As per Rule 26 of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, fast food items packed by Restaurant or hotel etc are exempted from the labelling requirement Rule. A reading of the Legal Metrology Act and the Packaged Commodities Rules shows that only in respect of packages/ packaged commodities there is an obligation to put details of MRP, net quantity and consumer helpline no. As per Rule 7, such packaged commodities have to display panel with the details.
Again, the definition of the term ‘pre-packed commodity’ in Section 2(l) that it is ‘a commodity which is placed in a package of whatever nature without the purchaser being present. This Section necessarily excludes fast food items and beverages which are sold in the open, in a non-packaged form, and which are served in containers such as paper/plastic plates, paper etc., and items that can be customised on the spot for sale according to the preferences of the customer. So, bearing the label as per the packaged commodities Rule is not mandatory for unpackaged fast food items sold by hotel, restaurants or multiplexes.
For instance, the Department of Legal Metrology, Telangana directed the Multiplex Association of India to fix stickers on non-packaged food items sold by them and also showcase the same on the display board to indicate the weight, volume or measures. Additionally, a consumer helpline number should be displayed. But the Hyderabad High Court has restrained the authorities from forcing members of the Multiplex Association of India to fix stickers on non-packaged food items sold by them.
However, the High Court held that it is desirable in the interest of the consumer that multiplexes may display prominently on the menu board at the points of sale the price per standard unit of weights or measures or numerals or multiples thereof and also indicate the same in the sales invoice or bill issued to the customer of the non-packaged commodities.