The user, 24-year-old Sourav Mall, has filed a case in Delhi’s Saket court, saying that this quick-delivery feat pulled off by Zomato was inexplicable and instead of the spicy aromas of kebab, he had smelled “fraudulent and unfair practice, meant to misrepresent and deceive the class of consumers who are purchasing food products from Zomato”.
“Issue summons of the suit and notice of application u/O 1 Rule 8 CPC to the defendants via all permissible modes, upon filing of PF within 7 days from today. Put up on 20.03.2024,” the court of civil judge Umesh Kumar said in the recent order.
Zomato did not give any reaction when TOI approached it.
Sourav questioned the app’s promise of rapid service under the Zomato Legends sub-service, which allows foodies to order dishes from cities outside their city of residence. Select famous shops and their legendary dishes are available for ordering through this sub-service.
Using the Legends service on October 14, 2023, Sourav ordered four dishes. Three dishes were from shops in Delhi, and one from Lucknow. The dishes were chicken kabab roll from Jama Masjid, triple chocolate cheesecake from Kailash Colony, a vegetarian sandwich from Jangpura and galauti kebab from Lucknow.
The petition stated that the restaurants were all across Delhi and at a considerable distance from his location at the time. Zomato, however, promised to deliver the food hot and the estimated time of arrival (ETA) displayed ranged from 20 to 45 minutes. “It is, therefore, inexplicable as to how Zomato is able to manage delivery from iconic restaurants of Delhi to delivery locations in Gurgaon/Noida within 30 minutes, that too allegedly hot food. Such representation to users, customers, and/or patrons of Zomato, are indeed intended to deceive the public,” he said.
The food was delivered to Sourav within 15 minutes in Zomato’s packaging, not the packaging of the partner, the petition said. The outer paper bag displayed Zomato’s Intercity Legends sub-service.
“This conduct is fraudulent and in breach of service standards and form of propagation by Zomato as displayed to the plaintiff and the class being represented by way of this plaint. Therefore, this opaque and false modus operandi of business provides the plaintiff and the class represented an appropriate reason to approach the hon’ble court. Further, Zomato even while knowingly providing such quality and sub-standard service to the plaintiff and the consumers in the class represented, continues to advertise and suggest that it is getting fresh hot food from these legendary restaurants to the doorstep,” the petition said.
The plea has been filed in the nature of a representative suit under Order 1 Rule 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, stating that as there are numerous affected individuals, it would not be possible for each of them to approach court. Therefore, the plaintiff represents Zomato customers who order in Delhi-NCR through a class action in a representative suit.
Advocates Tishampati Sen, Anurag Anand and Biyanka Bhatiya represented Sourav.