Panchkula, September 30
A city-based bakery here has been penalised Rs 40,000 by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for allegedly selling a substandard cake to a client.
Anju Ahlawat, a scientist at the Post Graduate Institute (PGI), Chandigarh, had complained to the Commission against Nik Bakers, Sector 5, Panchkula, through its manager and M/s MG Bakers Private Limited, Chandigarh.
What Commission observed
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission maintained that it was the complainant’s valid expectation to have a clear and true report from the bakery qua the alleged poor quality of the cake, but Nik Bakers had preferred not to send the cake’s sample to any of its authorised laboratory. Nik Bakers, on their part, said the complainant might not have kept the cake in the required minimum temperature in the refrigerator, making it give stains on clothes and hands.
The complainant had ordered a cake for her son’s birthday on June 29, 2019. After the delivery of the cake, and subsequent cutting ceremony, her son started vomiting, experiencing pain and having loose motions. She said the cake had artificial colour that came off on to their hands. Ahlawat said the cake was non-edible and unhygienic.
The guests invited to the birthday party, including the complainant, did not eat the cake. The doctor said the trouble had arisen due to food poisoning.
Ahlawat complained to the bakery many times, but in vain. She then approached the consumer panel.
Nik Bakers, on their part, said they followed the best food practices and every food recipe went through multiple quality processes. The company was not using any food colour except the prescribed ones in the country. The company added that the complainant might not have kept the cake in the required minimum temperature in the refrigerator, making it give stains on clothes and hands.
The Commission, however, maintained that it was Ahlawat’s valid expectation to have a clear and true report from the bakery qua the alleged poor quality of the cake, but Nik Bakers had preferred not to send the cake’s sample to any of its authorised laboratory.
The Commission observed that Nik Bakers had been “found deficient while selling the substandard and contaminated quality of the cake to the complainant”.
It ordered the bakery to refund the cost of the cake (Rs 3,186) to Ahlawat, along with interest at 9% per annum. The baker was further told to pay Rs 40,000 as compensation, of which Rs 20,000 will go into the account of the Poor Patient Welfare Fund (PPWF) at the PGI and Rs 10,000 to the complainant for mental agony and harassment. An additional Rs 10,000 would be paid to cover the litigation cost incurred by her.
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