Bengaluru man seeks Rs 50 lakh compensation after finding worms in chocolate bar, court says ‘beyond our reach’

While the court acknowledged the presence of worms in the chocolate, it said that the compensation sought was beyond its jurisdiction. 

While the court acknowledged the presence of worms in the chocolate, it said that the compensation sought was beyond its jurisdiction. (Representational Image)

Six years after knocking the doors a consumer court, seeking compensation of up to Rs 50 lakh after finding worms in a chocolate bar, a Bengaluru man has been directed to approach the state consumer forum. The court told said that the relief sought was beyond its reach.

In October 2016, Mukesh Kumar Kedia, a resident of Bengaluru’s HSR Layout, bought two chocolate bars — Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut — for his niece for Rs 89. A few days, when one of the bars was reopened, he learnt about the existence of worms. 

At first, Kedia approached the customer helpline of Cadbury. He was asked to hand over the worm-infested bar to the company, but rather, Kedia resorted to sending a picture of the chocolate bar to establish a case.

With the complaint not reaching a resolution, Kedia took the matter to the Bangalore Urban District redressal commission and filed a case against Mondelez India Foods Pvt Ltd, the parent company fostering Cadbury and MK Retail, the mart he bought the chocolates from. 

He filed a ‘service deficiency’ complaint against the head of the quality department of Mondelez India Foods.

While Kedia’s lawyers presented the case backed with pictures of the worm-infested chocolate, the attorney representing Mondelez claimed that the complainant was merely trying to make monetary gains and had therefore made the demand of Rs 20 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for a bar of chocolate. 

While the court acknowledged the presence of worms in the chocolate, it said that the compensation sought was beyond its jurisdiction. 

The case was filed under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 which only permits hearing of pleas up to ₹5 lakh. The revised 2019 act allows consumer courts to hear cases up to ₹1 crore but the case was filed before the law was revised.

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