After the Hindustan Times, on Friday, reported how retailers were charging more that the maximum retail price on certain products, the Legal Metrology department began a crackdown that day.
The drive will now continue for a week where around 35-40 officials from the department will carry out inspections across the city until May 28 to ensure retailers strictly adhere to the maximum retail price (MRP) mentioned on each product, especially on water and soft drinks.
Controller of Legal Metrology, Dr Maadhava Saanap, issued a circular to this effect on Friday. He said, “We commenced the drive on Friday and will continue it for a week. The emphasis will be on soft drinks as their sale is high during the summer and retailers could be taking advantage of the same to exploit consumers.”
Dr Saanap added, “Our officials will conduct inspections for violations like weights and measurements, quantity and so on. For a week they have been directed to conduct inspections associated with MRP violations.”
On Friday, the managers of a south Mumbai hospital cafeteria were booked for MRP violations. Following, the HT report on May 20, a team from Legal Metrology, District I (south Mumbai), conducted inspections in south Mumbai and even filed a case against Paritrupti Cafeteria located in Bombay Hospital at Marine Lines. The cafeteria was booked for overcharging Rs 5 on a soft drink can that had an MRP of Rs 20 printed on it.
Action will be taken under the Legal Metrology Act 2009, which was implemented in the state from April 2011. Under the Legal Metrology (Package Commodities) rule 2011 the offender will be penalised Rs 2,000. Consumer activist and chairman of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, Shirish Desphande, welcomed the initiative.
“The drive is a good thing, but to wipe out the nuisance, periodic inspections are required. Also, instead of filing a case, offenders should be penalised on the spot as in the case of traffic violations,” he said.
When the Bombay Hospital Trust was contacted about the MRP violation, a spokesperson, requesting anonymity, said, “We will inquire into the matter.”