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Jorhat retail chain asked to compensate for biscuits

Jorhat, June 5: The Jorhat District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Jorhat outlet of the retail chain, Big Bazaar, to pay compensation to a customer for selling “substandard” biscuits that were past the expiry date.

While hearing a complaint filed by Bikash Karnany, a resident of Dewal Raod here, against the retail giant, the forum found Big Bazaar guilty of selling “substandard” biscuits and “deficiency in service” towards the customer.

A copy of the judgement, passed on May 27, 2014, was made available yesterday.

The three-member bench, comprising Mazed Ali, a retired judge of the special court of Assam, H.N. Goswami and S. Devi, citizens of Jorhat, directed Big Bazaar, a unit of Future Value Retail Limited, Mumbai, to pay Karnany Rs 2,000 as compensation for mental and physical harassment suffered by him as a result of inferior quality biscuits sold to him.

The bench also directed Big Bazaar to pay another Rs 2,000 to the complainant as cost of litigation and refund of Rs 65 (the price of four packets of biscuits) with 10 per cent interest from the date of purchase, October 4, 2013.

The ruling said the entire amount should be paid by the retail outlet within one month from the date of judgment and if the company failed to do so then 10 per cent interest would be accrued on the amount to be paid to the consumer.

Karnany had filed the complaint under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, with the forum on December 3, 2013, alleging that he had purchased four packets of TTRT cookie biscuits for Rs 65 from the Jorhat outlet of Big Bazaar on October 4, 2013 and after consuming the biscuits had fallen ill and been under medication. Karnany alleged that the retail outlet had violated the consumer protection law by selling food items (biscuit packets) past expiry date.

He claimed to have informed the joint director of health department, Jorhat, of the matter on October 5, 2013. Subsequently, health officials visited Big Bazaar and seized the entire stock of TTRT biscuits past expiration date.

However, Big Baazar, in its written statement to the forum, denied the charges and prayed to dismiss the case.