Stop Sales or Face Lawsuit- Parliamentarians to Coke
Indian Express
September 12, 2003

New Delhi: Two days before the first meeting of Joint Parliamentary Committee probing pesticides-colas controversy, a legal notice on Friday was served to Pepsi and Coca Cola asking them to immediately stop their sales in India or else a suit will be filed demanding 10 billion dollars from them on grounds of causing health hazards.

The notice was served to Coca Cola at its Atlanta office and to Pepsi at New York on behalf of Lok Sabha MP and a member of the JPC, Avtar Singh Bhadhana, his solicitor Surat Singh said in Delhi.

Bhadhana claimed support of at least 12 more MPs and said the notice states that these companies should stay away from distributing or selling their cold drinks in India and recall any products which are already in the market by September 15 till the JPC gives a clean chit on the safety standards of their soft drinks.

As an alternative, he reserved the right to slap a class action suit demanding 10 billion dollars or around Rs 50,000 crores as a compensation payable to the Indian population for causing serious health hazards in India, Singh said.

Bhadhana said if the two companies failed to stop their sales by September 15, he would raise the issue before the JPC in its first meeting, on Saturday. However, if the JPC concludes that the drinks satisfy international safety standards, he would not have any claim against the company. Bhadhana and 12 more MPs have also represented to the President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam that sale of these soft drinks should be banned with immediate effect.

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