OPs did not reply. The complainant submits that due to his sickness, he could not appear in judiciary exams for selection of civil judge. Thus, he suffered professional loss, mental agony and financial loss. Therefore, he filed a complaint before the District Forum, Katni, M.P. and claimed a sum of Rs.4,35,040/-.
2. The District Forum accepted the complaint, awarded Rs.40/- towards bottles, Rs.50,000/- as compensation towards treatment and missing the opportunity to appear in aforesaid judicial exams. Lastly, Rs.500/- was also awarded as costs.
3. Aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, cross appeals were filed by the parties before the State Commission. The State Commission dismissed both the appeals.
4. Aggrieved by the impugned order of State Commission, the OPs/Mr. Vikas Mittal, Managing Director, Coca Cola Plant, Superior Drinks Pvt. Ltd. and Shri Nanak Ram Batra filed the revision petition before this Commission.
5. Learned counsel for the opposite party No. 1/Mukesh Agarwal, Proprietor, Agarwal S.T.D. Provision Stores stated that the claim of the complainant is imaginary and false. He sells in retail. He has no hand in manufacturing Mazaa Cold Drinks. Therefore, he is not responsible for any kind of deficiency, so, it was frivolous complaint to extract the money from the OPs. The Coca Cola Plant does not manufacture Mazaa Cold Drink and it is manufactured by Superior Drinks Pvt. Ltd. Hence, OP 3/Vikas Mittal, Managing Director, Coca Cola Plant is not related to the case. The complainant has not suffered any loss. Hence, the claim should be dismissed. Learned counsel further submitted that whether the bottles were sealed or not, there is no cogent evidence. We have requisitioned original file from the District Forum. Also, the complainant brought our attention to the order of District Forum, which has categorically observed that 2 bottle was nd sealed one and sent for laboratory test. As per laboratory test report, there was fungus in the bottle. The complainant produced the medical prescriptions of Dr. Paul and the receipt of purchase of Mazaa. Dr. Paul issued a certificate, which is reproduced as below:
“This is to certify that Shri M. A. Hanfi was under my treatment for ac. Gestro intestinal disorder from 26.5.2007 to 28.5.2007 cause as said by him by drinking soft drink-says Mazaa.
Dr. D. V. Paul”
6. Learned counsel for OP opined that the doctor, who issued a certificate is a Physician General & Eye Surgeon, therefore, how he is eligible to issue such certificate. We are not convinced with this argument.
7. We have perused the medical prescriptions of Dr. D. V. Paul where the patient took the treatment for food poisoning. Doctor has treated him with anti-emetic, anti-spasmodic and anti-biotics. Prior to treatment he has performed blood investigations like Heamogram, liver function test, Renal function test and blood sugar. Therefore, it proves bona fide of the complainant that he suffered abdominal discomfort after consuming Mazaa drink.
8. After thoughtful consideration, we are of the considered opinion that the complainant proved his case that the bottles ,which, he had purchased, contaminated with fungus and other inorganic material. The medical certificate clearly proves that the patient was admitted, took the treatment for the same. At the time of arguments, we have explored the possibility of settling the matter outside the Commission but the parties did not agree. The complainant submitted on his volition that if the Commission awards compensation, the same compensation be deposited in the Consumer Legal Aid Account of National Commission for the welfare of consumer awareness. In our view, it is a good gesture of the prudent consumer. As per the counsel for the opposite parties, there are rampant duplicate products proliferating in India, but in our view the OPs or the marketing people should be vigilant to eliminate such counterfeit marketing.
9. Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the duty of fora is to prevent innocent consumers from suffering unnecessarily. We are surprised to note that this case is lingering since 2007 but OPs unnecessarily dragged this matter upto this Commission.
10. Therefore, on the basis of the foregoing discussion, we do not find any merit in this revision petition, therefore, the same is hereby dismissed. Rs. 50,540/- be paid by all the OPs jointly and severally with the Consumer Legal Aid Account of this Commission, as prayed by the complainant within 45 days from the date of receipt of copy of this order, otherwise, it will carry interest @9% per annum till realisation.