NCDRC | Consumer alleging of defect in food served in a restaurant will have initial onus to prove that food quality was inferior

National Consumer Redressal Commission (NCDRC): Justice V.K. Jain (Presiding Member) while dealing with a complaint in regard to unhygienic food that emitted foul smell causing food poisoning to the complainant, held that,

“If a consumer files an affidavit in the consumer complaint instituted by him stating therein that the food served to him was rotten/stale/inferior in quality, such an affidavit will be sufficient to discharge the initial onus placed upon the customer.”

In the present complaint, the consumer complained that on consuming the food from the restaurant he felt like vomiting and on being diagnosed by a doctor it was confirmed that he had food poisoning.

In the above-said circumstances, the complainant claimed compensation and was awarded the same by the District Forum and later the same order was maintained by the State Commission.

Counsel for the Petitioner

Petitioner’s counsel submitted that since onus was wrongly placed upon the petitioners, he would be satisfied if it is observed by the Commission that the onus of proving of any defect in the food served in a restaurant would be upon the customer who visits the restaurant.

Commission’s Decision

The Bench agreed with the petitioner’s submission, that,

“If a consumer complaint is filed alleging some defect in the food served to him in a restaurant the initial onus would be upon him to prove that the food served to him was defective or was of inferior quality.”

It further added that, the restaurant where such a complaint is made by the customer in respect of the food, will not allow them to carry food with them. On being aggrieved with such food, a customer cannot be expected to take the food and get laboratory analysis for the same as that would leave him in frustration.

Thus, in the present set of facts and circumstances, the onus which was placed upon the complainant, had been duly discharged by the affidavit filed by him coupled with a medical certificate from the doctor who certified that the complainant suffered from food poisoning and was under treatment.

In view of the above-stated observations, petitioners’ counsel did not press for revision petition and stands disposed of. [Yum Restaurants (India) (P) Ltd. v. Kishan Hegde, 2020 SCC OnLine NCDRC 8, decided on 05-02-2020]

One comment

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    Always serving fresh to the customers is a good practice in the food industry, if sometimes rotten food is served to the customer it can cause a lot of damage to the business as well as to the reputation. Thank you for sharing such an informational article with us. Keep sharing such articles with us in the future.

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