Pepsi Unit in India Fined for Condom in Cola Bottle

An Indian court has fined a PepsiCo India 100,000 rupees (roughly $2,200) after a man complained he had found a condom in a cola bottle, a court official said on Thursday.

PepsiCo India Holdings Ltd., a unit of soft drinks giant PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), said in a statement it had yet to receive official word of the fine but added that the verdict, delivered on Wednesday, appeared "erroneous" and that it would appeal.

Delhi resident Sudesh Sharma said he fell ill after drinking a bottle of Pepsi in which he later found dirt and some solid particles. The condom was found in a second bottle he bought, the court order said.

Describing the case as "rare", the court — at the end of a three-year hearing — fined Pepsi and asked it to pay 20,000 rupees (roughly $500) to Sharma for "physical illness and mental shock".

During the hearing, Pepsi told the court it had discovered many cases of spurious drinks being sold under its brand and police had conducted about 35 raids in the capital against fake soft-drink manufacturers over the past four years.

"We are constantly combatting jointly with the industry and the police the menace of spurious products in the market," the company said in a statement.