Karnataka multiplexes raided for overcharging water

By R Chitra Published on May 04, 2017 10:24 AM IST


Bengaluru: Raids were conducted at malls and multiplexes at various locations in Karnataka by State officials in a crackdown against overcharging of mineral water, Food and Civil Supplies Minister U T Khader has said.

The raids were conducted following a spate of complaints from consumers about overpricing of mineral water. He said action would also be taken against excess pricing of eatables.

"Our legal metrology officials raided malls and multiplexes at 178 locations across the State, including Bengaluru Urban and Rural, Belagavi, Kalaburgi, Mangaluru and Mysuru districts for selling mineral water above the MRP to consumers," Khader told reporters here last night.

Under the provisions of the amended Legal Metrology Packaged Commodities Rules (PCR), overpricing of mineral water was a violation of the law.

As of the rules amended in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution will be provided the penalty of Rs 2,000 for first-time violation and six months imprisonment for second violation, Prasad said.

Thirtynine teams of officials registered 46 cases for charging Rs 30 for a one litre water bottle priced at Rs 20, Khader said.

"The raids were conducted by 39 teams following numerous complaints from consumers across the State to the department that they were forced to pay 150 per cent more than the MRP for a litre of mineral water," the Minister said.

Mostly, the cases were registered in Belagavi (17) and Kalburgi (15) districts, and the least was in Mysuru (2) district, Legal Metrology Controller P R Shiva Prasad said.

Moreover, Karnataka has urged the Central government to include bottled or mineral water under essential commodities' list to protect consumers from being exploited by unscrupulous sellers, Khader said.