Case: – Gurtej Singh v/s Hotel International; Complaint Case No. 477 of 2020
In a recent ruling by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Ferozepur, a case was filed by Gurtej Singh against Hotel International alleging that he and a friend visited Hotel International for a meal on November 24, 2020. The grievance arose when the hotel charged an additional service tax on a bottle of mineral water and a cold drink, both of which were ordered alongside meals. The complainant contended that the extra charge was unjust and amounted to a deficiency in service and unfair trade practice.
The hotel, represented by its proprietor or authorized signatory, responded to the complaint, denying any wrongful charge and presenting preliminary objections. The case proceeded with both parties presenting evidence and arguments before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Upon careful examination of the evidence and legal arguments, the Commission found merit in Gurtej Singh’s complaint. The Commission observed that the hotel had wrongly and illegally charged GST on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of the mineral water and cold drink, both of which already included all taxes. The hotel’s justification, citing a Supreme Court judgment, was deemed inapplicable to the case.
The Commission partially allowed the complaint, directing the hotel to refund the excess GST charged on the mineral water and cold drink. Additionally, the hotel was ordered to pay Rs. 3,000 as compensation for mental agony, harassment, and litigation expenses. The total amount was to be paid with 6% interest per annum from the filing of the complaint until realization, within 45 days.
This ruling reaffirms that consumers have the right to challenge unjust charges and can seek compensation for mental agony and harassment caused by such practices.

Author of this article:
Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate

Connect with Mr. Bhatt on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adit-ravishbhatt/

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