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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Pepsi fined over condom in bottle
Drinks stall in Delhi
PepsiCo India has denied any negligence
Soft drinks manufacturer Pepsi has been ordered to pay 20,000 rupees ($445) in damages to a man from Delhi who found a condom in a sealed bottle.

The company, which was also ordered to pay 100,000 rupees ($2,225) to the Consumer Legal Aid Fund, said it planned to challenge the order.

The case was brought before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in the Indian capital by Sudesh Sharma.

Pepsi denied negligence and claimed the bottles were probably fake goods.

A company representative told the court the bottles may have contained a bogus product illegally marketed under its brand name.

Mr Sharma said he purchased two bottles of Pepsi from a shop in the Kashmere Gate area of the capital in 2003.

This case is an eye-opener for others who are engaged in manufacturing soft-drinks and are required to maintain the prescribed standards of purity in public interest during the course of their business activities
Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum

He said he suffered severe headaches and insomnia after consuming the drink from one of the bottles and had to seek medical treatment.

Mr Sharma said he found dirt in the empty bottle and when he looked inside the other bottle, which was still sealed, he found a condom.

The Press Trust of India reported the court as saying Pepsi had failed in its duty towards its customers by failing to take action against people passing off inferior products as Pepsi.

'Lame excuse'

It rejected as a "lame excuse" Pepsi's objection that it was not liable because it did not have any authorised dealers in the Kashmere Gate area.

The court said the case was "rare" and had a serious bearing on public health.

It said: "This case is an eye-opener for others who are engaged in manufacturing soft-drinks and are required to maintain the prescribed standards of purity in public interest during the course of their business activities".

Pepsico India said the court order was "erroneous" and they said they would be taking steps to challenge it.

The soft drinks market in India is worth millions of dollars.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi account for more than 90% of the carbonated drinks market in India and together sell more than 500 million bottles every year.




SEE ALSO:
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20 Jan 05 |  South Asia
Coca Cola challenged in Kerala
20 Sep 03 |  South Asia
India finds pesticides in colas
04 Feb 04 |  South Asia


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