REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Indore: Charging Rs 4 over MRP (maximum retail price), Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited has been ordered to pay 2,500 times or 25,000 per cent compensation in the recent judgement passed by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum Indore – 2.

The complaint was raised by advocate Manish Goyal son of Rameshchandra Goyal, who quoted the importance of water and frequent use of packaged drinking water by consumers.

“A bottle of Kinley has its MRP set at Rs 16 outside, but the same bottle is being sold at higher prices in outlets,” Goyal said. Citing the incident and presenting requisite bill as evidence from Nov. 20, 2011, the plaintiff presented his case.

“Dining at Delhi Grill restaurant in Malhar Mall, we felt thirsty and ordered bottled water, which costs about Rs 16 at MRP in various outlets in the city,” Goyal said.

It was a one litre bottle of Kinley.

The plaintiff did not see a point in arguing over the charged price of bottle with the restaurant owner as it was claimed to be company’s fault as well.

Approaching the forum, he presented the case seeking help in settling the dispute. Hence, defended in the case were both the restaurant and company selling the bottled water.

Though delayed and taking about 8 years, Goyal finally got justice and compensation. There is also a hope that this case would inspire consumer’s to fight for their justice and we will have lesser such cases of unfair trade in the country,” he said.

In the final verdict, Hindustan Coca Cola has agreed to settle the matter and was charged of unfair trade and taking benefit of consumer and hence, asked to pay compensation by forum president Om Prakash Sharma and member Sumitra Hatiwala.

In the verdict, Sharma noted the increasing number of cases of unfair trades and possible harm to innocent consumers, who fail to understand that MRP is the final possible price that can be charged by a retailer.

The forum has ordered Hindustan Coca Cola to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 and Rs 2,000 as fee for consumer forum. Also, the Rs 4 charged over MRP must be paid back with interest of 9 per cent per annum from the date of purchase.

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