July 4th, 2017
I am Nikhil Dhir and I am working as a manager for an MNC. I have been raising many social issues to bring about positive change in the society from a long time. Currently, the widely evident fraudulent practices that is rampant across India is ones related to MRP: in airports, railway stations, markets, bus stands, shopping malls, multiplexes etc. Although, there are many consumer protection laws and even Legal Metrology department under the Department of Consumer Affairs is established to look after the same, still most of consumers are unaware about these regulations.
When I came across this uncontrolled fraudulent practice going on openly in Jamnagar Airport last week, I decided to report it to the higher authorities. Here I have recounted my ordeal which I guess can be a learning experience for all in reporting such frauds.
25th June, 2017 : Jamnagar Airport
I had an afternoon flight from Jamnagar to Mumbai. I bought a tetrapack of Mixed fruit juice (Rs 20 on the counter price) from the airport, but the price quoted to me was Rs. 30, left me shocked! Under the Consumer Protection Act 2006, no one can sell any product above MRP. Oddity of the event was that a fake MRP sticker which was stuck on the actual printed price.
I researched only to find that “Rule 18(5) of Legal Metrology”(Packaged Commodities) Rules states that no wholesale dealer or retailer shall obliterate, smudge or alter the retail sale price indicated by the manufacturer or the packer or the importer.”
I bought it without arguing and thought about who do I report it to as such a matter of concern needed to brought to higher authority’s notice. I remained torn in a dilemma whether to waste my time or remain clear of my conscience and do the needful. Without further ado, I contacted the Airport Authority Director and reported about the incident and submitted a written complaint, to which he assured me about necessary action towards the concerned employees/contractors who are engaged in such fraudulent activities at Airports will be taken at the earnest.
A day later, I received an appreciation call from Airport Authority Director that my complaint has been forwarded to the head office and such fraudulent activities have been stopped at the Jamnagar Airport. Also, the concerned employees have been given a warning and concerned Contractor Head has been asked for a reply on this issue in writing.
For further reference, a copy of the letter sent by The Airport Authority Director to the vendor in context has been attached below:
Moral: Stand up against wrong/immoral things going around you and definitely a change will take place sooner or later. Being ignorant towards these cheaters/scammers is the biggest weapon available to them.
Suggestion: If such thing happens with you too at station / airports/markets/ malls, ask for the receipt and complain to the respective higher management/Legal Metrology Department asap in writing/e-mail.
Selling products above MRP is a punishable offence under Section 36 of Legal Metrology Act, which clearly states that anyone 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 which 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.
Legal Metrology Department(Weights and Measures) comes under Department of Consumer Affairs and acts strongly against such complaints. You can write an email to the Controller of Legal Metrology Department of your area (Link: consumeraffairs.nic.in/consumer/sites/default/files/userfiles/controllers.doc). If you aren’t able to find your concerned area Controller, you can call Toll free Customer Care Helpline, Department of Consumer Affairs at 1800-11-4000. While mailing, you can also add Director of Legal Metrology department (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) and Consumer Affairs (email : email@example.com) in “cc” option of mail box.
P.S : While mailing the authorities, please do mention the following details :
- Describe the incident.
- Name and Address of concerned shop with street ,city and state.
- Product/Products that you bought.
- Actual MRP of the product/products.
- Actual amount you paid.
- Attach the Bill Receipt/Photographs/evidence (if any).
Mahatma Gandhi once said : “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
There are several consumers like me who are bearing the brunt of similar fraudulent practices. I have tried gathering most of the information to create awareness and educate them about the laws and practices to bring an end to these malpractices. Raise and report the issues. Certainly, our voices will make a difference!
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