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Principal Commissioner, Director-General of Anti-Profiteering vs. Sri Laxmi Kala Mandir 70MM Theatre

Issues: Since, no penalty provisions were in existence between the period from 01.01.2019 to 30.09.2019 when the Respondent had violated the provisions of Section 171 (1), the penalty prescribed under Section 171 (3A) can not be imposed on the Respondent retrospectively.

The DGAP submitted its report after a detailed investigation under Rule 129 and reported that the allegation of profiteering by way of increasing the base prices of the admission tickets (Services) by way of not reducing the selling prices of the admission tickets (Services) commensurately, despite the rate reduction in GST rate on supply w.e.f. 01.01.2019, appeared to be correct. The total amount of profiteering during the period 01.01.2019 to 30.09.2019, was Rs. 1,31,754/-. The Authority observed the Respondent has profiteered by way of increasing the base prices of his supplies of the three categories of movie tickets. The Respondent has not passed on the benefit amounting to Rs. 1,31,754 to his customers.

Held: The NAA directed the Respondent to deposit the profiteered amount of Rs. 1,31,754/- along with the interest to be calculated @ 18%, in two equal parts, in the Central Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF) and the Telangana State CWF. The provisions of Section 171 (3A) have been inserted in the Act, 2017 and the same became operational w.e.f. 01.01.2020. Therefore, the penal provisions under Section 171 (3A) are not applicable in this case.