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Pepsico India Holdings Pvt. Limited v/s Bansun

    Appeal No. 152 of 2016

    Decided On, 19 May 2016

    At, Union Territory Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission UT Chandigarh

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Manvender Rathi, Advocate. For the Respondent: ------.

Judgment Text

Jasbir Singh (Retd.), President

1. This appeal is directed against an order dated 08.04.2016, rendered by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-I, U.T., Chandigarh (hereinafter to be called as the Forum only), vide which, it accepted a complaint, filed by the complainant (now respondent no.1) and directed opposite party No.1 (now appellant), as under:-

'In the light of above observations, we are of the concerted view that the present complaint of the Complainant deserves to succeed against the Opposite Party No.1 alone, and the same is allowed, qua it. The Opposite Party No.1 is directed to pay to the Complainant a sum of Rs.7500/- as compensation, within 30 days from the date of receipt of copy of this order, failing which it would be liable to pay the same along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum since the date of filing of the present Complaint, till realization.'

2. Alongwith the appeal, an application for condonation of delay of 06 days, in filing the same (appeal), has also been filed by the appellant.

3. Before the Forum, it was case of respondent no.1 that he had purchased two bottles of soft drink namely 'Mountain Dew', from respondent no.2, against bill dated 03.07.2015 and paid an amount of Rs.75/- in cash (receipt Annexure C-1). It was his further case that when the said soft drink was consumed, he started feeling problem in his abdomen. He suffered vomiting and stomach-ache, on account of which, he had to rush to Govt. Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16 Chandigarh. For checkup, he also visited Govt. Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh. (Medical prescription slips have been placed on record as Annexures P-2 to P-4). It was allegation of respondent no.1 that the quality of soft drink purchased was not good, which after consumption, resulted into giving him medical troubles. By alleging deficiency in providing service and unfair trade practice on the part of the appellant and respondent no.2, consumer complaint bearing no.470 of 2015 was filed before the Forum.

4. Upon notice, the appellant and respondent no.2 put in appearance. It was stated by the appellant that the purchase of two bottles of soft drinks was not from an authorized dealer and further that there is no proof that stuff was ever consumed by respondent no.1 and that he had suffered the problems, as alleged i.e. vomiting, stomach-ache etc.

5. Respondent no.2 admitted the sale of two bottles of soft drink to respondent no.1. However, it denied its liability by stating that it was only a retailer. The product, in question, was manufactured by the appellant, and, as such, respondent no.2 cannot be burdened with any liability. It was also stated that there is nothing on record to prove that stomach problem or vomiting suffered by respondent no.1, was a result of consuming the cold drink.

6. In the rejoinder filed by respondent no.1, he reiterated all the averments contained in the complaint and repudiated those contained in written version of the appellant and respondent no.2.

7. The Parties led evidence, in support of their case.

8. After hearing Counsel for the parties, and, on going through the evidence, and record of the case, the Forum, accepted the complaint and came to the conclusion that there was deficiency in providing service on the part of the appellant, which resulted into causing lot of trouble, to respondent no.1, for which an amount of Rs.7,500/- was granted as compensation. The amount of compensation granted is so small that it is not necessary for us, to look into the contents of this appeal. If respondent no.1 is summoned to face this litigation, he may spend more than the amount granted to him. In Central Institute Of Medicinal & Aromatics Plants (Cimap) & Anr. Vs. Jagdish Singh, Revision Petition No. 3094 of 2014, decided on 14 Mar 2016, it was held by the National Commission, as under:-

'It should be borne in mind that for a claim of petty amount, the farmer is dragged up to this Commission. Hon’ble Supreme Court, in many cases, made its yeomen observations regarding the petty claims, where, unnecessarily, the matters are being dragged for decades. Hon’ble Supreme Court in Gurgaon Gramin Bank vs. Smt. Khazani & ANR. [Civil Appeal No. 6261 of 2012 @ Special Leave Petition (C) No. 8875/2010] by a bench of Hon’ble Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra, while expressing disapproval at the tendency to drag every small matter, up to the Supreme Court, the bench observed :-

"Unless serious questions of law of general importance arise for consideration or a question which affects a large number of persons or the stakes are very high, court's jurisdiction cannot be invoked for resolution of small and trivial matters. We are really disturbed at the manner in which those types of matters are being brought to courts, even at the level of the Supreme Court."

