Consumer Voice - - Service Charge In Restaurants -

So, can a ho­tel or a restau­rant charge for a bot­tle of drink­ing wa­ter more than the MRP marked on the con­tainer? Yes, as per the judge­ment pro­nounced by the Delhi High Court stat­ing that ho­tels and restau­rants may charge more be­cause they also pro­vide am­bi­ence and ser­vices to their cus­tomers. This was in 2007 in the mat­ter of Fed­er­a­tion of Ho­tels and Restau­rants As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia and oth­ers ver­sus Union of In­dia. (The same judge­ment was up­held in 2009 in Delhi Gymkhana Club ver­sus Union of In­dia.)

Case 1

The ques­tion raised in 2007 in the case of Fed­er­a­tion of Ho­tels and Restau­rants As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia ver­sus Union of In­dia was ‘whether it is per­mis­si­ble for a ho­tel to charge their cus­tomers any price above the max­i­mum re­tail price men­tioned on the min­eral wa­ter bot­tle’. The court held in clear terms that “charg­ing price for min­eral wa­ter in ex­cess of the MRP printed on the pack­ag­ing, in the pro­vi­sion of ser­vice to the cus­tomers, does not vi­o­late any of the pro­vi­sions of the stan­dards of weights and mea­sure­ment act as it does not con­sti­tute a sale or trans­fer of the com­mod­ity to them.” Stat­ing that billing by hote­lier/restau­rant for ser­vice and goods was one and in­di­vis­i­ble, the court ruled that a cus­tomer, when en­ter­ing a ho­tel or a restau­rant, was there not

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