Following directions from Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain, teams of Weights and Measures Department carried out surprise inspections at establishments (Cinema Halls/Multiplexes) allegedly charging exorbitant prices in violation of Packaged Commodity Rules (PCR) on packaged eatables/drinks and initiated action in at least 12 cases.
This important issue concerning consumers rights was raised during the ongoing Delhi Vidhan Sabha session on Tuesday and immediately Hussian ordered inspections to be carried out on Wednesday.
Many MLAs had pointed various Cinema Halls and Multiplexes are charging customers/cinema-goers in excess of Maximum Retail Price (MRP) printed on the various packaged products such as biscuits, pop-corn, aerated bottled water, chips, snacks etc.
Overcharging means a consumer is charged more than the MRP. For the offence, the retailer is prosecuted under section 52, of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and the Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011, which has a penalty (compounding fees) of up to Rs. 2,000. If the offender refuses to pay compounding fees, he is prosecuted in the court, which attracts a penalty of up to Rs. 25,000/-
Department of Weights & Measures, also called Legal Metrology Department ensures compliance of Packaged Commodity Rules which includes mandatory declarations on the packaged commodities i.e. the name and address of the manufacturer/packer/importer, the common name of the product in the package, the net quantity, month and year of manufacturing or pre-packing, MRP (inclusive of all taxes) and name, address, telephone number of the person who can be contacted by the consumer in case of a complaint.
Department takes punitive action against the violators of Packaged Commodity Rules.
The Minister had earlier directed resolution of the issue of “Dual MRP”, which refers to pricing of a product differentially viz. Mineral Water Bottle at retail shops, cinema halls, hotels, establishments, stadiums, Malls etc.
Department officers informed that matter is being taken up with various establishments and stakeholders and that the matter is likely to be resolved soon.
In pursuance of the latest directions from the Minister, the Department despatched teams to various Cinema Halls/Cineplexes on Wednesday (8th March), to check the instances of over pricing and to take necessary action as per law.
During these inspections, premises in and around 14 Cinema Halls/ cineplexes spread all over Delhi were visited, some inspections were also carried out at restaurants/eateries. (The Department is withholding the names of establishments since proceedings are going on)
During these inspections, prosecutions were booked for Dual MRP on water bottles, soft drinks, against two restro bars for overcharging on catch water bottles. Department informed that it has initiated action as per law against the defaulters.
Weights & Measures Department also informed that it undertook 321 inspections and booked 223 cases in the month of February, 2017 for necessary action as per law against the units found indulging in violation of Packaged Commodity Rules.
The Department will carry out similar inspections at other Cinema halls/Cineplexes and other establishments to ensure that norms of Packaged Commodity Rules are strictly followed so that consumers are not duped by unscrupulous by the shop-keepers/manufacturers/dealers.