The largest retailer and leading manufacturer of footwear in India, Bata has been imposed a fine of Rs 9,000 after the company asked a customer from Chandigarh to pay Rs 3 for a carry bag. The complainant, Dinesh Parshad Raturi reached out to the customer forum after he was asked to pay for a paper bag – which should be given for free with the purchased product.

The Chandigarh Consumer Forum stated that “if Bata India is an environmental activist, it should have given the same to the complainant free of cost”. The forum also directed the company to provide free carry bags to all customers who purchase its products.

The complainant, Dinesh, had purchased a pair of shoes from Bata’s Sector 22D outlet in Chandigarh on February 5. In his complaint, Dinesh had sought a refund of Rs 3 which was charged to him by the footwear company.

According to The Indian Express, the actual price of a pair of shoes that he purchased was Rs 399, but he paid Rs 402. When Dinesh saw the bill, he found that he was charged Rs 3 for the paper bag.

The Forum has decided that out of fine amount (Rs 9,000), Raturi would get his refund of Rs 3, along with (Rs 1,000) in form of compensation for litigation expenses, and (Rs 3,000) in form of compensation for mental harassment caused. The remaining amount (Rs 5,000) of the fine would be deposited in the legal aid account of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.