‘Mineral water bottle can’t be priced above Rs 12’
In a significant consumer-friendly order, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Friday ruled that sale of mineral water above Rs 12 amounts to “unfair trade practice”, reports Harish V Nair.india Updated: Mar 21, 2009 01:57 IST
Bottled mineral water manufacturers dreaming of a quick buck as the mercury soars will have to shelve their plans.
In a significant consumer-friendly order, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Friday ruled that sale of mineral water above Rs 12 amounts to “unfair trade practice”.
All manufacturers and authorities appointed to implement the Weights and Measures Act have directed to ensure strict adherence of the order. The direction was given in a case filed by a Rohini resident that a ‘Himalaya’ brand mineral water was sold to him at Rs. 20 at a cinema hall in West Delhi.
Justifying higher price, Himalaya contended their water was direct from springs of Himalayas. Rejecting the plea, Justice J.D. Kapoor said in that case their product should not be called ‘mineral water’ but sold as ‘spring water’.
“Anyone who wants to purchase a mineral water will only ask for ‘mineral water’. To say that if there are 50 brands of mineral water and each brand will be of different kind, nature, quality, potency and purity and, therefore, can be priced differently would be entirely misleading representation to the public at large,” said the judge.
Himalaya manufacturer had also taken a plea that the consumer is not the person to decide whether the manufacturer has overpriced the bottled mineral water, as he is only concerned with the printed maximum retail price (MRP).
Justice Kapoor rejected this plea by stating that merely because authority under the Weights and Measures Act has allowed the MRP, is of no relevance as the sole determining criteria is the price at which product known as 'mineral water' is being sold ordinarily or generally in the relevant market.