The Supreme Court has set aside the Order passed by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission awarding Rs 2 Crore Compensation to a Model for bad hair cut.
A Division Bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Vikram Nath remitted the matter back to NCDRC for Fresh adjudication of Respondent Model claim.
The Court ruled:
In the absence of any material with regard to her existing job, the emoluments received by her, any past, present or future assignments in modeling which the respondent was likely to get or even the interview letter for which the respondent alleges she had gone to the saloon to make herself presentable, it would be difficult to quantify or assess the compensation under these heads. What could be quantified was compensation under the head of pain, suffering and trauma. However, amount of Rs. 2 Crores would be extremely excessive and disproportionate. This Court, therefore, is of the view that the NCDRC fell in error by awarding compensation to the tune of Rs.2 crores without there being any material to substantiate and support the same or which could have helped the NCDRC to quantify the compensation.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) had ordered a luxury hotel chain to pay a woman Rs. 2 crore in compensation after finding that “she lost her expected assignments and suffered a huge loss, which completely changed her lifestyle and shattered her dream to be a top model.”
A bench comprised of President RK Agrawal and Member Dr. SM Kantikar of NCDRC awarded compensation after noting that women are undoubtedly concerned about their hair, spend a significant amount of money to keep it in good condition, and are emotionally attached to it.
The commission noted that complainant Aashna Roy was a model for hair products because of her long hair and had done modelling for big hair-care brands, but she lost her expected assignments and suffered a huge loss due to haircutting against her instructions, which completely changed her lifestyle and shattered her dream to be a top model.
“She was also employed as a Senior Management Professional and earning a good living. “She suffered a severe mental breakdown and trauma as a result of negligence in cutting her hair, was unable to concrete her job, and eventually lost her job,” the bench stated in an order dated September 21.
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Apart from that, the hotel, ITC Maurya, is also guilty of medical negligence in hair treatment, according to the commission, adding that her scalp was burned and she still suffers from allergy and itching as a result of the staff’s negligence.
According to the NCDRC, a cursory examination of the WhatsApp Chat provided by the complainant reveals that the hotel admitted their mistake and attempted to cover it up by providing the free hair treatment.
“The complaint is allowed partly and we are of the considered view that it would meet the end of justice in case the complainant is granted compensation of ₹2,00,00,000. As a result, we order the Opposite Party No.2 to pay the Complainant a compensation of within eight weeks,” it said.
In April 2018, complainant Aashna Roy visited a salon at the Delhi-based hotel a week before an interview and specifically asked for “long flicks covering her face in the front and at the back and four-inch straight hair trim from the bottom”.
She claimed, however, that the hairdresser disobeyed her instructions and chopped off her entire head of hair, leaving only four inches from the top and barely touching her shoulders.
She complained to the salon’s management, who offered her a free hair treatment, which she claimed caused permanent damage due to excessive ammonia, resulting in excessive irritation in her scalp.
Case Title: ITC Limited vs Aashna Roy
Civil Appeal No. 6391 OF 2021