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Before the enactment of the consumerProtection Act,1986 a person aggrieved by thedefective goods or deficiency in service had toapproach the ordinary civil court to get hisgrievances redressed The proceeding in the ordinary civil court isvery complex , expensive and time consuming .In Order to give more protection to the interestof consumers of goods and service theparliament enacted the consumer ProtectionAct 1986.
The law relating to consumer protection iscontained in the Consumer Protection Act ,1986. The Consumer Protection Act-1986 &enforced from 10 th June 1987 in India Aimedat providing simple, quick, and cheaperprotection of consumers interest.
Aims of Consumer Protection Act 1986 (Confermore protection and speedy remedy to consumersof goods and services)• Establishment of “Consumer Disputes RedressalForum” (District forum)• Establishment of “Consumer Disputes Redressalcommission” (State commission)• Establishment of National Consumer DisputesRedressal Commission” (National commission)• Establishment of a “ Central Consumer ProtectionCouncil ” for promoting and protecting the rightsof the consumers.
Consumer of Goods• A person who has purchased goods for aconsideration.• The consideration may be paid or promised topay or partly paid or partly promised.• A person who has purchased goods under asystem of deferred payment is also a consumer.
Consumer of Service• A person who has hired or availed of anyservice for consideration.• Consideration may be paid or promised to payor partly paid.• A person who has hired or availed of anyservice under system of deferred payment.
Better protection of interests of consumersProtection of rights of consumers. Right to be protected against marketing ofgoods or services which are hazardous to lifeand property. To be informed about the quality, quantity,purity, standard and price of goods orservices so as to protect the consumers againstunfair trade practices.
The right to be assured, where ever possible,access to goods andservices at competitive prices. The right to be heard and to be assured thatconsumers interest will receive dueconsideration at appropriate forums. The right to seek redresses against unfair tradepractices or exploitation of consumers.
The Act applies to whole India except Jammu& Kashmir. Every State has its own set of rules. It is divided in 4 chapters & 31 sections. Applies to all type of goods and services,public utilities & public sector undertakings. All types of complains relating to goods, unfairtrade practice. A suit pending in civil court cannot be heard inconsumer court. (No parallel litigation)
The consumer to whom the goods are sold ordelivered, or agreed to be sold are delivered ,or the service has been provided, or agreed tobe provided Any recognized consumer association,regardless of whether the consumer is amember of such association or not. (e.g. classaction suit)
One or more consumer , where there arenumerous consumer having the same interestwith permission of the district forum on behalfof or for the benefit of allconsumer so interested. The state or central govt . either its individualcapacity or as a representative of the interest ofthe consumer in general.
Under Section 9 of the Act consumer can file acomplaint before the District forum. District forum is headed by District judge, hehas jurisdiction over the district. State Commission is headed by Judge of HighCourt, he has jurisdiction over the whole State. National Commission is headed by ChiefJustice of India, he has jurisdiction over theentire Nation.
In District Forum if the cost of goods orservices and compensation asked for is up toRs. 20 Lakhs and cause of action arose there orwhere the Opposite Party resides or runs theirbusiness or has a branch office; In State Commission if the cost of goods orservices and compensation asked for is morethan Rs. 20 Lakhs and less than Rs. 1 Crore andcause of action arose there or where theOpposite Party resides or runs their business orhas a branch office;
In National Commission of the cost of goods orservices and compensation is more than Rs. 1Crore and cause of action arose there or wherethe Opposite Party resides or runs theirbusiness or has a branch office.
Send a notice to the Opposite Party giving him timelimit to settle your grievance. Prepare the consumer complaint in the required format Get the complaint affidavit notarized through a notary. Make required number of photocopies after notarizing.[4+ no. of Opposite Parties] Prepare a bank draft from a nationalized bank to paycourt fee. Submit the complaint and court fee to the receivingclerk in the consumer court who will give you the datefor admission hearing and complaint reference numbernumber.
On admission hearing, you would be informedwhether your case is fit for acceptance or not. Ifaccepted, you will be given the date for nexthearing. The court will send a notice with your complaintcopy to the opposite party seeking reply within 30days, and asking him to attend the hearing. Where complaint alleges a defect in the goodswhich cannot be determined without properanalysis, the forum/commission shall send it tothe laboratory to find out whether there is anydefect in it or not?
The hearings will continue till the matter isdecided. The proceedings ideally should be decided in90 days. The courts final order will be sent to all theparties by registered post.[Please note: It is important to attend thehearings, else the matter may be decided ex-party onthe merits of the case.]
If you are not satisfied with the judgementfrom the District consumer forum, you canappeal to the State and then to the Nationalcommission within 30 days of receiving theorder. In short from:- District Forum to State Commission- State Commission to National Commission- National Commission to Supreme Court
Section 24A of the Act provides that aconsumer dispute can be filed within 2 yearsfrom the date on which the cause of actionarises. Appeals are required to be filed within 30 daysfrom the date of receipt of the court’s order.
Fee for District Forum:- Up to Rs. 1 Lakh = Rs. 100/-- Above Rs. 1 Lakh but less than Rs. 5 Lakh =Rs. 200/-- Above Rs. 5 Lakh but less than Rs. 10 Lakh =Rs. 400/-- Above Rs. 10 Lakh but less than Rs. 20 Lakh =Rs. 500/-
S.No. Total Value Of Goods Or Services And TheCompensation ClaimedAmount Of Fee Payable(1) (2) (3)District Forum1. Upto One Lakh Rupees – For Complainants Who AreUnder The Below Poverty Line Holding AntyodayaAnna Yojna CardsNil2. Upto One Lakh Rupees – For Complainants Other ThanAntyodaya Anna Yojna Card HoldersRs.1003. Above One Lakh And Upto Five Lakh Rupees Rs.2004. Above Five Lakhs And Upto Ten Lakh Rupees Rs.4005. Above Ten Lakhs And Upto Twenty Lakh Rupees Rs.500State Commission6. Above Twenty Lakh And Upto Fifty Lakh Rupees Rs.20007. Above Fifty Lakh And Upto One Crore Rupees Rs.4000National Commission8. Above One Crore Rupees Rs.5000
Replacement of defective goods Refund of price paid for defectivegood/services Removal of deficiency in service Refund of extra money charge Withdrawal of goods hazardous to life Compensation for the loss due to negligence ofopposite party.
If trader fails to follow the order passed by theforum then he shall be punishable withimprisonment for a term from 1 month up to 3years or with fine from Rs. 2000/- up to Rs.10,000/- or with both.