The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission confirming the order passed by a district forum has directed McDonald’s India food outlet to pay Rs 70,000 compensation to a Delhi resident who after eating a burger with an insect in it had fallen sick.
Sandeep Saxena, had gone to the McDonald’s outlet in GIP Mall, Noida, on July 10, 2014, where he had ordered a ‘McAloo Tikki’ burger besides other stuff. On consuming the burger, Saxena realised there was an insect inside it, he opened the burger and saw an insect which looked like an ant, or a mosquito, or a cockroach. After this, he started vomiting.
When Saxena’s vomiting did not stop, he approached the outlet’s manager. However, when his problem was not addressed, he first called the police and then district magistrate office, from there he got the number of the food inspector concerned. The inspector visited the mall and took the burger for testing. Saxena, in the meantime, went to a hospital to get his vomiting treated. A lab report from the office of Food Safety and Medicine Administration had concluded that the sample was “unsafe” and suggested that there was a dead insect inside the burger.
When the matter came before the district forum, it ordered McDonald’s to compensate Saxena with Rs 895, which he had spent on treatment; Rs 50,000 towards mental agony and Rs 20,000 towards cost of litigation. The forum directed the food chain to comply with the order within 60 days from the receipt of the order copy and in case of non-compliance to pay 9% interest on the compensation amount.
Aggrieved by the said order, McDonald’s filed an appeal before the State Commission which took a serious note of the fact that the American food giant had filed the appeal in April, which was after the expiry of limitation period that ended on March 1, 2019, and not mentioned the reason for the delay in its appeal.
Appearing before the commission, McDonald’s submitted that it had not received the order copy from the forum which led to the delay in filing the said appeal.
To this, member (judicial) O.P. Gupta said that “The only legitimate inference which can be drawn is that counsel for the appellant wanted to fool this commission by making an allegation in the air.”
He added that the company’s counsel either not clear or he wanted to keep the commission in dark. “Such a conduct on the part of litigant is not appreciable and is to be curbed with heavy hand,” Gupta added dismissing McDonald’s appeal.