HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court judgement that allows hotels to charge customers over MRP for bottled water only applies to hotels that are under Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) says, officials from Legal Metrology Department.
The department officials are arming themselves with an interpretation of the SC judgement that will allow them to take action against hotels and restaurants that are not members of FHRAI. However, FHRAI spokesperson says the SC judgement is open to all and not just for the hotels and restaurants associated with the federation.
For the past fifteen days, Robin Zaccheus, a social activist has been trying to catch the attention of IT minister KT Rama Rao with a two-page explainer about how the Legal Metrology department can work around the SC judgement that allowed restaurants and hotels to charge over MRP for bottled water.
“The legal metrology department, hasn’t taken any action against the consumer complaints on hotels and restaurants in Telangana, ignorant of the fact that the SC judgement was in favor of FHRAI associated hotels and restaurants only and not all non-associated hotels and restaurants, the hotels which are not associated with FHRAI are liable for legal action from metrology department,” wrote Robin.
On Wednesday, Aravind Kumar, Principal Secretary, MAUD responded to Robin on twitter saying, “We are looking into the matter and should be able to find a way out soon within the legal framework,”The SC judgement in December 2017 declared that hotels and restaurants are liable to take more money than MRP on water bottles and beverages, saying that the customer goes not only for the water, but also enjoys the ambience.
Another mall raided, 30 cases booked
Hyderabad: Days after raids were conducted at stores inside several city malls for charging over the MRP, the City Centre Mall in Banjara Hills was raided on Wednesday by the Legal Metrology Deparment and about 30 cases were registered against various retailers. The task force confiscated goods worth Rs 10 lakh and also fined a restaurant for collecting service charge. “Raids were carried out at different shops selling apparel, footwear, toys and books.
One restaurant called Aromas of China was found collecting 5 per cent illegal service charge,” said Assistant Controller Bhaskar Reddy. On May 10, based on complaints received via WhatsApp and emails, sleuths raided popular shopping malls in the city and booked 109 cases and confiscated packaged goods worth `74 lakh. The department booked a whopping 2,950 cases in 2017-18 and collected `6.5 crore as fines. Since April 2018, the department booked 850 cases.