Mineral water companies asked to fix price at Rs.12

March 20th, 2009 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) A consumer court Friday directed the authorities and manufacturers of mineral water, who have prescribed the maximum retail price (MRP) at Rs. 20 or higher a bottle, to reduce it to Rs.12 as charging a higher price amounts to unfair trade practice.
The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, headed by Justice J.D. Kapoor, rejected the manufacturer’s plea that the price of Rs.20 for the Himalaya brand mineral water was due to the water being from springs in the Himalayas while other mineral waters brands used water taken from borewells.

“It is immaterial whether mineral water is obtained directly from springs or through any other source. The process of converting ordinary water into mineral water is the same and the quality or purity is also the same,” Justice Kapoor said.

The product should have not been called “mineral water” and sold by another name like “spring water”, as otherwise it gave an impression that the product is mineral water and mislead an ordinary customer as to why it is priced much higher than the other brands available in the market, he said.

Justice Kapoor said if there are 50 brands of mineral water and each brand is said to be a different kind, nature, quality, potency and purity and, therefore, can be priced differently, would be an entirely misleading representation to the public at large.

The case dates back to 2007 when Virender Singh, a resident of Rohini, had gone to Liberty Cinema in Karol Bagh area to watch a film. During the interval, he bought a bottle of mineral water but felt he was overcharged for it. Feeling cheated, he filed a complaint in the consumer court.

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