District Consumer Forum 1 president Rattan Singh Thakur on Wednesday issued bailable warrants against Lifestyle International Private Limited managing director and Industrial Area’s Elante mall store manager for May 23 for not complying with its orders to provide to customers and paying a compensation of Rs 3,000 to a couple.
The forum on January 3 directed the Lifestyle store to provide free carry bags to all customers who purchase articles, refund Rs 5 wrongly charged for the carry bag and pay Rs 1,500 compensation for harassment and mental agony and Rs 1,500 as litigation expenses on a complaint filed by city residents Pankaj and Sangeeta Chandgothia on September 4, 2018, alleging unfair trade practice of selling carry bags.
With the ban on polybags in place in most states of the country, the issue of alternative forms of carry bags is in sharp focus. Even if you do carry your own cloth bag (or environmental-friendly bags), most of the times, a security personnel will make you forfeit it once you enter a store. Most shops and shopping outlets provide the paper or jute variety. But why should the shopper have to pay for it. Even if a shopper is to be sold one, it should be with his consent. It would be in everyone’s interest if there was a clear nationwide policy on this.
The store was also directed to deposit Rs 10,000 in the “Consumer Legal Aid Account” maintained with State Bank of India, Sector 7C, Madhya Marg, Chandigarh, in the name of secretary, UT State Commission. The order was to be complied within a month from the date of receipt of its copy, or else Lifestyle was liable to pay the money along with interest at the rate of 12% from the date of filing of the complaint.
Wednesday, Chandgothia contended before the forum that the UT State Commission had upheld the orders of the forum and dismissed the appeal of Lifestyle on March 18. In spite of two-and-a-half months passing, the company had not implemented the orders. “The Lifestyle store was continuing to charge for carry bags from customers all over the country and making crores of illegal money by violating the orders of the forum,” Chandgothia alleged. They are liable to be punished under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, he said.
Chandgothia said, “Thakur, in his capacity as a judicial magistrate issued bailable warrants against Hitesh Sharma, store manager, Lifestyle, Elante mall, and Vasanth Kumar, MD, Lifestyle International Private Limited Bangalore for May 23.”