Charging Rs 24.48 as GST from a consumer on a discounted shirt has cost a local outlet dear. The District Consumer Redressal Forum, Mohali, has not only directed the management of Brand Factory in Zirakpur to refund the excess amount charged from the customer, but also to pay him a compensation of Rs 2,000 for mental harassment and further Rs 2000 as cost of litigation. In September 2018, complainant Baljit Singh, a resident of Kharar, had purchased a shirt priced at Rs 999, inclusive of all taxes, which was being offered at a discount of 50 per cent. After paying the discounted price of Rs 499.50, he was charged additional 5 percent GST amounting to Rs 24.48. The complainant contended that the outlet had indulged in unfair trade practice since the original price was inclusive of taxes and consequently, the price of Rs 499.50 after discount also had to be inclusive of GST.
Besides refund of Rs 24.48 along with interest at the rate of 18 percent per annum, he had also demanded a compensation of Rs 25,000 for mental agony and harassment and litigation expenses of Rs 10,000. Observing that the practice of charging VAT or GST on the discounted price having MRP inclusive of all taxes has been deprecated by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi, as well as the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, in earlier cases, forum president GK Dhir and member Natasha Chopra ruled that the action on part of Brand Factory was unfair and issued directions to the opposite party for refund and compensation.