Shikha Monga, a resident of Panchkula town in Haryana, was 19 years old when she won a Coca-Cola contest in 2000 that promised a romantic dinner with Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan. The date never happened.
Today, at 34, Monga hopes to get justice from the Chandigarh district court that has put the soft drink major on notice as she seeks Rs 2.5 crore in damages. Civil judge (senior division) KK Jain issued the notice on a 12-year-old application by Monga. When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Coca-Cola sought more time to file its reply. The case was adjourned for August 24.
The judge also observed that she need not pay Rs 2.43 lakh as court fee for the suit. “It is duly proved on record that the applicant is not possessed of sufficient means to pay the court fee and she is indigent,” the order said.
Monga said the contest was part of Coca-Cola Limited’s promotional programme when Hrithik’s superhit film, Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, was released. Prizes were announced at the back of the crown of the cola bottles. Monga, who was a student of Government College for Girls in Chandigarh at that time, spent her pocket money buying Coke bottles for the first prize, which she won on May 22, 2000.
When she claimed the prize at Coca-Cola’s marketing office in Chandigarh’s Industrial Area, the manager offered her Rs 5 lakh instead, which she declined. She insisted on the dinner date with Hrithik but the cola company did not keep its word. The company did not reply to her letters either, forcing her to move the court in 2003.
“Everybody in college, friends and relatives used to ask me about my dinner with Hrithik. I lost my reputation and was labelled a liar,” Monga submitted, claiming the damages.