Concludes deficiency of service by Prabas V Care Institution

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) on Thursday directed the health departments of the Central and State governments to take effective steps to ban the publication of misleading advertisements claiming cure for ailments.

The Commission gave the direction while disposing of a complaint filed by an airhostess who became bald after she undertook treatment for hair growth in a hair clinic.

“It is appropriate for the authorities to ban such medicines, cosmetics after proper investigation” said the Commission headed by its president Justice R. Regupathi.

A.N. Yasmin of Coonoor was an unmarried and aged only 22 years at the time of filing the complaint in 2008. She was employed as an airhostess and was receiving a decent salary.

Sensing that there was a lot of hair fall, she approached Prabas V Care Institution, Coimbatore, on witnessing the programme on the Podhigai television channel.

On payment of charges, she underwent treatment at the institution. This resulted in hair loss in entire scalp, continuous pain, itching and irritation. Due to the total hair loss and disfiguration, she lost her appearance and future prospects.

Alleging negligence on the part of the institution, she filed a complaint before a District Consumer Forum for compensation of Rs.10 lakh. Without going into the content of a medical report, the district forum dismissed her complaint. However, the private institution claimed that the results of its treatment were successful with other clients and she might have lost her hair due to some other medical reasons. The television channel contended that the advertisement was meant for conveying message but it was up to viewers to act or not on the basis of the advertisement.

Concluding that the institution was negligent, the Commission headed by its president R.Regupathi held that it had committed deficiency of service in the treatment given to the complainant. The Commission said, “The complainant underwent sufferings due to total hair fall, and she is bald headed.” It ordered the institution to pay Rs. 7 lakh compensation to her.

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