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Charging GST on discounted items an ‘unfair trade practice’
The Tribune, May 21, 2019

Forum asks retail outlet to refund excess amount.

Charging GST on the discounted price of the product having MRP inclusive of all taxes is an unfair trade practice.

This was stated by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum while directing a retail outlet to refund the excess amount charged to the customer.

Complainant Ankush Kumar, a resident of Sector 27-C, Chandigarh, had purchased six items on September 29, 2018 from Brand Factory, Cosmo Plaza, Zirakpur, Mohali, having MRP (inclusive of all taxes) of Rs 2,995, Rs 2,299, Rs 1,895, Rs 1,899, Rs 399 and Rs 399. After giving discount of 50 per cent on these items, payable price was Rs 4,714.60, but the outlet charged GST amount of Rs 485.50 on the discounted price.

The complainant sought refund of the excess paid amount of Rs 485.50 with interest and compensation of Rs 25,000 for deficiency in service, Rs 25,000 for mental agony and harassment and Rs 15,000 as litigation expenses.

However, nobody appeared on behalf of the opposite party. Therefore, it was proceeded ex-parte. Perusal of invoice shows that after giving discount of 50 per cent, the payable discounted price was Rs 4,714.60. But after charging GST of Rs 485.50, an amount of Rs 5,200.18 was charged from the complainant.

“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 by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh. So, the practice of charging GST on the discounted price of the product having MRP inclusive of all taxes in this case certainly is an unfair trade practice,” observed the forum.

The forum allowed the complaint ex-parte with direction to Brand Factory to refund the excess charged amount of Rs 485.50 with interest at 6 per cent per annum with effect from September 29, 2018 till payment.

The forum also directed the opposite party to pay a compensation of Rs 2,000 for mental agony and harassment and Rs 2,000 as litigation expenses to the complainant. Payment of amount of compensation and litigation expenses be made within 30 days from the date of receipt of certified copy of the order

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