Hyderabad: Twenty-two cases have been booked against Big Bazaar outlets in Rangareddy district, Telangana. The Legal Metrology Department of Telangana has booked cases against the hypermarket chain Big Bazaar for tampering with the MRP of prepackaged goods. Cases have been booked against Big Bazaar outlets in the jurisdiction of Medchal-Malkjgiri and Ranga Reddy-Samshabad districts.

Cases were also booked for not mentioning the mandatory declarations. As per the rule, the name and address of the manufacturer, country of origin, net quality, manufacturing and expiry date, retail sale price, and consumer complaints declaration are mandatory declarations that should be printed on the label of prepacked commodities

On January 1, 2019, consumer rights activist and president of NGO Know Your Rights Society, Srikhande Umesh Kumar, had filed a complaint with the Legal Metrology department, alleging that Big Bazaar outlets in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts are selling goods like toys by putting their own labels and removing details, including the name of the manufacturer.

“Big Bazaar outlets are erasing mandatory declarations on prepackaged commodities. For example, if an oil packet has reached its expiry date they erase the manufacturing and expiry date on the packet and keep it with the new stock of the same product. This way consumers are easily fooled by the hypermarket chain. They are not only engaging in unlawful practice but also compromising on the health of the customers,” he said.

Cases have been registered against Big Bazaar for contravention of various sections and rules of the Legal Metrology Act , 2009, and Legal Metrology (PG) Rules, 2011. Officials of the Legal Metrology Department also seized goods from Big Bazaar outlets in Ranga Reddy.
Earlier, the Legal Metrology Department had fined hypermarket chain DMart in Rangareddy district for tampering with the MRP. The department had slapped a fine of Rs 13.4 lakh on six of its outlets.

Mr Kumar, who has also filed similar complaint against Big Bazaar outlets in Hyderabad, demanded similar inspections in those outlets. Citing DMart’s example the consumer activist said he expects a minimum fine of Rs 25,000 will be imposed on each Big Bazaar outlet that violated the consumer rules.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary ‘Still I Rise’, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad’s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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