Palakkad District Commission Holds United Breweries Limited Responsible After a Piece of Glass was Found Inside Kingfisher Beer

The Palakkad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Kerala, with Vinay Menon as President and Krishnankutty N.K. as Member, found United Breweries Limited, the manufacturer of Kingfisher beer, accountable for inadequate service due to the presence of a piece of glass inside the product.

Key Details

The complainant purchased a Kingfisher Storm super premium beer from a Kerala State Beverages (M&M) Corporation outlet. Upon inspecting the bottle, he discovered a hard piece of glass inside. Disturbed by this incident, the complainant filed a consumer complaint with the Palakkad District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (“District Commission”) against United Breweries Ltd., the manufacturer of Kingfisher beer, and Kerala State Beverages (M&M) Corporation.

United Breweries responded by asserting that their beer bottles undergo strict procedures to ensure cleanliness and safety before being filled and sealed. They argued that the presence of glass inside the bottle indicated potential tampering, which they deemed an intentional act. Based on these grounds, they sought the dismissal of the complaint.

On the other hand, Kerala State Beverages (M&M) Corporation countered by stating that the complainant did not purchase the beer from their store. They maintained that they bore no responsibility to compensate the complainant in any capacity.

District Commission’s Findings

Upon inspection of the bottle presented during proceedings, the District Commission visually confirmed the presence of a solid particle inside and observed that the bottle cap remained undisturbed, indicating no signs of tampering.

Consequently, the District Commission determined that United Breweries Limited exhibited negligence during the bottling process, resulting in the presence of a foreign particle inside the bottle. However, the complainant failed to provide evidence substantiating the identity of the seller of the bottle, as the presented bill was found to be a blank sheet of paper. As a result, the District Commission dismissed the complaint against Kerala State Beverages (M&M) Corporation but held United Breweries Limited accountable for inadequate service.

The District Commission directed United Breweries Limited to pay Rs. 140/- for the price of the beer to the Complainant along with 10% interest. Additionally, it was directed to pay a compensation of Rs. 10,000/- to the Complainant for deficiency in service, and Rs. 2,500/- for the litigation costs.

Case Title: Abijith V vs United Breweries Limited and Ors.

Case Number: CC/57/2023

Date of Pronouncement: 18th June 2024

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