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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Charging over MRP at airports - 7

Read Charging over MRP at airports - 6 first.

On 17th July, my wife went to the Consumer Court. Someone from the O.P. showed up and gave the court and my wife a 20 page legal document filled with B.S. They blatantly claimed the following:

(a) Incident did not occur
(b) They did not overcharge
(c) They are allowed to overcharge because they are a restaurant, and provide "starred" service
(d) They will sue me
(e) They, NOT the AAI, are the one providing the service and the ambiance that passengers enjoy at the airport
(f) They pay huge licensing fees to AAI an they are "justified" in over charging

This document was signed by the Port Lounge president, sealed by their attorneys and has been sent from Mumbai. So what is this, scare tactics for the simple minded?

It also quotes from a previous judgment by the High Court regarding this issue of overcharging by restaurants.

The Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Associations of India has also obtained a stay order from the Delhi High Court on the MRP matter, which overrules the previous judgment given by the State Commission. More about this matter can be found in the newsletter of FHRAI. This stay order prevents consumer protection bodies from awarding compensation to consumers who complain against hotels and restaurants.

So, I am fine with this. As I've posted before, this is correct... one pays for the service and the ambiance when one goes to a hotel or restaurant. But its not the same with a snack bar in an airport.

In the next hearing after that on 27th July, I submitted a rejoinder to their response giving my arguments and evidences. I argued that the premises in the airport of the O.P. cannot be called a restaurant, can only be called a snack bar. There was no service, etc. I've also asked them to provide me a copy of the contract that they signed with AAI to check what it says regarding payment terms, and pricing of items. I also submitted photographs of the shop by a phone camera, taken by a friend who was passing through B'lore airport the night before the hearing. He took the photos late at night, mailed me the next morning. I printed them out and attached them to my rejoinder before rushing to the court in the morning! In my rejoinder, I submitted copies of two articles that had appeared in newspapers earlier: Overcharging costs cineplex dear and MRPs take-off at the airport.

The representative from the O.P. gave me an affidavit claiming that the incident never occurred and I gave him a copy of my rejoinder. Next hearing was set for 7th August. Dunno what happens then. As usual, the judge likes to say or explain things as less as possible. So I am totally in the dark about what happens next. Next case I will try to ensure that I get the Cunningham Court, at least the judge explains whats going on.

7th August turned out to be one of those donkey hearings. I went all the way to the court to be told to submit an affidavit in the next hearing, on 14th July, saying that the incident had occurred and giving the facts of the case. Later I was talking to the court attendant. He said that now it will proceed quickly. Next hearing I will submit the affidavit. The next hearing after that is marked for arguments, and the ruling will be given at the next hearing after that.

So lets see what happens. On Monday I have to run around getting an affidavit done and then submit the same on Tuesday.

Continue reading Charging over MRP at airports - 8.

2 comments:

nakeddesserts said...

Hi,

I want to attend the court hearing especially on the date they commence arguments on this case.

Call it curiosity or show of support.

If you can kindly give me the date, time and address, I will be there.

Thanks
Best Regards,
[email protected]

Hawkeye said...

@nakeddesserts: Thats awesome! The next hearing is going to be tough. I'm already pissing in my pants. All support is most welcome. THANKS!