Sale of Mineral water above MRP in hotels/ Restaurants; Legal Metrology Act not applicable: SC

Source: TS-419-SC-2017-VAT     Feb 09, 2018

SC upholds Single Judge bench view of HC, provisions of Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 (SWM Act, 1976), Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985 (SWM Act, 1985) and Legal Metrology Act, 2009 (LMA, 2009) inapplicable to ‘mineral water’ sale in hotels and restaurants at prices above MRP; Notes HC’s Division Bench observation that Single Judge Bench judgment to the effect that charging prices in excess of printed MRP does not violate provisions of SWM Act, shall not be enforceable in respect of provisions of LMA, 2009 and same needs to be adjudicated in de-novo proceedings under the new Act;

Elucidates that, object of LMA, 2009 is only to do away with 1976 and 1985 Acts and combine provisions into one enactment to make the law simple and bring in transparency, moreover, despite changes made by 46  the Constitutional amendment introducing Article 366(29A), position qua ‘sale’ in LMA 2009 / Rules remains exactly the same; Remarks, definition of “sale” contained in both Acts demonstrates that composite indivisible agreements for supply of services and food and drinks would not come within the purview of either enactment since the object is something quite different;

SC also rejects Revenue’s reliance on definition of ‘institutional consumer’ contained in Rules and contention that hotels would be under the coverage of LMA, 2009