New Delhi: Luxury hotels chain ITC has been asked to pay Rs 2 crore as compensation to a customer who accused a hotel salon of chopping off her “entire hair” during a haircut.
In a judgment Thursday, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) awarded the compensation to Aashna Roy for “deficiency in service” in a haircut as well as “medical negligence in hair treatment” by Hotel ITC Maurya, New Delhi.
The NCDRC directed the ITC group to pay Roy the compensation within eight weeks of the judgment.
According to the order, Roy had visited the salon at ITC Maurya on 12 April 2018 for a simple haircut, a week before a scheduled interview. However, the hairdresser chopped off “her entire hair” instead, allegedly leaving just “4 inches from the top”.
After she complained to the manager, she was offered a complimentary hair treatment as compensation. However, Roy alleged that her hair and scalp was completely damaged due to excess ammonia.
In both cases, she said, the hotel failed to take action against the hairdressers, after which she filed a complaint with the NCDRC. Roy also accused salon staff and the hotel management of mistreatment.
ThePrint reached senior advocate Parag Tripathi, a member of ITC Maurya’s team of legal representatives in the case, but he refused to comment on the matter.
Roy filed the complaint against ITC Hotels as well as Yogesh Deveshwar, who was then chairman of the hotel group.
In response, Deveshwar had contended that he was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company and therefore the complaint specifically against him should be dismissed.
Deveshwar passed away in May 2019 and Roy filed an application to sue Sanjiv Puri, his successor. However, the NCDRC did not find Puri liable to redressal and also noted that it found no evidence of any personal involvement in the incident by Deveshwar.
However, the redressal commission held ITC Hotels liable by referring to a WhatsApp exchange that took place between Roy and hotel officials, in which the latter admitted to “alleged deficiency in service”.
“A bare perusal of the WhatsApp chat adduced by the Complainant would reveal that the Opposite Party had admitted the fault on their part and, by offering the free hair treatment, tried to cover it. There was also negligence on the part of the Opposite Party No.2 in giving hair treatment to the Complainant,” the NCDRC judgment said.
(Edited by Rachel John)
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