Legal Battle Over "No Sambar": Costs A Restaurant ₹3500 In Bihar

A restaurant in Buxar serving southern Indian cuisine found itself in trouble for excluding sambar from one of the dishes on its menu, the Special Masala Dosa. Sambar is a crucial component of a traditional meal of dosa, idli, uttapam and several other southern Indian delicacies. The absence of sambar has cost this restaurant a fine of Rs. 3500, imposed by the Supreme Court after nearly a year-long legal battle. Where the sumptuous dosa is priced at Rs. 140, excluding the sambar from the plate has cost the restaurant twenty-five times more in fines.

The controversy around the absence of sambar dates back to August 2022 when lawyer Manish Gupta placed a takeaway order of the Special Masala Dosa on his birthday. However, the parcel was packed without the sambar and upon inquiring at the restaurant, he was rebuffed with a dismissive response from the owner who is claimed to have said, "Do you want to buy the whole restaurant for Rs. 140?"

This incident took place on 15 August and led the lawyer to file a formal report against the restaurant. After an 11-month long battle, the Division Bench of Consumer Commission has ordered the restaurant to pay a fine of Rs. 3500 for the omission of sambar.

Chaired by Ved Prakash Singh and member Varun Kumar, the commission acknowledged the petitioner's "mental, physical, and economic" suffering allocating Rs. 1500 as the litigation cost and Rs. 2000 as the basic fine. Failing to pay the amount within 45-days will mean an 8% interest on the amount. Tell us in the comments below if you have ever been served dosa without sambar!