Penalty and Jail for selling above MRP on Mineral water bottles, Centre tells SC

New Delhi: The central government has told the Supreme Court that Hotels, restaurants, and multiplexes charging above MRP on bottled mineral water will face monetary penalty and jail term.

The government said that “Sale of packaged water over MRP by hotels and restaurants may have implications regarding tax evasion as a bottle purchased by a hotel at cost price, which should be sold at MRP or less, is being sold at much higher prices, leading to possible loss of additional revenue to the government in the form of service tax or excise duty etc.”

Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has filed a petition. In response to it, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has submitted an affidavit stating that under the Legal Metrology Act, overcharging for pre-packed or prepackaged products was an offence.

The Section 36 of Legal Metrology Act says that, anyone caught selling, distributing or delivering any pre-packaged commodity that does not conform to the declarations on the package shall be punished with fine up to Rs 25,000 for the first offence. For second offence, the fine can increase to Rs 50,000 and thereafter can attract a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment for one year or both.

The matter will be taken up for hearing on Tuesday by a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman.