Hotels, restaurants can sell bottled water above MRP, says SC

Hotels, restaurants can sell bottled water above MRP, says SC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre's contention that charging more than Maximum Retail Price (MRP) for bottled water flouted law and would attract a fine of Rs 25,000 and jail term.

A bench of Justices R F Nariman and Navin Sinha said hotels and restaurants were not bound by MRP when they sell bottled mineral water.

The court said that the provisions of Legal Metrology Act would not be applicable to selling bottled water in hotels and restaurants, so there cannot be prosecution against them for selling water above MRP.

The court said there are composite elements of sale and service in hotels and restaurants where consumers also enjoyed ambience, created by these commercial establishments.

"It is not a case of simple sale. Nobody goes to hotel to buy or take away a bottle of mineral water," the bench said.

The court rejected the government's argument that even sale in hotels requires mandatory compliance with the provision of the Act and that there would be jail term and fine for selling above MRP.

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