The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh has penalised a beverage company, Pernod Ricard India Private Limited, and has directed it to pay Rs 2.25 after a consumer found a foreign particle inside one of their sealed liquor bottles.
Ajay Kumar Yadav of Chandigarh stated that on March 9, 2018, he purchased a Blenders Pride Reserve Collection (750 ml) Whisky from a wine shop at Sector 22, Chandigarh for Rs 740. Yadav alleged that when he was about to unseal the bottle to serve to his guests, he noticed some foreign particle floating inside the bottle. Yadav said that he was shocked to find a foreign particle in the bottle as it could have caused serious health issues to him and his guests if they had consumed any liquor from the bottle. The matter was brought to the notice of the company via email. Jaspreet Dhindsa, an employee of the company visited Ajay, checked the liquor bottle and assured to resolve the matter, but nothing was done. Ajay then moved a formal complaint before the Consumer Commission.
Pernod Ricard India in reply said that the complainant neither showed any proof of purchase of the bottle nor ever showed it to them.
They said that the credit card slip allegedly produced by the complainant as proof as it does not provide the name, batch number and other details to identify the product. The company said that the bottling of various alcoholic beverages by them is carried out in sophisticated plants that ensure a high standard of hygiene. And that there are plenty of other companies that sell liquor under the name of the company.
To resolve the dispute, the liquor bottle in question was sent for analysis/examination to FICCI Research and Analysis Centre, New Delhi, which sent a report dated December 11, 2019, wherein it was established that there was a tiny brown coloured foreign particle present and that the liquor if consumed, could have been a health hazard.
The Commission thus opined that Pernod Ricard India was unable to provide a safe product to the complainant.
The Commission directed the company to pay an amount of Rs 25000 to the complainant as compensation for causing mental agony, along with harassment and litigation expenses.
The Commission also directed Pernod Ricard India to deposit a sum of Rs 1.50 lakh in the Poor Patient Welfare Fund, PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research), Chandigarh and Rs 50000 in the “Consumer Legal Aid Account”.