New Delhi: Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Friday warned that those who sell cold beverages such as drinks and water above the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) will face fine or could also face jail term.

With airports, restaurants and multiplexes sometimes selling the beverages for double the actual price, the minister warned that the government will take stringent action against them. Paswan was speaking at the 47th World Standards Day where he said that packaged drinking water was being sold sometimes at 10-20% more of the actual MRP at some locations. He also exclaimed that some beverages were being sold without the MRP on them.

“Consumers need to be more aware and file complaints. If there is no complaint, how can we take action?” he observed.

According to the Section 36 of Legal Metrology Act, it is mentioned that anyone who is caught selling, distributing or delivering any pre-packaged commodity that does not conform to the declarations on the package shall be punished with fine up to Rs 25,000 for the first offence. It can increase to Rs 50,000 for second offence and subsequent offences can attract a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh or imprisonment for one year or both.

Albeit the complaints have been few due to the customers’ unawareness of the law or the legal proceedings surrounding it, the minister said that filing a complaint now will be easier as the online medium could be put to perfect use.

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