UB Group’s United Spirits Ltd. (USL) was penalised by a consumer court for supplying “defective whisky”. The Third Additional Bangalore Urban District Consumer Disputes Redressal directed USL to pay compensation of Rs. 5,000 to a consumer, V. Ashok, who complained that there was an “insect” inside the sealed DSP Black Deluxe whisky bottle, which he had purchased in December 2011 from a shop at Yelahanka New Town.

USL, however, claimed that it maintains technical standards and analyses all products manufactured by it, so there was no chance of any such mistake.

The forum sent the sealed whisky bottle to a laboratory for tests.

The test report stated that the whisky contained a paper particle and hence failed to comply with the Indian Standard (IS) requirement for this product. “Presence of a paper particle makes the goods defective. And whether [that] makes the goods unfit for human consumption or not is not relevant. Hence, manufacturing and selling the defective goods clearly amounts to deficiency in service,” ruled the Bench comprising the forum president T. Rajashekaraiah and member Subhashini.

However, the forum refused to accept the claims made by the complainant relating to his health as he had not consumed the whisky and awarded a lower compensation.

Besides, USL was also directed to pay Rs. 3,000 as cost of litigation to the complainant.

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