Brand Factory store in Mohali mall to pay Rs 1.6 lakh fine in 5 cases of unfair trade practice
The district consumer disputes redressal commission, Mohali, on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 1.6 lakh on Brand Factory, a clothing store at a mall in Zirakpur, in five cases of unfair trade practice. The complainants had alleged that the store was arbitrarily charging goods and services tax (GST) and using misleading advertisements.
In all five cases, notices were issued to Brand Factory, but no one turned up even after 30 days, following which a fine of Rs 32,000 was imposed in each case. The store is to pay Rs 7,000 to the complainant and Rs 25,000 to the legal-aid fund of the commission in each case.
Commission president Sanjiv Dutt Sharma said that it is a clear admission on the part of owners of Brand factory that they have arbitrarily charged GST from the complainant by adopting unfair trade practice and have also committed deficiency in service.
In the first case, Anuj Mehta, a resident of Phase-5, Mohali, had alleged that he had purchased a pair of socks from the store. The MRP of the product was Rs.169, inclusive of all taxes, and there was a 30% discount on it. It is alleged that he was to pay only Rs.118.2, but instead of charging this amount, the owners added 5% GST and charged him Rs 124 for the product. Despite repeated requests by the customer, no clarification was provided by the shop owner. It was therefore alleged that it was a case of misleading advertisement and unfair trade practice.
In the second case, Anuj Mehta alleged that he bought a T-shirt, the MRP of which was Rs.399, inclusive of all taxes. The T-shirt had a 50% discount on it, which meant he was to pay only Rs 199.49. But instead of charging this amount, the store owner added 5% GST and charged him Rs 209.
In the third case, Sumeet Singh, a resident of Gillco Valley, Sector 127, Kharar, alleged that he also bought a T-shirt from the same clothing store. The MRP of the shirt was Rs.399, inclusive of all taxes, and there was a 50% discount on it. He was made to pay Rs.209 by adding 5% GST.
In the fourth case, Summet Singh alleged that he purchased handkerchiefs that had an MRP of Rs 299, inclusive of all taxes. With a 60% discount, he was to pay only Rs 119.60 but he was charged Rs.126.
In the fifth case, Summet alleged that he was charged Rs 146 for a pair of socks that would have cost him only Rs 139 had the store not arbitrarily charged a GST of 5%.