Service Charge, Service Tax and VAT on Restaurant/Hotel Bills !
This iste does yeoman service to inform and educate people on investments etc.
You can lodge a complaint with copy of bill with the local Service tax
Department if you are certain about being overcharged.
Generally in the star hotels or 3-star standalone restaurants, when the bill is raised for the consumption of food and services, it has three components viz. food charges, service charge and service tax. Depending on the government rules, few restaurants charge VAT in place of service tax.
Service charge is levied by hotels or restaurants for the maintenance of their facility. Generally it is not levied by the roadside eateries. Nevertheless, their services cannot be equated with the star hotels or their equivalent. Secondly, whether to levy service charge or not is a call of the owner of the restaurant of the hotel. Customer or consumer of the services is expected to apprise himself/herself on the total components of bill value. Raising the objections after availing of the services is legally untenable.
Why raise objections on the service charge alone? You may raise the objections on the food charges itself. However, how much to charge is purely a call of the owner of the hotel. Customer cannot raise objection on raising the exorbitant charges. The eateries at the airports also have astronomical charges. Whether to pay the charges or not is a call of the user. Nobody forces him/her to avail of the services.
Because of the word "service", it appears that you have confused between the concept of "Service Tax" and "Service Charge". Former is levied by the government and latter by the owner. Beyond the common word "service", there is no commonality between the two.
When MRP of a mineral water bottle was Rs 15/- a customer had raised objection for charging it for Rs 50+ South India Hotels & Restaurants Association (SIHRA) has clarified several times that the hotels or restaurants can charges excess amount to provide the services.