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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Charging over MRP at airports - 9

Read Charging over MRP at airports - 8 first.

Whew! Been a long time without updates. I've been busy updating my life. More on that in a later post. Here's whats been going on with the case:

In the hearing on Aug 24th, the lawyer from the O.P. didn't turn up, only the usual paper delivery guy came. The Judge was not very happy and scolded the fellow. The judge had asked me to get an empty package of the item showing the MRP. I'd throw away the original package after drinking the juice thinking that I would easily get it from outside in any shop. But unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a packet of Bejois juice from any shop. So instead I submitted a newspaper article saying that the 200 ml Bejois juice has been introduced at Rs 10, and another printout of an online shop where the same juice was being sold at Rs 9 instead of the MRP of Rs 10.

I presented my arguments, and another hearing date was set for 14th Sep. I would be traveling again and would not be in India on 14th Sep, so I asked the Judge if my wife could come instead of me. He said, yes, I was not required.

Next hearing on 14th Sep, my wife attended instead of me. For the first time a lawyer from the other side showed up, from Bombay. OK, finally I'm squeezing them. He submitted another of their usual blah-blah documents, this time quoting from various MRP case judgements, and spent more than 1/2 hr reading from this document to the Judge. At the end of it, the Judge asked him if he knew that the Karnataka State Commission took a different view of overcharging on MRP than the Delhi High Court, and the lawyer said "yes".

This was the most interesting piece of news... the first piece of good news I'd heard in this case, considering its been dragging on for more than 6 months. The next hearing was set for 21st Sep.

I returned from the US, and then tried to figure out what the Judge has meant when he said that the Karnataka State Commission took a different view of overcharging on MRP than the Delhi High Court. After searching online for more than 3 days, I struck gold on just one website, the New Indian Express website article "Hotels cannot charge more than MRP", dated 27th August, 2007! This article said that an advocate Shankaranarayana Rao had fought for the cause of the consumer over pricing of bottled water served in a hotel, and won. This was really awesome. Here was a case where the Consumer Court in Bangalore had very recently upheld a complaint against overcharging in a restaurant, even against the stay order passed by the Delhi High Court. This was fantastic news, so in the next hearing on 21st Sep, I submitted a copy of the newspaper article with some more arguments.

Continue reading Charging over MRP at airports - 10.

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