Delhi government cracks whip on multiplexes for overcharging on eatables

The checks in multiplexes came after the issue of being charged more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) was raised in the Delhi Assembly

The multiplexes in the state have been bashed by the Delhi Government for overcharging of packaged eatables, including water bottles in the theatres. The crackdown against multiplexes was launched by Government on March 9 when a surprise inspection was conducted for charging unreasonably high prices in violation of Packaged Commodity Rules (PCR) on packaged eatables/drinks.

The checks came after the issue of being charged more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) at cinema halls was raised in the Delhi Assembly on March 7. The Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain, Delhi ordered the checks at cinema halls.

According to the sources, the action was taken in 12 cases but did not name the multiplexes. The team checked 14 cinema halls apart from a few restaurants as well.

A number of MLAs had pointed out that cinema halls and multiplexes were charging customers/cinema-goers in excess of MRP printed on the various packaged products such as biscuits, popcorn, aerated bottled water, chips and snacks.

For the offence, a retailer can be prosecuted under section 52, of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and the Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011, which has a penalty (compounding fees) of up to Rs 2,000. If the offender refuses to pay compounding fees, he can be prosecuted in a court, which attracts a penalty of up to Rs 25,000.

The minister had earlier directed resolution of the issue of dual MRP, which refers to pricing of a product differentially like water bottle price at retail shops and cinema halls.