Justice Vikramjit Sen on Saturday allowed a petition by the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India and others urging the Court to make ineffectual the application of the provisions of the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976, and the Packaged Commodities Rules, 1977, to the hotel and restaurant industry here.
The Federation had approached the Court following action against several hotels and restaurants here for selling bottled water at higher than the MRP price.
"Charging prices for the mineral water in excess of MRP on the packaging during the services of customers in hotels and restaurants does not violate any of the provisions of the Act,'' Mr. Justice Sen ruled.
"The customer does not enter a hotel or a restaurant to make a simple purchase of the bottled water. It may well be that a client will order nothing beyond a bottle of water or a beverage, but his direct purpose in doing so would clearly be to enjoy the ambience available therein and to ordering of any article for consumption,'' the judgment said.
"Can there be any justifiable reason to interdict the sale of bottled mineral water other than at a certain price and ignore the relatively exorbitant charge for a cup of tea or coffee," Mr. Justice asked. The Judge said: "When a person goes to a hotel or a restaurant and orders and consumes the commodities sold therein, this does not fall within the definition of consumption under the Consumer Protection Act.''
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