Money matters: Eateries can charge over MRP, rules Chandigarh forum
Refers to Delhi high court ruling to dismiss plea against Farmer’s restaurant.punjab Updated: Jan 15, 2018 11:31 IST
Ruling that a restaurant can charge more than the maximum retail price (MRP) on beverages because of the added benefit of ambience that it provides, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has dismissed a Chandigarh resident’s plea against Farmer’s restaurant in Sector 34.
“The complainant could have bought mineral water bottles near his house or from roadside vendors at the printed price of MRP or even for less. It is only for the extra amenities... available at the restaurant.” — Forum
Sahib Singh, a resident of Sector 37, had alleged deficiency of service and unfair trade after the restaurant charged him in excess of the MRP for a bottle of soft drink and mineral water.
In his complaint to the forum, Singh said that he had gone to the restaurant with his family on February 5 last year. He said he was made to pay Rs 40 for a bottle of soft drink that had an MRP of Rs 32 and Rs 30 for bottled water that had an MRP of Rs 20 mentioned on it.
The restaurant, in its reply, claimed the prices charged were according to its menu card.
“The complainant was fully aware and satisfied with the price of food and beverages before ordering the same,” it stated in its reply. The restaurant also stated that when the complainant protested the bill, the fact was made clear to him.
All about ambience
Ruling in favour of the restaurant, the forum observed that the complainant had chosen the eatery for dinner with his family and driven for about 3km “to enjoy the ambience of this hotel keeping in view the extra comfort, amenities and special services provided therein”.
“The complainant could have bought such mineral water bottles near his house or from roadside vendors at the printed price of MRP or even for less. It is only for the extra amenities... available at the restaurant that the Complainant preferred to have dinner at this hotel on the higher price,” said the forum.
Also referring to a judgment of the Delhi high court along with the National Restaurant Association of India vs Union of India case, the forum concluded: “Charging prices for mineral water in excess of the MRP printed on the packaging, during the service of customers in hotels and restaurants, does not violate any of the provisions of the Standards of Weights and Measures (SWM) Act as this does not constitute a sale or transfer of these commodities by the hoteliers or restaurateur to its customers. The customer does not enter a hotel or a restaurant to make a simple purchase of these commodities.”