The Calcutta High Court has restrained the owner of a McDonald’s outlet on Park Street, Kolkata, from renovating the establishment till further orders. Justice Dipankar Datta has asked the state authorities to file a status report on the blast that ripped through the restaurant on August 12, 2007, killing passerby Aftab Hussain Ansari.
The lawyers further pointed out that neither the owner nor authorities have considered compensating the family of the deceased youth who happened to be passing by the restaurant that morning. They referred to incidents in the US and elsewhere where fast-food chains have been forced to pay compensation to customers after hot coffee spilled on their bodies.
The intensity of the explosion caused by a malfunctioning air-conditioning machine was such that Ansari was thrown across the street and slammed against a parked car. Small pieces of the iron shutter pierced his body, killing him instantly.
However, McDonald’s , in a statement, said that company adhered to the most exacting standards of quality, service and cleanliness and that stringent global safety measures were in place at its outlets in India as well.
“We accord the highest priority to our employees and customer’s safety. At the moment, we are yet to receive a copy of the latest order. We cannot comment on the judgment till such time that we have gathered all information and have had an opportunity to discuss it with legal experts. We have been providing all the assistance to the investigating agencies and will continue to do so,” the company stated.