Aashna Roy vs Yogesh Deveshwar Case explained

Aashna Roy vs Yogesh Deveshwar & Anr.
Consumer Case No. 1619 of 2018
Date of judgment: 21-09-2021

Fashion trends, including clothing, hairstyles, and haircuts, have become popular as discussion subjects on social media. As they mould young people’s confidence and self-esteem, these patterns have a significant impact on them.

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The significance of such tendencies has increased with the emergence of influencer culture. To keep up with the most recent trends, people today spend a lot of time and money on their appearance.

This focus on physical beauty has grown increasingly important in fields like acting and modelling, where one’s appearance is critical to landing a job. Against this backdrop, a surprising and frightening instance surfaced in September 2021.

This case deals with section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, read with section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This case was filed before the National Consumer Disputes Resolution Commission because Aashana Roy, the petitioner, alleged that the salon staff of a reputed hotel chain of the respondent was negligent while providing hair treatment to her and accused him of deficient services while giving the haircut. Yogesh Deveshwar was the Chairman of ITC Company Ltd.

In this case law explanation, you will learn about the facts, issues, arguments, and judgment of Aashna Roy vs Yogesh Deveshwar & Anr.

Facts of the Case

In this case, the petitioner was a model by profession, and she had an upcoming interview to appear for. So, a week before the interview, she booked an appointment with her usual hairdresser at a salon operated by ITC Ltd., which she used to visit frequently.

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However, on the day of her appointment, 12th April 2018, her usual hairdresser was not available, and the salon manager assigned her a different hairdresser with assurance, even if she was a little reluctant to get her hair done by some other hairdresser.

The petitioner instructed the hairdresser to cut her hair in a certain way, which was a simple haircut, but the hairdresser took a very long time. When the petitioner asked the hairdresser why he took such a long time to do the hair, he replied that he was giving her a London Haircut.

Later, when the petitioner looked at her hair, she was horrified by the result, as she observed that her entire length of hair, barring 4 inches from the top, had been chopped off. She complained to the manager, who just waived the bill for her.

Still, no action was taken against the hairdresser, so the matter was reported to the general manager of the salon, who allegedly misbehaved with the complainant. Because of this incident, the petitioner lost her confidence as she was not looking beautiful anymore.

Later, this incident was brought to the notice of the CEO of ITC Ltd. Subsequently, an offer was made to the petitioner free of cost to either get extensions on her hair or provide a suitable treatment for her interview.

After much persuasion, the petitioner chose the second option. So, for the treatment, an external hairdresser was arranged, which was to be performed under the supervision of the respondent’s in-house salon hairdresser and the petitioner’s usual hairdresser.

However, after the treatment, the petitioner complained that her scalp had been damaged and burned due to the excess use of ammonia. She brought this to the management’s attention, but no action was taken against the salon staff.

Aggrieved by the action of the salon, the petitioner filed a case before the National Consumer Disputes Resolution Commission on the grounds of deficiency in services from the salon staff and sought Rs. 3 crores as compensation for the humiliation, harassment and mental trauma suffered by the petitioner.

Issues Raised

There were two significant issues raised in this case:

  1. Whether the petitioner suffered negligent hair treatment from the salon employees of the reputable hotel chain run by ITC Ltd., and if their acts qualified as a service failure under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  2. Whether the Rs. 2 crore in compensation that the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission granted was appropriate and justifiable.

The following were the arguments advanced by both petitioners and respondents.

Arguments Given by the Petitioner

The petitioner contended that hair is considered to be one of the essential parts of a presentable look, especially for a woman who is proud of their hair and who takes extra care and precautions to maintain their hair in a good and healthy condition.

The petitioner also argued that any person who takes such good care of her and any mishaps could affect her mental state negatively, even lasting this lifetime.

The petitioner stated that the hair treatment given to her caused permanent damage to her scalp, premature greying of hair and several other scalp infections. She also contended that this affects her model career because she was a model for hair products and has previously worked for VLCC and Pantene.

And now, she won’t get work due to bad conditions, and this is only adding more to her mental agony, causing her not just mental trauma but also financial problems.

The petitioner relied on the fact that the salon employees initially waived the payment for the haircut and later offered the option for hair treatment, which implies that they indirectly admitted their mistake and that they were at fault.

Arguments Given by the Respondents

The respondent contended that since they did not charge the petitioner for their services, they would not qualify as consumers as defined under section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

They also argued that the compensation amount of Rs. 3 crores is too exaggerated and unreasonable because no documentary evidence supports it.

The respondent also stated that the petitioner’s haircut was as per her instructions and that no damage was done to the hair by the hair treatment. They said there was a malafide intention on the part of the petitioner to file this complaint to destroy the goodwill and reputation of ITC Ltd.

The respondent relied on the earlier decision of the National Consumer Disputes Resolution Commission in the case of Ambrish Kumar Shukla & Ors vs Ferrous Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.

In the above-mentioned case, the Commission made a decision about figuring out how much money it has the power to handle. They also said that when deciding fair compensation, certain factors should be considered. However, those factors were not taken into account in this present case.

National Consumer Disputes Resolution Commission’s Decision

The Commission ruled in favour of the petitioner on 21st September 2021 by awarding her compensation of Rs. 2 crores for the loss and trauma suffered by her due to the salon employees’ deficiency of services within eight weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order. The Commission relied on the decision in the case of Charan Singh vs Healing Touch Hospital & Ors.

The Commission acknowledged the petitioner’s arguments that the said incident was the consequence of the hairdresser’s carelessness, and because of it, she suffered mental agony and a lack of confidence. It also recognized that there was no doubt that women are very cautious about keeping their hair healthy and maintained.

The Commission also agreed that the petitioner would lose many professional opportunities, which would affect her career. The respondent, aggrieved by the Commission’s decision, moved to the apex court to challenge the Commission’s order.

Supreme Court’s Decision

The Supreme Court on 7th February, 2023 set aside the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) order, awarding Rs. 2 crore compensation to the petitioner on the grounds of unfair, unreasonable, extraordinarily excessive and disappropriate.

The court held that the Commission’s decision should have been based on the material evidence provided by the petitioner and not just on mere asking.

The court held that the Commission fell in error by awarding compensation of Rs. 2 crores without having any evidence or support. The evidence would have helped the Commission to calculate the compensation.

The Supreme Court asked the petitioner to produce material evidence regarding her modelling and advertising brand assignments in the past so that the court could calculate the future loss that the petitioner could incur and accordingly quantify the compensation.

Still, the petitioner failed to show any evidence and did not even file any records with the court. The Supreme Court ordered the Commission to make a fresh determination of the compensation amount.


The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum awarded more compensation than would have been considered fair. The petitioner deserves compensation, but it should be calculated based on the loss she has suffered and will suffer in the future because of the condition of her hair, including the mental agony she is suffering and will be suffering.

The Supreme Court’s decision to quash the decision of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum and to start a fresh determination of the compensation amount was right as there was no material evidence present to support the petitioner’s argument that her model career would suffer massive loss because nobody would like to enter into a contract with her because of the condition of her hair.

Gayatri Singh
WritingLaw » Case Laws » Aashna Roy vs Yogesh Deveshwar & Anr – Case Explained Law Study Material
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