Consumer Rights: Court directed Restaurant to pay ₹15000 compensation to man for charging ₹2 GST on curd

The assistant commissioner for State GST (SGST) in the commercial tax department, Tirunelveli, also has equal responsibility to pay the amount as the official failed to take action against the hotel when the consumer took it to the notice of the official.The consumer C Maharaja of Dharapuram in Tirunelveli district purchased curd for ₹40 from Hotel Annapoorna located near the district court on the Tiruchendur Road on Feb 6.He was asked to pay ₹44 including ₹1 as GST and ₹1 as SGST and ₹2 for packing charges.Counsel A Brammanayagam, who appeared for the consumer, said that the consumer took it up with one of the owners of restaurant.Maharaja argued with him that curd was exempted from GST and it was unfair to collect GST for the same. Responding to the consumer, the partner who was at the billing counter stated that GST for the product was fed in the computer and he could not do anything about it.
As the consumer questioned charging the packing charge, the person concerned humiliated him, asking him to leave without the curd if he was unhappy over the purchase.“The consumer then took it up with the assistant commissioner (SGST) in the commercial tax department, demanding action against the restaurant and stop GST collection for the exempted item. But despite confirming that curd is exempted, the official told the consumer that he has been many such complaints over collection of GST and that he would not be able to do anything about it,” Brammanayagam said.Maharaja approached the district consumer disputes redressal forum in Tirunelveli which served notices to the restaurant owner and the assistant commissioner. But no effort was taken by both the respondents to disprove the charges or justify their act.Forum President K Devadass and members S Sivanmoorthi and M Muthulakshmi on Tuesday observed the GST collection as well as packing charge as lapse of service.They also directed them to pay ₹15,004. It includes ₹10,000 as compensation for causing mental agony to the consumer, ₹5,000 as case handling charges for the consumer and the ₹4 to be refunded to him.Directing them to make the payment in one month, the forum said they should pay it along with an interest of 6% in case of delay.

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