Reckitt Benckiser (India) Ltd has been directed by a consumer forum to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 to a man who was sold a bottle of antiseptic liquid Dettol that contained dead insects in it.
North District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum observed that as the bottle contained dead insects, it was not fit for human use and did not qualify the standards required to be maintained by the manufacturer.
"Since apparently the Dettol bottle contains insects, in our opinion, the product was not fit for human use particularly when the same was required to be used as an antiseptic agent. The said product did not qualify the standards which are required to be maintained by a producer or a seller. Therefore, opposite party 2 (Reckitt Benckiser) has produced the defective goods whereas opposite party 1 (the medical shop) has sold the defective goods to the complainant, hence, both are liable," a bench presided by Babu Lal said.
The forum directed Reckitt Benckiser and the medical shop to refund the cost of the 500 ml bottle of Dettol and to jointly pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to Delhi resident Ashutosh Pandey.
In his complaint, Pandey said the 500 ml bottle of antiseptic liquid he purchased for Rs 74 from the medical shop contained dead insects.
Despite informing Reckitt Benckiser, on its helpline number and through several emails, the issue was not addressed by the manufacturer or the medical shop, he alleged.
While Reckitt Benckiser was proceeded against ex-parte, the medical shop had contested Pandey's claim and had argued that the buyer has to be careful while purchasing a product and the liability is solely that of the manufacturer.
The forum, however, rejected the contention saying, "The argument that buyer should be beware is not tenable nor does it absolve the medical shop from its liability for selling defective and unmarketable goods."