Delhi HC allows Samsonite to deposit GST profiteered sum in six EMIs

Topics Delhi High Court | Samsonite | GST

The National Anti-profiteering Authority had imposed a fine of Rs 25.74 crore on Samsonite India
In a first, the Delhi High Court has allowed Samsonite India, a company engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling travel bags, to deposit the goods and services tax (GST) profiteered amount in a staggered manner in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Experts feel that this will form a precedent, paving the way for more such petitions from companies.

The Court has allowed Samsonite to pay the principle profiteered amount if Rs 21.81 crore in six equated monthly installments the consumer welfare funds of Centre and states.

"...the  Court keeping in view the Covid-19 pandemic situation, directs the petitioner to deposit the principal 
profiteered amount i.e. Rs 21,81,20,748/- (i.e. Rs 25,73,82,482/- minus Rs 3,92,61,734/-) in six equated monthly instalments...", the order said.

The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) had imposed a fine of Rs 25.74 crore on Samsonite India, for allegedly not reducing prices of its products after the GST Council reduced the tax rates from 28 per cent to 18 per cent in December, 2017.

The company was also asked to pay 18 per cent interest rate for the period between the amount collected by it from customers and the amount of profiteering deposited. 

NAA asked Samsonite to pay half the amount --Rs 12.87 crore to the Central consumer welfare fund  and the other half to the consumer welfare funds of the 33 states and union territories. 

Rahat Mohan, partner, AMRG Associates said this petition would be taken as a precedent and other companies are also likely to move respective high courts and pray for a staggered payment of profiteered amount, further denting the consumer welfare fund coffers.

While the complaint was lodged against company for profiteering on specific product -- American Tourister Sky Tracer HL Blue 68-cm Hard Trolley -- the Director General of Anti-Profiteering expanded its probe into other products of the company as well.

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