Charging Rs 10 extra from a customer has weighed heavy on the pocket of Sector-17 based The Gulatis, that has been directed by the district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, to pay punitive damages of Rs 10,000.
Coming down heavily on the shop, the consumer forum presided over by Rajan Dewan also directed the shop to return Rs 10 to the complainant, and pay a compensation of Rs 3,000, besides Rs 2,500 as litigation cost.
The punitive damages of Rs 10,000 would be deposited by the shop in favour of the “Consumer Legal Aid account” maintained in the name of secretary, State Commission, Chandigarh.
In his complaint, Pankaj Saini, a resident of Sector 14, Chandigarh, submitted that he, along with his wife, had purchased a sari from The Gulatis, Sector 17, Chandigarh, on November 9, 2014.
He said after the payment of the bill, the shop owner retained the sari to fix fall, free of cost.
On reaching home, when Saini checked he found that the shop owner had charged him Rs 10,995 instead of Rs 10,985, the maximum retail price (MRP) of the sari.
When Saini questioned the shop owner about the overcharging, the latter replied that the MRP barcode was scanned by the computer, which automatically picked the amount for the bill.
When Saini requested for a refund, it was denied citing that goods once sold would neither be returned nor refunded. So he brought back the sari without getting the fall fixed.
On the other hand, The Gulatis, denied any overcharging, and claimed the Rs 10 were charged for fixing fall on the sari.
Dismissing the plea of the shop owner, the forum held, “The submissions are not acceptable in the eye of law, as on the bill issued itself there is no mention regarding charging Rs 10 towards fall work. In such a situation, we find weight in the assertion of the complainant that the fall work was to be carried out free of cost. Thus selling the sari for more than the value mentioned on its price tag is highly unscrupulous, unfair trade practice and also deficiency in service.”
Commenting on the punitive damages imposed, the forum said, “The punitive damages are imposed as a deterrent for others against indulging in such kind of illegal activities.”