Before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Rohtak.
Complaint No. : 45
Instituted on : 21.01.2020
Decided on : 05.12.2022.
Smt. Babita age-40yrs. W/o Ajit Singh R/o H.No. 1530 Ward No.20, Sainipura, Rohtak.
- M/s Vishal Mega Mart 136/22, Vikas Nagar, Sonipat Road, Rohtak through its Manager.
- Airplaza Retail Holding Pvt. Ltd. Corporate Office, 5th Floor, Platinum Tower, Plot No. 184, Udyog Vihar, Phase-I Gurugram through its Director/Manager.
COMPLAINT U/S 12 OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT,1986.
BEFORE: SH.NAGENDER SINGH KADIAN, PRESIDENT.
DR. TRIPTI PANNU, MEMBER.
DR. VIJENDER SINGH, MEMBER
Present: Ms. Savita Saini, Advocate for the complainant.
Sh. Kunal Juneja, Advocate for opposite parties.
NAGENDER SINGH KADIAN, PRESIDENT:
1. Brief facts of the case as per complainant are that opposite party No. 1 is running a retail store of grocery items, clothes and other household articles etc. at Rohtak in the name of Vishal Mega Mart under the control and instructions of opposite party No. 2. On 02.01.2020, complainant purchased household articles from the opposite party No. 1 vide bill No. 4052620040523 dated 02.01.2020 for a total sum of Rs. 174/- after discount. But the opposite party no.1 has charged Rs.192/- from complainant. When the complainant see the bill after reaching at home she shocked to see that the opposite party had charged Rs.18/- for carry bag from her. Whereas she has never requested to supply carry bag as the complainant herself was carrying a carry bag from her house to keep the goods. It is further submitted that after one day complainant approached to the officials of the opposite party and requested them to refund the amount of Rs.18/- which was illegally charged from her as cost of carry bag, but opposite party is avoiding the matter on one or the other pretext. As such, there is deficiency on the part of opposite parties. Hence this complaint and it is prayed that opposite parties may kindly be directed to pay an amount of Rs.18/- as cost of carry bag, also to pay an amount of Rs. of Rs.50,000/- on account of harassment and Rs. 11,000/- as litigation expenses to the complainant as explained in relief clause.
2. Notice of the present complaint was issued to the opposite parties. Opposite parties in their reply has submitted that the complainant was made well aware by the Store executive of the Company, at the sale counter about the charges for different variants of the carry bags, in case complainant does not wish to purchase the carry bag from the store. The complainant purchased the bag for Rs.18/- on her own will and desire. The option to use her own carry bag had been given to the complainant before goods were punched in the computer for generating the bill and the consent to the purchase the carry bag has been generated by the complainant prior to the generation of the bill at the concerned store. Complainant never contacted the opposite party or any of their employees and has made allegations against the store without producing any proof. It is submitted that opposite party has displayed at the billing counter and also at various places of its store, that the customers may purchase the carry bags of different variants as per their requirements, which are available at the Store at different prices. It is also submitted that opposite party has also displayed at the entry gate of its store that the customers can bring their own empty carry bags to carry the goods purchased from the store and thereby inviting customers to bring their own empty carry bags inside the store for the goods purchased from the store. The opposite party is not liable to provide free carry bags to all the consumers who purchase the goods from its store. It is denied that complainant never contacted the store manager or any other employee of the opposite party about charging of carry bag by the opposite party. All the other contents of the complaint were stated to be wrong and denied and opposite party prayed for dismissal of complaint with costs.
3. Ld. Counsel for the complainant in his evidence has tendered affidavit Ex.CW1/A, documents Ex.C1 and closed his evidence on dated 08.03.2022. On the other hand, ld. counsel for opposite parties has tendered affidavit Ex.RW1/A, documents Ex.R1 to Ex.R6 and closed his evidence on dated 24.11.2022.
4. We have heard ld. counsel for the parties and gone through the material aspects of the case very carefully.
5. As per the bill placed on record as Ex.C1, opposite party had charged Rs.18/- from the complainant on account of shopping bag. As per the complaint and affidavit filed by the complainant, it is submitted that it is the prime duty of the opposite party to provide carry/shopping bag free of cost to the complainant and other customers. Hence the charging of alleged amount of carry bag from the complainant is illegal. On the other hand ld. counsel for the opposite parties has contended that they have legally charged the amount of carry bag from the complainant and has also placed reliance upon the complaint No.no.251/2018 decided by DCDRF(Central) ISBT Kashmere Gate Delhi, titled as Radhakrishnan R. Vs. Westside , Karol Bagh, CC no.68/2019 decided by CDRF South Goa at Margao, titled as Mr. Calvert Gonsalves Vs. Air- Plaza Retail Holdings Pvt. Ltd.-III(Vishal Mega Mart), First Appeal No.493/2019 decided by Hon’ble State Commission, Delhi titled as Himanshi Saini Vs. Westside, Appeal No.FA/15/149 decided by Hon’ble State Commission, Raipur Chhatisgarh Vikash Sharma Vs. M/s Vishal Megal Mart, CC no. 115/2018 decided by DCDRF Kangra at Dharamshala(HP) titled as Sh. Anil Sharma Vs. Big Bazar through CEO/MD.
6. We have gone through the judgments cited above by ld. counsel for the opposite party and have also placed reliance upon the order dated 22.10.2020 of Hon’ble National Commission, New Delhi in Revision Petitions No.(975 to 988) of 2020 titled as Big Bazaar(Future Retail Ltd.) Vs. Ashok Kumar etc. whereby Hon’ble National Commission has upheld the order of District Forum as well as State commission, whereby the deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of opposite party was determined. The judgments cited are fully applicable on the facts and circumstances of the case whereas judgments cited above by ld. Counsel for the opposite party are not applicable on the facts and circumstances of the case. It is also observed that opposite party No.1 has failed to prove its case that the carry bag was separately purchased by the complainant of her own free will. Hence the opposite party has illegally charged Rs.18/- from the complainant for providing the carry bag and there is deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice on the part of opposite party.
7. In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, we hereby allow the complaint and direct the opposite party No.1 to refund Rs.18/-(Rupees eighteen only), to pay Rs.1000/-(Rupees one thousand only) as compensation on account of deficiency in service and Rs.2000/- (Rupees two thousand only) as litigation expenses to the complainant within one month from the date of decision, failing which opposite party No.1 shall also be liable to pay interest @ 9% p.a. on the awarded amount of Rs.1018/- from the date of order till its realization to the complainant.
8. Copy of this order be supplied to both the parties free of costs. File be consigned to the record room after due compliance.
Announced in open court:
Nagender Singh Kadian, President
Tripti Pannu, Member.
Vijender Singh, Member