According to GL Aggarwal, Japan Airlines (JAL) had served him a meal containing beef even though he had requested a vegetarian meal. Believing the airline to have hurt his religious sentiment, Aggarwal filed a claim with the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
“The airline should have ensured that no non-veg food was given to the complainant. When one who has never taken non-veg, suddenly finds beef in his food, he will naturally be taken aback,” a city consumer court decided this week.
The State Consumer Redressal Forum on Thursday slapped a fine of 50,000 rupees (1,258 dollars) on Japan Airlines for serving beef to a Delhi resident, GL Aggarwal, who had taken a flight to San Francisco on September 13, the Hindustan Times reported. ‘The hurting of sentiments cannot be measured in terms of money. However taking into consideration the deficiency of service on part of Japan Airlines, we have to compensate in terms of money,’ the forum’s president KK Chopra was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
The order comes three months after another consumer court in Delhi asked a domestic airline to pay a compensation of 20,000 rupees to a vegetarian who had a similar experience. Aggarwal had complained to the court that though he had specified that he wanted an vegetarian meal on the flight he was given beef as there were no more vegetarian meals.
Hindus worship and respect the cow as a matriarchal figure for her gentle qualities and providing milk and dairy products for a largely vegetarian diet. The cow holds a honoured place in the Hindu society and the consumption of beef is prohibited.
Cow slaughter is currently banned in all Indian states except Kerala in the south and Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura in the north-east.