Food delivery app Zomato and one of its partner restaurants have been fined Rs 55,000 by the Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Pune, after a city-based lawyer was served non-vegetarian food on two separate occasions.
The lawyer, Shanmukh Deshmukh, who is a part of the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, had ordered paneer butter masala using the Zomato app but was served butter chicken, reported the Times of India.
Deshmukh realised that he was eating the wrong dish only halfway through his meal. Following this, he called the delivery executive regarding the problem. He was told that the executives don't have a role in the food-making process and it is the restaurant's responsibility. Deshmukh then called the restaurant, which apologised and promised to send a replacement. However, the replacement was a chicken dish too.
A legal notice was issued to Zomato and the restaurant for hurting Deshmukh's religious sentiments. He approached the consumer court through his attorney Sandesh Gundage and demanded a compensation of Rs 1 lakh and 5 lakh for harassment.
However, Zomato replied that the nature of the complaint and the suit was wrong. The company said that the restaurant was responsible for the food production and hence the blame lay on it, adding that the amount was refunded to Deshmukh. The partner restaurant admitted to its mistake.
The judges ruled that both Zomato and the restaurant caused mental and physical trauma and would have to compensate for it. They were found guilty of deficiency in service under the Consumer Protection Act.