Cadbury ordered to pay Rs.30,000 compensation; says will move higher court

Agartala, May 22 (IANS) A consumer court in Tripura has ordered Cadbury India to pay a compensation of Rs.30,000 to a complainant who found an iron pin inside a chocolate bar made by the company.

But the company said it disagreed with the findings of the consumer court and would file an appeal against the order in the higher court.

“The quality and safety of our products is our highest priority. Cadbury India follows the internationally accepted HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) programme to ensure that our products and packaging are free from any extraneous physical, chemical or microbiological matter,” company official Siddharth Panicker said in a statement e-mailed to IANS.

“No official complaint was registered with Cadbury India Consumer Cell nor was the complaint product or a batch code or a proof of purchase made available to us so that we could commission internal checks and come to a conclusion about the same,” Panicker said.

He said that all the finished products pass through instruments like magnetic sieves and metal detectors at different stages of production right from raw material to finished goods which ensure that the product is free of metal contamination. Given the technology used, it is highly unlikely that the alleged metal component could have been present in the product.

Earlier in the day, a food department official told reporters here that a man had “purchased a Cadbury chocolate on Dec 16, 2011, for his three-year-old daughter and found an iron pin inside the bar when the girl tried to eat it. Subsequently, he filed a complaint before a consumer forum”.

“After conducting a hearing, the west Tripura district consumer disputes redressal forum headed by its president Subrata Pal last week ordered Cadbury India Ltd to pay a compensation of Rs.30,000 to the complainant within a month.”

The forum, which in its judgment said the chocolate was hazardous, also asked the chocolate company to pay Rs.1,000 to the complainant towards the cost of litigation.

“If the Cadbury company failed to pay the compensation within the stipulated period, it shall carry interest at that rate of nine percent after the expiry of 30 days and till the payment was made,” the official added quoting the order.

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