For well-intentioned men short-changed while shopping for clothes for their wives, the Consumer Protection Act offers statutory respite and in a way, marital peace.

Ensuring customer protection, the district consumer court has come to the aid of a man who was duped into buying a damaged salwar kameez as gift for his wife.

Asokan T, a resident of Neeleswaram in Kasaragod district, got relief from the court when it ordered the clothes shop to fully reimburse the cost of the damaged wear.

The court further subjected the shop owners to a tongue-lashing, calling them “arrogant” for not complying with its order to be present in court when summoned.

The court’s order gives a detailed description of the events that transpired with Mr. Asokan, who on a visit to Kozhikode on May 30 this year, decided to gift his wife a salwar kameez.

He chose the ‘Would Be’ clothes-wear shop for ladies at Koyenco Bazaar on S.M. Street here to make his purchase. Mr. Asokan chose a kameez for Rs.1,500, went home only to find, much to his and his family’s shock, that the “entire colour of the churidar vanished with the very first wash”. He made the trip back to the seller, seeking a replacement or refund of the price. He got neither. They just asked him to leave.

He then moved a petition with the consumer court, alleging deficiency of service and unfair trade practice on the part of ‘Would Be’, which was arraigned as the opposite party in the case.

But even the court met with a similar response. Repeated court summons were returned as “unclaimed”.

Pronouncing its decision, a three-member bench headed by consumer forum president G. Yadunadhan concluded that Mr. Asokan was indeed entitled for relief under the law.

It said the “arrogant attitude” of the trader made matters worse.

The order, authored by forum member L. Jyothikumar for the Bench, directed ‘Would Be’ to return the entire cost of the clothes purchased and an additional compensation of Rs.500 to Mr. Asokan for the mental agony he suffered.

The order has to be complied by ‘Would Be’ within the next 30 days, failing which Mr. Asokan is entitled for a further amount of Rs.20 per day till realisation.

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