Hyderabad: Amid Corona virus concerns in the city, several medical shops are making quite a profit by looting customers by overcharging them for face masks and hand sanitisers. After receiving complaints from several quarters, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) fined at least three medical shops in Kukatpally on 9 March.
Among the pharmacies that were fined are Jaya Pharmacy and Chervi Supermarket, both located at KPHB. Both the outlets have been fined Rs. 5,000 each for selling masks at a rate above the MRP. Meanwhile, Sai Durga Medical and General Store located at Anjaiah Nagar was asked to pay a fine of Rs. 20,000 for running the shop without a trade license as well as for selling masks at high prices.
In another case, the Cyberabad police booked at least four medical shops and pharmacies for MRP violations. Apollo pharmacy in Nizampet and Medplus medical shop in Pragathi Nagar were among the shops booked for charging exorbitant prices for masks. Similarly, Maruthi medical shop and Sri Sai medical and general stores in Balaji Nagar have also been booked for the same offense. The FIR registered under both Bachupally police station and Kukatpally police station said the shop owners are cashing in on the fears of the people and selling masks at high prices. Cases have been booked under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC.
On 7 March, drug inspectors of Telangana drug control administration had booked 16 medical stores for overcharging for masks and hand sanitisers. The drug inspectors, in a surprise inspection, checked the prices of the masks and hand sanitisers, the two most sought-after items since the first Corona virus case was detected in Telangana. The price of masks was five times the actual price. Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh drug control administration had also raided 254 medical stores and booked a chemist for overcharging customers for face masks.