The district consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered popular apparel store, Being Human, to pay a penalty of Rs 6,000 for causing mental and physical harassment for illegally charging value added tax (VAT) of `44.97 over the sale of a discounted T-shirt.
The forum has asked the store, located inside the Elante Mall, Industrial Area Phase 1, to pay Rs 3,000 as compensation, Rs 3,000 as litigation cost besides paying the VAT amount of Rs 44.97 to the complainant, Sorabh Sharma, a resident of SAS Nagar.
The forum, in its order, maintained that no one can charge beyond the maximum retail price (MRP), as “it includes all taxes, including VAT, and hence other taxes cannot be charged separately”. Sorabh had averred that he purchased a T-shirt from the store under a promotional offer at a discount of 40%.
He said the MRP was Rs 1,499 which was inclusive of all taxes. He claimed that after giving 40% discount, he was charged Rs 944 for the T-shirt and an amount of `44.97 was also added to his bill as VAT on Rs 1,499.
Sorabh claimed that despite raising objection over the illegal VAT on the discounted product, he was made to pay the amount.
The store officials, however, maintained that they were entitled to charge VAT.