Dead lizard in sambar, eatery to pay Rs 20,000

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lunch (reuters) lunch (reuters)
SummaryEatery had failed to ensure that the food it offered to its customers was healthy and fit.

A city-based eatery has been made to cough up by a consumer forum here Rs 20,000 as fine and compensation to a customer for serving her 'sambar' having a dead lizard in it.

The North East District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said the eatery, Aggarwal Sweet House located in Seelampur here, had failed to ensure that the food it offered to its customers was healthy and fit for human consumption as was required under the law.

"The said incident occurred due to the negligence on the part of the cooks who prepared/served the dish. The eatery shop owner was under an obligation to ensure that the food which he serves in his eatery belongs to the class of food which is fit for ordinary human consumption.

"The respondent (eatery owner) failed to take the degree of care which the law expects of him while following his occupation," the bench presided by N A Zaidi said and directed the eatery owner to pay the woman Rs 10,000 as compensation "for negligence in services rendered."

It also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000, to be deposited by the eatery in the Consumer Legal Aid Account of the forum.

The bench also comprising its members Poonam Malhotra and Nishat Ahmad Alvi directed the municipal and health and food departments to check whether the eatery had obtained a licence for carrying on the business and to inspect it to check if the food is being prepared under hygienic conditions.

The order came on the plea of Delhi resident Seema who had alleged that a dead lizard was found in the sambar she and her family were served at the eatery last year.

She had said that she had lodged an FIR with the police that very same day, August 9, 2011, regarding the incident.

Apart from compensation of Rs one lakh, she had also sought an inquiry as to whether the eatery owner had the requisite permission to run it.

The eatery owner had denied the allegations in his written statement and had also said no FIR had been lodged against him, but the forum rejected his contentions.

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