New AC Double-Decker Train Between Delhi-Jaipur
New AC Double-Decker Train Between Delhi-Jaipur. Image: IRCTC

A consumer forum in New Delhi has slapped a ₹10 lakh fine on Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for selling aerated drinks above the maximum retail price (MRP).

The retail outlet of IRCTC reportedly sold the beverages to two Delhi residents, Sachin Dhiman and Sharnya, above the MRP.

The two passengers in their complaint alleged that the government corporation had sold them a bottle of Maaza, a Coca-Cola fruit drink brand, at ₹15 which is three rupees more than the MRP.

The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum slapped a fine on IRCTC of ₹5 lakh each in the two cases and said that being a subsidiary of Indian Railways "it is not expected to be deficient in such matters and cannot come down to level of private dealers," according to PTI.

"We have considered the case in the perspective of unfair and restrictive trade practices, by a government company who supply food articles to millions of rail users, who in transit cannot protest or have little choice but to avail services at whatever cost," said a bench presided by C K Chaturvedi.

The consumer forum directed IRCTC to deposit the fine amount with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority. The forum also gave ₹10, 000 each to the two commuters as compensation.   

"Keeping in view, the gravity and scale of gain by overcharging in 24x7 railway operations all over India, we award punitive compensation of Rs five lakh to be deposited by IRCTC with Delhi State Legal Services Authority and we award compensation of ₹10,000 (each) to complainant(s)," it said.

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