Mohali, October 29
Charging Rs 11.97 as value added tax (VAT) on a discounted item has cost the Lifestyle store at VR Punjab Mall, Mohali, dear as the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mohali, has directed it to pay Rs 4,000 as compensation to the customer.
Charging of VAT on the discounted price was an unfair trade practice, the complainant, Raman, a resident of Mani Majra, Chandigarh, had claimed.
In his plea, Raman stated that he had purchased a product, “men FC cushion”, from the opposite party (OP) having an MRP of Rs 399, inclusive of all taxes. The customer claimed that he was offered 40 per cent discount following which the discounted payable price was Rs 239.40. The shopkeeper added Rs 11.97 as 5 per cent VAT in the bill and the complainant had to pay Rs 252 on the purchase, which he had made on June 27 last year. In its reply, the OP pleaded that the complaint was false, frivolous and vexatious due to which it was not maintainable. The OP claimed that the words “VAT extra” were clearly mentioned in all its advertisements and marketing material and the tax (VAT) was a statutory liability on them.
After hearing both parties, the forum directed the OP not only to refund the excess amount of Rs 11.97 charged by it along with 6 per cent interest per annum with effect from June 27 till the time of payment, but also to pay a compensation of Rs 2,000 for mental agony and harassment along with litigation expenses of Rs 2,000 to the complainant. The OP has been directed to pay the compensation and litigation expenses within 30 days from the date of receipt of a certified copy of the order. —TNS
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