Punjab Grill, a restaurant in Sector 17, has been directed by the district consumer forum to pay Rs. 1.42 lakh to a diner after a fishbone in a 'boneless' dish led to the rupture of his food pipe, which required lengthy life-saving treatment.
Now closed - message on the door says, 'Closed for renovation' - the restaurant will have to pay to Sector-10 resident Himmat Iqbal Singh Jakhar Rs. 50,000 as compensation and Rs. 77,040 spent on treatment at SAS Nagar's Fortis Hospital. Plus, Jakhar will get refund of Rs. 5,500 bill and Rs. 10,000 as cost of litigation. The amount has to be paid by Punjab Grill and the backing firm, Gurgoan-based Light Bite Foods Private Limited.
The district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, presided over by Rajan Dewan, ruled, "As the adage goes, 'As you sow, so shall you reap', we are of the concerted opinion that Punjab Grill and Light Bite Foods Private Limited should also suffer for their gross deficiency in service and for putting the life of the complainant at risk."
In his complaint, Jakhar said that on August 5, 2012, he had gone for dinner at the restaurant with his friends. Among other things, they ordered a boneless muton dish, called 'Rann'. Immediately after having it, Jakhar felt enormous pain in his throat and rushed to the washroom where he vomited twice and saw traces of blood. As the group prepared to leave for the hospital, the management allowed them out only after taking the Rs. 6,500 bill. Tests and Fortis revealed that Jakhar had consumed a fishbone that had cut his food pipe up to the lower part of the throat.
Denying any deficiency in service, the restaurant and the parent firm said there was no possibility of any bone in any of the dishes, and their menu had only one fish preparing with bone that was not ordered by the group.
But the forum held, "Humanity demanded that restaurant [management] should have taken the complainant to hospital, but […] they were more concerned about the bill amount. Hence, they are proved to be grossly negligent and deficient in rendering proper service."