The Hush Post| 10:20am| 2-min-read
The Chandigarh Consumer Commission recently ordered Bata India Ltd to pay Rs 9,000 to a customer. The shoe brand was fined for charging Rs 3 from a customer for a paper bag to carry the shoebox.
The forum’s order came on a complaint filed by a consumer, Dinesh Prasad Raturi. The forum slammed Bata for charging an additional amount for the paper bag.
The forum ordered that a customer cannot be compelled to pay for the bag, and that it was a clear deficiency in service. The consumer forum ruled that it was the store’s duty to provide a free bag to the customer who purchased their product.
Raturi told the consumer panel that he had purchased a pair of shoes on February 5 from the shoe store located in Sector 22D. The store charged Rs 402, which also included cost for the bag.
Raturi contested in the consumer court that by charging him for the bag, Bata was also endorsing its brand on the bag which was not justified. Raturi sought a refund of Rs 3 and compensation for deficiency in services.
“This consumer court’s decision is legally valid across India. People can cite this order anywhere in the country and have the bag charges waived. The order establishes that even if the bag is environment-friendly, the retailer cannot charge an additional amount for the bag” — Sagar Saxena, a Delhi-based advocate
The consumer forum observed that if the companies are eager to protect the environment, they should provide free environment-friendly bags to the customers.
The Chandigarh commission in its decision directed Bata India Ltd to refund the cost of the bag (Rs. 3) and litigation charges, Rs 1,000 along with Rs 3,000 as compensation to the customer for the mental agony caused by deficiency in services.
The forum also directed Bata to deposit Rs 5,000 in the legal aid account of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.