We do not find any merit in this revision petition. Hence, it is dismissed'.

9. No serious question of law is made out at the time of arguments. Be that as it may, notwithstanding the findings given above, we proceeded ahead to hear this appeal on merits. When granting relief to respondent no.1, the Forum observed as under:-

'The dispute in the present case pertains to the bottle of mountain dew and the damage caused to the health of the Complainant after consuming the contents thereof. There is no dispute about the fact that the Complainant purchased bottles from Opposite Party No.2 on 3.7.2015 vide Cash Memo Annexure P-1 and after consuming the same he fell ill and got treatment for many days from Hospital. In support of his case, the Complainant has annexed medical record from Annexure P-2 to P-4, respectively. Opposite Party No.2 has admitted that he sold the bottles to the Complainant, but he has denied his liability as he is only retailer, and he has not manufactured the said soft drink. He has also contended that the product in question is manufactured by Opposite Party No.1. In this view of the matter, we have no hesitation to hold that Opposite Party No.2 is not liable in any manner as it is proved to sold bottles manufactured and bottled by the Opposite Party No.1. Opposite Party No.1 has stressed that the product is not through authorized sale point and it has also raised doubts about the consumption of contents by Complainant and the after effects. However, we are not impressed with this. Opposite Party No.2 has placed on record certain retail invoices of the soft drinks purchased during the period in question from M/s Eleven Excellence Merchandise (P) Ltd., Plot No.827, Makhan Majra Road, Chandigarh. This has not been demurred to by the Opposite Party No.1 and rather it subverted the issue by stating that it has lodged FIRs for spurious bottles of their product, but no such document with regard to the present bottle or the retailer has been placed on record. Moreover, from the medical evidence/record it is reasonably proved that the Complainant had fallen ill after consumption of mountain dew manufactured by Opposite Party No.1. In other words, there is concrete evidence to link the Opposite Party No.1 with the bottle in question.'

10. We feel that the view taken by the Forum is perfectly justified. Purchase of two bottles of soft drink by respondent no.1, is admitted on record, by respondent no.2. The said purchase was against a bill dated 03.07.2015. Medical evidence on record i.e. Annexures P-2 to P-4, proved that immediately on consumption of soft drink, respondent no.1 had suffered vomiting and also stomach-ache, as a result whereof, he had to rush to Govt. Multispecialty Hospital, Sector 16 Chandigarh and also Govt. Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, for necessary treatment. It was further rightly noticed by the Forum that respondent no.2 is only a retailer. The product was manufactured by the appellant and, accordingly, the appellant was rightly burdened with the liability to make payment of above said paltry amount of compensation to respondent no.1, for alleged deficiency in providing service, causing him, medical troubles. The appellant has taken a stand that it had lodged FIRs, to say that t

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here was spurious production and sale of cold drinks, but no proof was placed on record, in that connection. Thus, no case is made out, to make interference, in the order under challenge. 11. No other point, was urged, by Counsel for the appellant. 12. For the reasons recorded above, the appeal, being devoid of merit, must fail, and the same is dismissed, at the preliminary stage, with no order as to costs. The order of the Forum is upheld. 13. Since the appeal filed by the appellant has been dismissed, at the preliminary stage, as such, the application filed by it, for condonation of delay of 06 days, in filing the same (appeal) is also dismissed, being rendered infructuous. The application is disposed off, accordingly. 14. Certified copies of this order, be sent to the parties, free of charge. 15. The file be consigned to Record Room, after completion.