Revision Petition Nos. 975, 976, 977, 978, 979, 980, 981, 982, 983, 984, 985, 986, 987 and 988 of 2020

Decided On: 22.12.2020

Appellants: Big Bazaar (Future Retail Ltd.) Vs. Respondent: Ashok Kumar and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Dinesh Singh


Dinesh Singh, (Presiding Member)

Taken up through video conferencing.

1. These fourteen (14) Revision Petitions have been filed in challenge to the Order dated 18.05.2020 of The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, U.T., Chandigarh (the 'State Commission') in Appeals No. 238, No. 239, No. 240, No. 243, No. 244, No. 246, No. 247, No. 248, No. 250, No. 274, No. 275, No. 276, No. 277 and No. 300 of 2019, arising out of the Orders dated 02.09.2019 in C.C. No. 124 of 2019, dated 03.09.2019 in C.C. No. 125 of 2019, dated 04.09.2019 in C.C. No. 126 of 2019, dated 05.09.2019 in C.C.s No. 89 of 2019, No. 181 of 2019, No. 90 of 2019, No. 179 of 2019, dated 17.09.2019 in C.C. No. 218 of 2019, dated 16.10.2019 in C.C. No. 224 of 2019, No. 223 of 2019, dated 17.10.2019 in C.C. No. 162 of 2019 and dated 18.10.2019 in C.C. No. 199 of 2019 of The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum-II, U.T., Chandigarh (the 'District Forum').

2. Heard arguments on admission from Mr. Sudhir K. Makkar, learned senior Counsel assisted by Ms. Saumya Gupta, learned Counsel for the Petitioner.

Perused the material on record including inter alia the Orders of the District Forum, the impugned Order dated 18.05.2020 of the State Commission and the Petition.

3. These fourteen (14) Petitions have been filed against a common order (the Order dated 18.05.2020) of the State Commission, similar facts and same questions of law are involved.

As such, the fourteen (14) Petitions are being disposed of vide the instant common order, with the Revision Petition No. 975 of 2020 being taken as the lead-case.

Revision Petition No. 975 of 2020

4. The Petitioner, Big Bazaar (Future Retail Ltd.) was the Opposite Party before the District Forum (the 'Opposite Party Co.').

The Respondent, Mr. Ashok Kumar, was the Complainant before the District Forum (the 'Complainant').

5. The Petition has been filed with self-admitted delay of 60 days. The stated reasons for delay, as contained in the application for condonation of delay, point towards managerial inefficiency and perfunctory and casual attitude to the law of limitation, they are illogical and unpersuasive in explaining convincingly and cogently the delay in filing the revision.

However, in the interest of justice, to provide fair opportunity to the Opposite Party Co., to settle the matter on merit, the delay is condoned.

6. The short point involved is that charging additional cost (Rs. 18/- in this case) for carry bag(s), to carry the goods purchased by the Complainant, has been held by the two Fora below, the District Forum and the State Commission, to be deficiency and unfair trade practice on the part of the Opposite Party Co.

7. The Complaint was instituted before the District Forum under Section 12 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (the 'Act 1986').

The District Forum heard both sides, made its appraisal of the evidence, and, vide its Order dated 05.09.2019, determined deficiency and unfair trade practice on the part of the Opposite Party Co.

It ordered the Opposite Party Co. to refund the cost of the carry bag(s) and pay compensation of Rs. 100/- and cost of litigation of Rs. 1,100/- to the Complainant and to deposit Rs. 5,000/- in the Consumer Legal Aid Account of the District Forum. The Order was to be complied with within one month, failing which the amounts awarded will carry interest @ 9% per annum from the date of the Order till realisation/deposit.

The District Forum's findings are summed-up in paras 6, 7 and 8 of its Order, which are reproduced below for ready appreciation:

6. The factum of charging additional price for providing carry bags to its customers has not been disputed by the OP. The argument put forward by the OP is that the rates and photographs of the carry bags are displayed at various display boards in the store and the carry bags are sold on no profit no loss basis and the consumers are requested to carry their own bags and that a separate charge would be payable in case ........