A consumer court has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh on ITC Limited for including one less biscuit than stated in a 16-biscuit Sun Feast Marie Gold packet. The fine was levied after a complaint was filed by a resident of Chennai who alleged that the company engaged in deceptive practices by providing fewer biscuits than indicated on the packaging.
The complainant, Dillibabu from Chennai, reported purchasing two packs of Sun Feast Marie Gold biscuits from a local store, with the intention of using them to feed stray dogs. Upon opening the packets, he discovered that each pack contained only 15 biscuits, not the 16 as advertised. Despite approaching the shopkeeper for a resolution, Dillibabu received no satisfactory response. Subsequently, he contacted ITC Limited but received no explanation from the company either.
In response to this issue, Dillibabu pursued the matter through the consumer court. He emphasized that each biscuit cost 75 paise, and given the company’s daily production of nearly 50 lakh packages, it amounted to defrauding the public of over Rs. 29 lakh each day. However, ITC argued in court that their product was sold based on weight, not the number of biscuits.
The court then ordered a scrutiny of the product’s weight. The advertised net weight of the biscuit packet was 76 grams, but the weight analysis revealed that the packet containing 15 biscuits weighed only 74 grams. As a result, the court mandated that the company pay Rs. 1 lakh in compensation to the customer, emphasizing the company’s inability to provide a satisfactory explanation.