The customer complained that his wife and newborn son fell ill after eating the chocolate and had to be taken for treatment. However, the supermarket denied the allegations. The Consumer Protection Court has ordered Trent Hyper Market Pvt Ltd to pay a fine of Rs 10,000 for the mental and physical pain suffered by the customer, rejecting the arguments of the super market. Also, the supermarket will have to pay 5 thousand rupees in legal charges. Moreover, the supermarket will have to refund Rs 805 worth of chocolates. The court has given the supermarket one month to make the payment.
On October 2, 2021, 30-year-old Giridhar Gopal, a resident of Whitefield, Bengaluru, bought a 24-piece box of Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Chocolates from a Star Bazaar outlet. According to the complainant, the chocolate had expired and was eaten by his seven-month-old son and wife. Gopal opened this box of chocolates on November 11, 2021 with an expiry date of June 5, 2022 written on it.
Gopal realized that the chocolate had expired when worms were crawling on his son’s cheeks. He noticed that the worms were coming out of the chocolate, which his son was eating. Wife and son fell ill after eating the chocolate. Gopal then also complained to chocolate maker Ferrero India Pvt Ltd and approached the Bengaluru Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and also sent notices to Ferrero India Pvt Ltd and Trent Hyper Market, which operates Star Bazaar.
Gopal held the manufacturer and retailer guilty of selling food harmful to health. The manufacturer, on the other hand, argued before the court that Gopal had refused to hand over the entire packet of chocolate containing worms to the company, due to which a thorough investigation could not be carried out.
On January 30, 2023, the consumer court in its judgment said that the chocolate manufacturing company cannot be held liable. Because the company cannot be held liable for negligence once the item is handed over to the retailer. The court further clarified that the supermarket had not been able to present before the court strong evidence that the chocolates were properly preserved in its outlets.