The 33-year-old lawyer, Nikita Ajwani, residing in Colaba – Mumbai, has sought Rs 5 lakh as damages, claiming that her complaints to the Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private have gone unheeded. She allegedly spotted a foreign object in a soft drink bottle, has taken the beverage maker Coca Cola to court The company has stoutly refuted the allegations. Ajwani says she was irked at the manner in which the company dealt with the matter, after the ‘defect’ in their product was pointed to them.
The only reason for taking the matter to court, says Ajwani, is that Indian consumers are taken for granted, “If a lawyer is treated in this manner then we can only imagine the plight of various other consumers in India,” she told Mumbai Mirror. “It’s a soft drink bottle which doesn’t cost much, but the indifferent attitude of the company prompted me to go to consumer court.”
Ajwani’s complaint states that she spotted a dead insect/cockroach floating in a bottle of an orange drink – Minute Maid Pulpy Orange – on the day of Diwali in 2011. The 1-litre bottle, she said, had been bought from Sahakari Bhandar in Colaba on October 27, 2011. “I wrote to Coca-Cola about their contaminated product. Initially, the company’s representative came to my house and inspected the bottle. At this, I was assured that Coca Cola’s quality control department would contact me shortly but nobody did. Far from it, they never even responded to written reminders I sent them,” said Ajwani.Ajwani says that there was no response from the company. The company, she says, has chosen to remain silent till date as it had failed to reply to three notices sent out by her – on November 2, November 9 and December 22, 2011.
The case was filed in March and the bottle presented before the court as evidence. At one of the hearings, a member judge noted that it looked like a foreign object in the bottle and that the bottle appeared to be sealed. The court sent bottle for laboratory analysis and a report about the seal being secured and about the contents of the bottle be presented to the court by way of a report.The report of the analysis of the contents of the bottle has been submitted to the court. It is likely to be opened at the next date of hearing which is scheduled for May 15.