Fasting lawyer delivered chicken dish, Zomato and hotel slapped with Rs 55,000 fine
In a first, a consumer court in Pune slapped a Rs 55,000 fine on Zomato and a hotel for delivering non-vegetarian food instead of vegetarian to a man who was observing a fast.
According to a report in The Times Of India, the complaint was filed by city-based lawyer Shanmukh Deshmukh, who was delivered the non-vegetarian food twice while he was fasting.
A bench of the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Pune directed Zomato, the online food delivery provider, along with Hotel Preet Punjabi Swad in Hinjewadi area, to pay the entire fine within 45 days or with 10 per cent later.
Of the total fine of Rs 55,000, Zomato and the eatery have been asked to pay Rs 50,000 for deficiency in service and the remaining amount for physical and mental harassment.
The lawyer, who works for the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, had ordered paneer butter masala from the eatery through the Zomato app to break his fast on the evening of May 31.
However, the dish he had received turned out to be butter chicken. Since the curries of both dishes look alike, he didn't realise it was a chicken dish and ate it.
When he confronted the Zomato delivery boy and the hotel for sending him the wrong food, the hotel agreed to replace the dish. With another receipt of paneer butter masala, the lawyer again received butter chicken.
A few days later, he issued notices to both the companies through another lawyer for hurting his religious sentiments by intentionally sending non-vegetarian food to him. However, neither Zomato nor the hotel responded to them.
Deshmukh then approached the consumer court, seeking a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh for harassment and also submitted a recording of his conversion with the respondents.
Zomato replied to the forum saying the man's complaint was intended for defaming the company while it had already refunded the complainant's amount. Zomato told the judges that the responsibility of supplying wrong dishes is of the hotel.
However, the hotel admitted the mistake of sending the wrong dish twice.