Britannia ordered to pay Rs 60,000 fine for selling underweight biscuit packages in Kerala’s Thrissur

The Thrissur District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed Britannia Industries based in Whitefield, Bengaluru, and Varakkara-based Chakkiri Royal Bakery to pay an amount of Rs 60,000 as compensation and penalty for selling short-weighed biscuit package.

Varakkara native George Thattil bought two packets of ‘Britannia Nutri Choice Thin Arrow Root Biscuits’ from Chakkiri Royal Bakery on December 4, 2019, paying Rs 40. When he weighed the package, it read 268 g and 249 g while the company claimed it to be a 300 g packet of biscuit.

Feeling cheated, George filed a complaint with Legal Metrology office which also confirmed the shortage in weight than the declared weight of the package.

While the Legal Metrology Department imposed a basic amount as a fine, George wanted to question such a fraud on the part of a reputed company.

“Imagine how big the fraud is, if they are selling short-weighed packages like these rampantly?” asked George while filing a petition before the Thrissur Consumer Court. Though the forum headed by C T Sabu and members Sreeja S and Ram Mohan R, sent notices to the company and the bakery in the matter, there was no response. Hence, the forum moved ahead with the hearing of the case and the complainant produced the evidence to substantiate his allegations.

Following expert opinion, the court found a serious lapse of service on the part of the company.

In its order, the forum observed that a shortage of more than 52g of the 300 g net quantity declared, signals unjust enrichment of astronomic proportion by producers, when the voluminous production such manufacturers do per hour or day is considered.

The order also directed the Controller of Legal Metrology, Kerala, to initiate steps to ensure the net quantity compliance of the packaged commodity in question to protect the rights of consumers.

The company and the bakery were jointly directed to pay a sum of Rs 50,000 as compensation towards the financial loss suffered by the consumer and Rs 10,000 towards expenses along with 9% interest per annum from the date of filing the complaint till the date of realisation.

Rs 60,000 penalty, The company and the bakery were jointly directed to pay the consumer a sum of Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 towards case expenses.

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