A Brief Introduction –
The Complainant, namely Rounak Sinha, a final-year law student at Faculty of Law of Marwadi University, Rajkot preferred a consumer case against KFC and Pizza Hut on account of charging of “Restaurant Packaging Charge”.
Facts which led to filing of present Consumer Complaint Petitions –
Mr. Sinha, on the portal Zomato ordered the food items from KFC and Pizza Hut. He realized that both the Restaurant Partners listed on Zomato are separately foisting an additional sum along with the cost of food items under the garb of “Restaurant Packaging Charge” from number of gullible consumers.
Mr. Sinha, appearing in-person, vehemently argued before the Hon’ble Commission that component of “Restaurant Packaging Charge” is inherent in price of food articles offered by the KFC as well as Pizza Hut. Price of a product includes both good and service component. Furthermore, there is no restriction to set the prices of food at which the KFC or Pizza Hut want to offer to consumers. Thus, separately foisting the “Restaurant Packaging Charge” upon the present Complainant and other gullible consumers in such facts and manner, arbitrarily and highhandedly is unfair trade practice under Section 2(47) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
In this regard, Mr. Sinha placed reliance upon the judgement of Hon’ble State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh in the case of M/s Dominos, Jubilant Foodworks v. Pankaj Chandgothia; Appeal No.160 of 2019. The relevant paragraph of the judgement is produced as under–
“All kinds of expenses incurred in order to putting goods into a deliverable state shall be suffered by the seller incurred in order to putting goods into a deliverable state shall be suffered by the seller. It will not be out of place to refer here the provisions of Sub Section (5) of Section 36 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 which makes it absolutely clear that unless otherwise agreed, the expenses of and incidental to putting the goods into a deliverable state shall be borne by the seller. Thus, under this provision of law, all expenses with regard to packing etc. shall be borne by the vendor in order to putting the goods into deliverable state.”
Judgement of the Hon’ble District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Rajkot, Gujarat –
The Hon’ble Commission heard Complainant (in-person) as well as the learned counsels appearing on behalf of KFC and Pizza Hut. Rival submissions were made by both the parties in length before the Hon’ble Commission. The main set of arguments presented by KFC and Pizza Hut that they are not the proper and necessary parties in the present case. However, the Hon’ble Commission was pleased to reject such submissions of the KFC and Pizza-hut. The Hon’ble District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Rajkot in its 8-pages judgement observed that KFC and Pizza-hut must borne the expenses of packaging and they cannot recover the expenses from the Complainant. Hence, in such circumstances, it was held that levy of “Restaurant Packaging Charge” amounts to unfair trade practice which is considered to be false, misleading and illegal.
Case Title –
Rounak Sinha v. KFC (CC/622/2022)
Rounak Sinha v. Pizza Hut (