NLSIU Students vs. PepsiCo. | State Commission Upholds District Forum Order
April 11, 2022
NLSIU congratulates Adithya Banavar (NLS BA LLB 2011), Abhimanyu Kampani (NLS BA LLB 2011), Aubrey Lyngdoh (NLS BA LLB 2011), Lakshmi Nair (NLS BA LLB 2013), and Ashwini Obulesh (NLS BA LLB 2013) on their victory in their complaint against PepsiCo., for unfair trade practices defined under the Consumer Protection Act. The Karnataka State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission recently upheld the Bangalore District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum (now called as Commission) order stating that the manufacturer of a packaged commodity cannot put two different MRPs on a product of same quantity and quality within the same city/geographical area.
In 2010, Adithya Banavar, Abhimanyu Kampani, Aubrey Lyngdoh, Lakshmi Nair, and Ashwini Obulesh, who were then pursuing their undergraduate degree at the University, found that the same items were being sold at different prices in the shops they visited.
That year, when the students visited Mantri Mall, Bengaluru, they purchased a one litre bottle of Aquafina water for Rs 20, a 330ml Pepsi can for Rs 50, and a 350 ml bottle of Nimbooz for Rs 50 at Palette Mantri Square. The students purchased and found that the exact same items are available for Rs 15, Rs 25 and Rs 15, respectively, at a different shop, Food World Super Market. In 2011, an official complaint was filed against PepsiCo. for unfair trade practices.
The District Forum had then directed the beverages company to fix the same MRP for the same quantity and quality of products such as water bottles, Pepsi Cans and Nimbooz bottles and print only one MRP for all the things of equal quantities. To access the District Court Judgement, click here.
In 2011, the MNC challenged the order before the state commission. The State Commission dismissed it recently, stating that it did not find an error or omission in the order passed by the district forum. Further, the State Commission has imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on PespsiCo.
For further details, read the State Judgement here.
In the Media
India Legal | PROVERBIAL LAW DELAYS – Opinion Piece on Consumer Justice by eminent legal scholar Prof Upendra Baxi (PDF version available here)