The Supreme Court allowed hotels and restaurants on Tuesday to sell bottled drinking water and packaged food at more than the maximum retail price (MRP) printed on these items.
The court rejected the government’s argument that overcharging for pre-packed or packaged products was an offence under the legal metrology act, which attracts a fine of ₹25,000 or a jail term.
A bench headed by Justice Rohinton Nariman said the provisions of the law will not apply to hotels and restaurants, and these establishments cannot be prosecuted for selling such items above the MRP. “It is not a case of simple sale. Nobody goes to a hotel to buy or take away a bottle of mineral water,” the bench observed, hearing a petition by the Hotels and Restaurant Association of India.