In an interesting case observed in Kukatpally, Hyderabad, four restaurants have been booked by the Legal Metrology Department because they charge more water bottles than MRP and impose GST on an increased rate.
What law did they actually violate?
Restaurants have been booked to charge water bottles excessively
The Legal Metrology Department booked four restaurants in Hyderabad on the basis of a complaint by a local social worker.
Restaurants: Pista House Restaurant, Nizampet(Close to Kukatpally zone); A Musical A Lounge Restaurant & Bar, Chaitanya Bar & Family Restaurant, Kukatpally; And occasion hotel Kuchipudi Palau restaurant, Miyapur.
These restaurants complained after they charged customers for water bottles beyond the MRP, and GST also charged them.
Pista House Restaurant charges 300ml of soft drink for Rs.40, its MRP is Rs.25, while a bottle of Musical Lounge soda is priced at Rs.30 and the original MRP is Rs.12.
Hotel Kuchipudi Palau Restaurant charges 250ml cold drink bottle for Rs.35 whose MRP is 25.
In addition to charging beyond the MRP, these restaurants have also increased GST. The Legal Metrology Department has booked these restaurants under sections 12 (2) and 6 (1) of the Legal Metrology section. In May this year, the Hyderabad-based Department of Legal Metrology booked the restaurant for a service fee.
In 2017, and again in 2018, the Supreme Court allowed restaurants and hotels to charge water bottles and other beverages on MRP. The reason is that these companies offer a service and the pricing issue cannot be controlled by the Legal Metrology Act.
However, if any restaurant or hotel wants to charge more than MRP for a product, it should have a clear label and notify the customer.
Mr. Teja, an activist who filed these grievances against Hyderabad restaurants, said, “Most of the restaurant owners are trying to bypass the law quoting the Supreme Court judgment which allows them to sell water / aerated beverages on MRP. However, in that case, it was ruled that the bottle should clearly indicate that it was not for sale. These cannot be used for commercial or commercial purposes. ”
These restaurants can now impose a penalty of Rs 25,000. A fine of Rs 50,000 for repeated offenses.
Under the Consumer Protection Regulations, no brand or business will charge for any product beyond the MRP, however, the Supreme Court ruling states that if the regulations are met, there may be some exceptions.
Interestingly, the government may soon abandon the practice of MRP and allow retailers to set the price of the product and not the manufacturer.