21 Sep 2023 8:00 AM GMT
Recently, the Chandigarh District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-I bench comprising Pawanjit Singh (President) and Surjeet Kaur (Member) ordered Chili's Restaurant to pay Rs 25,852 to a woman who found a live worm in a dish served at one of their outlets in Elante Mall, Chandigarh. Brief Facts of the Case: The incident occurred on September 14, 2020, when Ranjot...
Recently, the Chandigarh District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-I bench comprising Pawanjit Singh (President) and Surjeet Kaur (Member) ordered Chili's Restaurant to pay Rs 25,852 to a woman who found a live worm in a dish served at one of their outlets in Elante Mall, Chandigarh.
Brief Facts of the Case:
The incident occurred on September 14, 2020, when Ranjot Kaur (“Complainant”) and a friend dined at the Chili's Restaurant (“Restaurant”), situated in the Elante Mall, Chandigarh. They ordered two dishes, namely 'Chipotle Chicken Rice and Chipotle Paneer Rice.' As the Complainant was nearing the end of her meal, she made a shocking discovery – a live moth larva in her food bowl. This incident prompted her to immediately notify the restaurant's manager.
The complainant alleged that the manager did not show any remorse upon discovering the presence of the worm and, in a nonchalant manner, suggested that she should not pay the bill. In an attempt to document the incident, the complainant tried to capture the live worm on video. However, restaurant staff intervened, quickly removed the food, and prevented her from recording further evidence. Despite these obstacles, the complainant managed to obtain a copy of the bill and paid a total of Rs. 852.75 for the meal. Following the incident, the complainant sent a legal notice to the restaurant but received no response. Consequently, she filed a consumer complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh (“District Commission).
The restaurant categorically denied the presence of a live worm in the complainant’s food, asserting that the food was properly cooked and served. They contended that the complainant had requested a discount on her bill, claiming to have a personal connection with the restaurant's owner. Since the owner was not present on the premises at the time, the manager informed the complainant that discounts were only applicable to the drinks menu, not food. The restaurant argued that the complainant’s subsequent complaint about a live worm was a deliberate attempt to manipulate the situation and disrupt the restaurant's operations.
Observations by the Commission:
The District Commission gave due consideration to the complainant's account of her interaction with the restaurant's manager. The complainant recounted that when she reported the presence of the worm, the manager exhibited a lack of remorse and suggested that she should not pay the bill.
Furthermore, the District Commission noted that when the Restaurant failed to address the complainant’s concerns adequately, she took the initiative to contact the police. Subsequently, a Daily Diary Report (DDR) was filed, affirming that the issue of a live worm in the food had been reported to the police with specific mention that the restaurant had not displayed empathy and had withheld the bill copy. This highlighted the restaurant's inaction and lack of appropriate response when confronted with a customer's distressing experience.
Importantly, the District Commission emphasized the fundamental duty of restaurants to provide their customers with hygienic and safe food. Any deviation from this critical standard was deemed a breach of the restaurant's duty. In the present case, the presence of a live worm in the complainant’s meal was regarded as a clear failure on the part of the Restaurant to fulfil its obligations. The District Commission concluded that the restaurant's inaction had ultimately compelled the complainant to seek assistance from the police and the District Commission.
Consequently, the restaurant was directed to refund the amount of Rs. 852.75, equivalent to the cost of the food, to the complainant. Further, the restaurant was instructed to pay a compensation of Rs. 10,000 to the complainant to address the mental agony and harassment she endured due to the incident. It was also ordered to pay Rs. 5,000 as the cost of litigation. Additionally, the District Commission directed the restaurant to deposit an additional Rs. 10,000 into the Consumer Legal Aid account.
Case: Ranjot Kaur vs. Chili's Restaurant, Elante Mall
Case No.: CC/543/2020
Advocate for the Appellant: Shubham Bansal
Advocate for the Respondent: None
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