Court allows CAA to proceed with case against soft drink firm

Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:31 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday rejected a request made by a leading soft drinks manufacturing company that a case filed against the company be dismissed on the ground that the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has no power to file it. In this case a resident of Colombo 2 made a complaint against a leading soft drinks manufacturing company alleging that a 400ml soda bottle issued to the market by the company contained parts of a dead animal, a contaminated ingredient. While rejecting the application filed by the defendant company, Magistrate Thilina Gamage observed that power has been vested on the CAA to file the case under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act and thereby case was fixed for further trail. Counsel Sanjeewani Kasturiarachchi and Thushari Dikkumbura appearing for the CAA submitted that according to the section 6 of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act, the CAA has power to discharge its function through a public officer. The complainant had told CAA that he bought the bottle for the consumption of his child who was suffering from an ailment. He said he identified the contaminated ingredient contained in the soda bottle as parts of dead animal. In his complaint, the consumer requested the soft drink company that compensation be paid to him over the false representation of the production. However, the soft drink company had denied all allegations levelled against it and maintained that the company’s productions were in better condition. Meanwhile, issuing an analytical report regarding a questionable bottle of soda found at a retail shop in the Slave Island area, the Government Analyst stated that he was able to find a contaminated ingredient from the soda bottle which is unfit for human consumption. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) had filed a case against the soft drink manufacturing company alleging that it had committed an offence which came under section 31(a) of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act. Further Magisterial inquiry into the matter was postponed for 2 October.