Dress designer held liable for blouse tear in public


Ahmedabad-based paediatrician Dr. Jhanvi Patel (name changed) had placed an order with designer Sonia Vasa for a blouse she planned to wear at a family wedding. Despite several reminders, the blouse was not delivered in time. She was also asked to pay more than the agreed amount. When she protested she was subjected to abusive behaviour.

But, the worst was still to come. When she wore the blouse for the first time, the strings snapped causing her great embarrassment in public. Moreover, the cloth at the armpit got stretched and almost gave way. When Jhanvi confronted Sonia, the designer refused to repair the blouse or take any responsibility for the poor quality of material she had supplied.

Distressed, Jhanvi approached CERS. When mediation efforts failed, a case was filed in the District Forum. Sonia’s contention was that Jhanvi had made vigorous hand movements which is why the blouse had got torn.


The Forum observed that a blouse worn for the first time should not have got torn so easily. It held the designer responsible for the tearing of the blouse and told her to pay Rs. 5,000 as compensation with 9% interest. In addition, she had to pay Rs. 3,000 for mental harassment suffered by the complainant and Rs. 2,000 towards legal expenses.

Point of law

Consumers have the right to demand and expect a good product and service.

British Airways to pay Rs. 1 lakh for loss of bag


When Ramesh Bhargava travelled by British Airways from New Delhi to London on 7 June 2008, he checked in two suitcases of 24 kg each. At Heathrow airport, he found that one of his suitcases was missing. The airline staff assured him of compensation in three weeks but no action was taken. Ramesh filed a case against the airline in the District Forum. He sought compensation for cost of suitcase, valuables it contained, expenses incurred on hotel stay and mental harassment.

The airline contended that since the complainant had not made a prior declaration of contents he was not entitled to the compensation demanded. Also, he had not placed on record bills to prove his five-day stay in a hotel. The airline also said the complainant was only entitled to USD 20 per kg as per rules.

The District Forum directed the airline to pay Rs. 1 lakh to Ramesh. Both parties filed appeals against the order. While Ramesh wanted higher compensation, the airline thought the amount was excessive.


The State Commission upheld the forum’s order. It observed: “The contention of the airline that the complainant is entitled to compensation as per weight of baggage has no force. Simply because no hotel bills were produced is no ground to reduce the compensation.”

Point of law

If the baggage of a passenger is lost, an airline has to pay compensation for the loss as well as for mental tension and harassment.


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