Hyderabad: Consumers often fall in the trap of paying extra while visiting a hotel or a restaurant for the basic need "water".
In such an instance, a Hyderabad restaurant has been instructed by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Hyderabad to pay back an excessive amount of Rs.10 charged from a customer Mohammed Mohsin with an added interest of 12 per cent per annum, along with a fine of Rs.25,000.
According to Mohsin, a resident of Dilsukhnagar, on July 17, 2019, he had lunch at the Meridian Restaurant at Punjagutta crossroads and was charged an additional amount of Rs.10 against the maximum retail price of Rs.20 for a bottle of drinking water.
"When I asked the management as to why additional Rs.10 was being charged, I was told it is a regular practice here," recalled Mohsin, who then approached the Consumer Forum and lodged a case against the restaurant.
The restaurant however denied all the allegations. The management of the restaurant in their defence argued that they can charge extra by quoting the Supreme Court judgement in the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India vs Union of India and others.
However, the Commission observed that the restaurant misinterpreted the judgement passed by the Supreme Court's according to their convenience, and ordered them to pay a compensation of Rs 20,000 towards compensation for causing inconvenience and mental agony to the complainant, and further pay the complainant Rs 5,000 towards costs of litigation within 45 days.
"We are under the considered view that the order of the apex court was misinterpreted as per their convenience and as such the point is answered accordingly in favour of the complainant," said the forum.
The forum issued orders on January 19 directing the management to pay back the Rs.10 with an interest of 12 per annum. Apart from this, the consumer forum also levied an Rs.25,000 penalty on the restaurant management.
"It is not the question of Rs.10 but it is about the right. As a consumer, one needs to question persons or managements charging excess than the MRP. I appeal to all to approach the Consumer Forum, in case of any such irregularity," Mohsin said.