SC stays NCDRC order asking ITC to pay Rs 2 crore as damages to model for haircut that went wrong

 The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) asking ITC to pay Rs 2 crore to a model as compensation for a faulty haircut at a hotel owned by the conglomerate.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia issued notice to model Aashna Roy on ITC’s appeal challenging the NCDRC award.

The top court said quantification of the compensation has to be based on material evidence and not mere asking.

The direction came on an appeal filed by ITC challenging an order of the NCDRC which had reaffirmed its September 21, 2021 direction to the company to pay Rs 2 crore as compensation.

Prior to this, the apex court had in February this year set aside the NCDRC order and asked the consumer panel to consider the issue after going through the material submitted by the model.

The NCDRC on April 25 reaffirmed its earlier order after relying on e-mails and applications of proposed modelling and acting contracts presented by Roy.

According to the model, she visited the salon at Hotel ITC Maurya, New Delhi on April 12, 2018 for hair styling. Since the hairdresser, who regularly used to do her hair, was not available, another person was assigned the job.

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She gave specific instructions to the hair dresser. When the hair styling was complete, to her utter surprise, the model noticed that the hair dresser had chopped off her hair leaving only 4 inches at the top. The hair barely touched her shoulders which was quite contrary to the instructions she had given, the model claimed.

According to the model, as a result of the faulty haircut, she could not continue to lead her normal busy life as she no longer looked pretty. She said she had to face great humiliation and embarrassment. Her modelling career was completely shattered and she went into a state of depression, Roy claimed.

Left with no option, she filed a complaint before the NCDRC alleging deficiency in service, seeking written apology from the management as also a compensation of Rs 3 crore for harassment, humiliation, mental trauma, loss of career, loss of income and loss of future prospects.

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