Another violation hits JW Marriott, Chandigarh; hotel fined Rs. 5L
Recently, actor Rahul Bose shared a video, voicing his concern of being charged an outrageous Rs. 442 for two bananas at the JW Marriott hotel, Sector 35. However, the tweet did more than just bring bad publicity to the hotel. Reportedly, the luxury hotel chain was not only fined for charging GST on fresh fruits, but an inspection into the matter found another violation.
A recent inspection at the JW Marriott found the establishment in possession of liquor bottles without the mandatory hologram. According to The Times of India, the excise department found 12 bottles of Chivas Regal, 10 of Cragganmore, seven of Rowson's Reserve, four of Clynelish and one of Antiquity without hologram. Notably, Rowson's Reserve is not permitted of sale by the excise department.
A department order, issued yesterday, reads, "Two brands of IFL (imported foreign liquor) were in the possession of the hotel, which are not approved by the department for the current policy year." The order directed the hotel to "either get approval of the said labels/brands"—purchased in 2012 and 2017—in accordance with Excise Policy, clause 10 or "destroy the liquor under the Punjab Excise Act."
The hotel also failed to produce the sales and stock register and inspection notebook at the time of probe, the excise department stated. Those were later produced during proceedings before the collector, but were reportedly found to not have been authenticated.
On July 22, Bose tweeted a video where he spoke up against being charged Rs 67.50 in taxes for the "fruit platter" comprising two bananas, raising the bill to Rs. 442. UT deputy commissioner Mandeep Singh Brar took suo motu cognizance of the matter, as fresh fruits are tax-free items. Brar ordered a probe and on July 25, a three-member committee inspected the hotel.
On July 27, the excise department fined JW Marriott Rs. 25,000 under section 125 of CGST Act and section 21 of UTGST act in connection with the Bose incident. Separately, the July 25 investigation unearthed the possession of liquor bottles without the mandatory hologram.
UT excise and taxation department additional commissioner, Rakesh Kumar Popli, who issued yesterday's order, also directed to file an FIR against Hotel Turquoise, Industrial and Business Park, Phase 2, for serving liquor to customers without valid licensing. The Punjab Store in Sector 9, Chandigarh, was also fined Rs. 50,000 for promoting liquor through signboard and failing to produce stock register during the inspection.