Failure to print price on books constitutes unfair trade practice: District Consumer Forum orders Penguin Books to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation
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Failure to print price on books constitutes unfair trade practice: District Consumer Forum orders Penguin Books to pay Rs. 10,000 as compensation

"As the opposite party failed to establish the reasons as to why they have not printed the price of the book on the book supplied to the complainant, it clearly assumes adoption of unfair trade practice for which they are held liable", the forum ruled

Meera Emmanuel

A three-member Bench of a Hyderabad District Consumer Forum recently found that the failure of Penguin Books India to print the price of books being sold amounted to unfair trade practice.

A complaint over the same had been filed by one, Baglekar Akash Kumar after he found that no price had been printed on the copy of Malcolm Gladwells’ “Outliers: The Story of Success” that he had purchased online through Flipkart for Rs 281.

The complainant argued before the forum that the failure to mention the book’s price while printing it would give scope to sell the book at the whims of the seller. Therefore, it was his case that the same constituted an unfair trade practice. A complaint to this effect was filed against Penguin and Gopsons Papers Ltd (opposite parties).

Before the consumer forum, the opposite parties submitted that all of the books are sold with sticker showing an MRP of Rs. 499. However, it was not denied that no price was printed on the book sold through the online portal to the complainant.

While this was the case, the opposite parties also failed to explain why the price of the book was not printed on the copy purchased by the complainant. In view of the same, a Bench comprising President Vakkanti Narasimha Rao and members PVTR Jawahar Babu and RS Rajeshree ruled in favour of the complainant, observing,

As the opposite party failed to establish the reasons as to why they have not printed the price of the book on the book supplied to the complainant, it clearly assumes adoption of unfair trade practice for which they are held liable for the same.
District Consumer Forum

The forum proceeded to order that,

  • The opposite parties print and publish the retail price on the product (Books) which they are being sold to the customers herein after.

  • The opposite parties pay Rs.10, 000 towards compensation for mental agony and for unfair acts.

  • The opposite parties pay Rs.2, 500/- (Rupees Two Thousands Five Hundred only) towards costs.

[Read the Order]

Consumer Forum Order re Printing Price on Books.pdf
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