The Tamil Nadu consumer forum has ordered Hotel Saravana Bhavan to pay Rs 1.1 lakh to a customer almost five years after a food poisoning incident.
According to reports, SK Saamy, a lawyer in Delhi, went to eat at the Anna Salai outlet of the restaurant chain on October 10, 2014. When his food was served, he noticed strands of hair in his food and asked for it to be replaced. Though the hotel replaced the food, Saamy felt uneasiness in his stomach an hour after consuming the food and also experienced nausea and vomiting.
The next day, he was admitted to the Royapettah Government hospital, where the doctors diagnosed him with food poisoning. Saamy decided to file a petition at the state consumer disputes redressal forum stating that the restaurant is responsible for serving bad food which caused him ill-health and mental agony. The hotel, in turn, responded by claiming that no other customers who had food from that outlet on that particular date had any complaints. The hotel also added that the complainant had filed a petition two years after the incident with a motive to extort money from the management. It also pointed out that the Madras High Court and the National Human Rights Commission had dismissed Saamyâ€™s petitions.
The consumer forum held that Saamy did not get admitted to the hospital the same night since it was raining and that he did not have the need to file a false complaint. The forum also dismissed the hotelâ€™s argument that the Madras High Court and the NHRC rejected the petitionerâ€™s pleas. Those petitions were for filing police complaints and not for seeking compensation for the mental agony caused, the consumer forum noted.
The members of the forum then directed Hotel Saravana Bhavan to pay Rs 1.1 lakh to Saamy for having caused mental agony and for litigation costs.