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Consumer Forum Complaint

Why it was required                                                 Complaint Sample   FAQ

The industrial revolution and the development in the international trade and commerce has led to the vast expansion of business and trade, as a result of which a variety of consumer goods have appeard in the market to cater to the needs of the consumer and host of services like insurance, transport, electricity, housing, infrastructure, finance, banking and inertainment.  The adversitsements of goods and servicesin television, newspapers and magazines influence the demand for the same by the consumers though there may be manufaturing defeacts or imperfections or short comings in the quality, quantity and the purity of the goods or there may be deficiency in the services rendered.  It became necessary to rotect the consumers from the expoitation and to save them from adulterated and sub-standard goods and services and to safe guard the interesst of the consumers.  In other to provide for better protection of the intereestes of the consumer  the Consumer Protection Act inacted by the Parliament.

If a consumer has any complaint he may file his complaint with the Consumer Forum.

 “complaint” means any allegation in writing made by a complain­ant that—

(i)          an unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider;

(ii)         the goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him; suffer from one or more defects;

(iii)        the services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect;

(iv)        a trader or service provider, as the case may be,  has charged for the goods or for the service mentioned in the com­plaint a price in excess of the price –

(a)  fixed by or under any law for the time being in force

(b)  displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods ;

(c)  displayed on the price list exhibited by him by or under any law for the time being in force;

(d)    agreed between the parties;

(v)         goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used or being offered for sale to the public,–

(A)  in contravention of any standards relating to  safety of such goods as required to be complied with, by or under any law for the time being in force;

(B)    if the trader could have known with due diligence that the goods so offered are unsafe to the public;

(vi)        services which are hazardous or likely to be hazardous to life and safety of the public when used, are being offered by the service provider which such person could have known with due diligence to be injurious to life and safety;”;

 Section 12 of the Act say: Manner in which complaint shall be made.—(1) A complaint in relation to any goods sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or any service provided or agreed to be provided may be filed with a District Forum by –

(a)  the consumer to whom such goods are sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or such service provided or agreed to be provided;

(b)  any recognised consumer association whether the consumer to whom the goods sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or service provided or agreed to be provided is a member of such association or not;

(c)  one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest, with the permission of the District Forum, on behalf of, or for the benefit of, all consumers so interested; or

(d)  the Central Government or the State  Government, as the case may be,  either in its individual capacity or as a representative of interests of the consumers in general. 

(2)   Every complaint filed under sub-section (1) shall be accompanied with such amount of fee and payable in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3)   On receipt of a complaint made under sub-section (1), the District Forum may, by order, allow the complaint to be proceeded with or rejected:

Provided that a complaint shall not be rejected under this section unless an opportunity of being heard has been given to the complainant:

Provided further that the admissibility of the complaint shall ordinarily be decided within twenty-one days from the date on which the complaint was received.

(4)   Where a complaint is allowed to be proceeded with under sub-section (3), the District Forum may proceed with the complaint in the manner provided under this Act:

Provided that where a complaint has been admitted by the District Forum, it shall not be transferred to any other court or tribunal or any authority set up by or under any other law for the time being in force.

Explanation. –  For the purpose of this section “recognised consumer association” means any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or any other law for the time being in force”.

Jurisdiction of the Agencies:

District Forum: Complaints where the value of the goods or sercies and the compensation, if any, cclaimed  does not exceed rupees twenty lakhs.

State Commission : (i)Complaints where the value of the goods or sercies and the compensation, if any, cclaimed   exceeds rupees twenty lakhs but does not exceed rupee one crore; and

(ii) Appeals against the orders of any District Forum within the State.

National Commission : (a)  to entertain—

(i)   complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds rupees one crore; and

(ii)  appeals against the orders of any State Commission; and

 (b) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any con­sumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

Fee Structure for filing the case:

SI. No. Total Value of goods or services and the compensation claimed (in ) Amount of fee payable
District Forum
1 Upto one lakh rupees – For complainants who are Below Poverty Line holding Antyodaya Anna Yojana Cards Nil
2 Upto one lakh rupees – For complainants     other than Antyodaya Anna Yojana card holders. 100
3 Above one lakh and upto five lakh rupees 200
4 Above five lakh and upto ten lakh rupees 400
5 Above ten lakh and upto twenty lakh rupees 500
State Commission
6 Above twenty lakh and upto fifty lakh rupees 2000
7 Above fifty lakh and upto one crore rupees 4000
National Commission
8 Above one crore rupees 5000

What Do I Put In My Complaint?
Is There A Fee For Filing A Complaint?
Is There Any Time Limit For Filing A Complaint?

Your complaint has to be clear, definite and precise. All your facts and documentation must be in order. You will have to include –

(a) A cause-title.
(b) The complaint should, if possible have a heading
(c) The name, description and address of the complainant. (your name)
(d) The name, description and address of the opposite party or parties as the case may be, so far as they can be ascertained.
(e) The facts relating to the complaint and when and where it arose.
(f) How the opposite parties are liable to be proceeded against and why are they answerable or accountable to this petition.
(g) Copies of documents in support of the allegations contained in the petition. Complainants are advised to keep copies of the complaint / petition and all furnished documents for their records. A list of documents should also be furnished along with the complaint, duly signed by you.
(h) You would also need to state how the case falls within the jurisdiction of the tribunal-whether the opposite party resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain within the jurisdiction of the forum or whether the cause of action (damaged goods or deficient service) arose within the Forum’s jurisdiction.
(i) You are also entitled to claim the costs of your complaint from the opposite party. Hence include that amount in your complaint.

Q.   Is There Any Time Limit For Filing A Complaint?

Ans.  Yes, the time limit is within two years from the date on which the cause of action arises. This would mean two years from the day the deficiency in service or defect in goods has arisen/ detected.

Q.    Is There A Fee For Filing A Complaint?

Ans.    Yes, as mentioned above.

Q.    Can This Time Limit Ever Be Extended ?

Ans.    Yes. But only under certain Circumstances. If the time limit expires but you are still able to satisfy the Forum or Commission about the reasonableness in the delay, your complaint can still be taken up. However, the delay for every single day has to be explained.

The Nodal Agency for Consumer Protection : The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)

Website of the Department: http://consumeraffairs.nic.in

Website of the NDRC : http://ncdrc.nic.in/

State Commisssion : http://ncdrc.nic.in/statelist.html

District Forums : http://ncdrc.nic.in/districtlist.html

 

 

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