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Reliance fined Rs 1.1 lakh for ‘poor services’

Ranchi, Aug. 3: “Unfair trade practices and deficiency in services” have landed supermarket chain Reliance Mart in trouble.

The Ranchi District Consumer Forum has slapped a fine of Rs 1.1 lakh on Reliance Mart. Ironically, the jolt comes from an advocate who was allegedly duped by the store leading to the case before the consumer forum.

The petitioner, Ritu Kumar, an advocate in the high court, filed the case when she was harassed by the staff of Reliance Mart on Kanke Road after she purchased items from the store. Kumar had gone there on September 7, 2008, to purchase household items when she saw pamphlets in the store about a particular scheme running at that time.

According to the scheme, the store offered its customers some freebies on purchase of items above a certain limit.

However, Kumar was told — even after purchasing stuff worth Rs 4,000 — that the offer was only valid for four days and stocks had depleted. Soon after, Kumar sent a legal notice, mentioning that the scheme was valid for the period during which she shopped.

After the case was filed in the district consumer forum, Reliance Mart filed a reply in the matter and accepted about the genuineness of the scheme. The supermarket store contended that the advocate was only entitled to the lottery of a car and nothing else. However, the store could not defend itself regarding the different stands taken by its personnel about depletion of stocks.

The district forum — comprising chairman S.P. Rai and members B.P. Srivastava and Sandhya Sengupta — observed that Reliance Mart was guilty of deceptive trade practice and have duped the petitioner. The forum has further held that the petitioner is entitled to all the free gifts mentioned in the scheme along with a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and a further sum of Rs 10,000 as litigation expenses for contesting the case.

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