Dec. -16: SETTLED IN COURT
Misleading offer costs McDonaldâ€™s Rs. 12 lakh
When Kapil Mitra visited a McDonaldâ€™s outlet in Delhi, he was given a coupon which said Panasonic mobile phones, iPods and a Chevrolet Optra could be won! He was told the terms and conditions were on the notice board. But there was no such board at that outlet. Kapil was asked to send SMSes and charged a higher rate of Rs. 3 per message.
As he received no further information, he filed a complaint in the Consumer Forum. He alleged that the entire process of participation and declaration of results was done in a clandestine manner. McDonaldâ€™s contended that the winners were randomly chosen through a lucky draw. The Forum directed the restaurant to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation and Rs. 2,000 towards costs to the complainant. The restaurant chain appealed to the Delhi State Commission.
Going by McDonaldâ€™s admission that over four lakh customers had participated in the scheme, the Commission concluded that the restaurant had earned a huge profit. The final results were not published in a newspaper as required. The public at large had been duped. The State Commission directed the restaurant to pay Rs. 2 lakh compensation to Kapil and deposit Rs. 10 lakh in the Consumer Welfare Fund for profiteering at the expense of consumers.
Point of law
Bogus, non-transparent or clandestine prize schemes can prove costly if a consumer challenges them.Â
Doctorâ€™s testimony not necessary to establish medical negligence
Geeta Khalkho underwent a caesarean section in a nursing home run by Dr. Kiran Agrawal. Â After delivery she developed abdominal pain. A CT scan found a foreign body in her abdomen. Another surgery was performed by Dr. Anju Goel and a surgical mop was removed from her stomach which had been left behind after the caesarean section. Distressed, Geeta filed a case in the Consumer Forum against Dr. Kiran and her nursing home alleging medical negligence.
The Forum held the opposite parties guilty and directed them to pay Geeta Rs. 30,093, which she had paid for the second surgery, and Rs. 2 lakh as compensation for the pain and suffering she had suffered. Dr. Kiran appealed to the Chhatisgarh State Commission. When the appeal was dismissed, she approached the National Commission. She contended that Geeta had neither filed an affidavit nor had Dr. Anju given evidence that a mop had been found in the stomach of the complainant.Â
The National Commission found Dr. Kiranâ€™s argument without merit. It said that documentary evidence in the form of the CT scan and the discharge card after the second surgery, which mentioned a mop having been removed, were proof enough. The opposite parties were told to pay up.
Point of law
A consumer can prove medical negligence on the basis of documentary evidence and a doctorâ€™s testimony is not necessary.