TASMAC has identified 9,319 cases of overcharging between April 2019 and March 2020 and have taken action against the violators, authorities informed the Madras High Court on Friday. However, TASMAC Managing Director R Kirlosh Kumar noted that these cases were due to only some employees who were violators, and not TASMAC as a whole.
TASMAC made the submissions during the case heard by the Madras High Court bench of Justices Subbaiah and Krishnan Ramasamy on a PIL questioning the overcharging by TASMAC liquor outlets. The case was registered by Kullupadaiyachu, a panchayat leader, that the TASMAC outlets are selling the liquor at higher rates than the MRP.
In the plea, the petitioner said that based on the Liquor Retail Vending (in Shops and Bars) Rules, 2003, the outlets should sell the liquor at the prices fixed by the government. The plea sought a ban on selling liquor beyond the given MRP and for ordering TASMAC to display the menu with price.
The HC raised a series of questions in the case and sought the response of TASMAC authorities. The HC raised questions such as: Is the TASMAC selling the liquor at the price fixed by the government? Are receipts being given while selling liquor? Are rate lists displayed at all the liquor shops? What is the action being taken for overcharging liquor bottles?
Giving a response, TASMAC MD R Kirlosh Kumar said, there was no violation in the sale of liquor, and that it was only some employees who were found to be in violation of pricing rules. The price of liquor has been displayed at all the outlets. Surprise raids are also conducted to check in case the liquor bottles are sold at higher prices.
Employees found in violation are slapped with a fine between Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. The employees will also be transferred and if the practice continues, they are suspended and action is taken, the Managing Director informed in the court.
In the raid conducted between April 2019 and March 2020, the cases were registered for overcharging: 2,129 cases in Chennai, 1,487 cases in Coimbatore, 2,422 cases in Madurai, the MD said.
The petitioner sought time to respond to the TASMAC authorities. Based on this, the bench adjourned the case for two weeks.