MERA HAQ ETHEY RAKH: Filing a Consumer Complaint

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WHERE CAN YOU FILE A COMPLAINT ?

A complaint can be filed before a Consumer Court where the cause of action arises i.e. where your grievance arises, or where any of the parties being complained against, is situated or has a branch office.

If the value of the claim being made in the complaint does not exceed Rs. 20,00,000/-, then it is to be filed before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.

For Chandigarh, the address is : The President, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Plot No. 5-B, Madhya Marg, Sector 19, Chandigarh.

If the said value is above Rs. 20,00,000/- but not more than Rs. l,00,00,000/-(Rupees one crore) the complaint is to be filed with the concerned State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

For Chandigarh, the address is : The President, UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Plot No. 5-B, Madhya Marg, Sector 19, Chandigarh.

If the said value is above Rs. l,00,00,000/-(Rupees one crore), the complaint is to be filed with the National Commission at GPO Complex, INA Market, New Delhi.

When Can a Complaint Be Filed ?

Under the Act, a complaint can be made in the following circumstances:

  • ” If a trader has adopted any unfair/restrictive trade practice such as representing second-hand goods as new one.
  • “If the goods bought or agreed to be bought suffer from one or more defects i.e. any fault, imperfection, or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or the standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force, under any contract, express or implied, or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods;
  • “If the services suffer from deficiencies i.e. any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained.

Service includes service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electricity, boarding, lodging, housing construction, entertainment, medical, amusement or purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.

  • “If you have been charged a price in excess of the price fixed by or under any law, or displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods.

‘•”Goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used, are being offered for sale to the public in contravention of the provisions of any law, requiring traders to display in regard to the contents, manner and effect or use of such goods.

Defect‘, means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity’or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force under any contract, express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods;

Deficiency‘, means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.

Restrictive trade practice‘, means any trade practice which requires a consumer to buy, hire or avail of any goods or, as the case may be, services, as a condition precedent for buying, hiring or availing of any other goods or services;

Unfair trade practice‘, means a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice including any of the following practices, namely –

(1) the practice of making any statement, whether orally or in writing or by visible representation which –

(i)      falsely represents that the goods are of a particular standard,
quality, quantity, grade, composition, style or model;

(ii)     falsely represents that the services are of a particular standard,
quality or grade;

(iii)   falsely represents any re-built, second-hand, renovated, re-
conditioned or old goods as new goods;

(iv)    represents that the goods or services have sponsorship, approval,
performance, characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits which
such goods or services do not have;

(v)     represents that the seller or the supplier has a sponsorship or
approval or affiliation which such seller or supplier does not have;

(vi)    makes a false or misleading representation concerning the need
for, or the usefulness of, any goods or services;

(vii)  gives to the public any warranty or guarantee of the performance,
efficacy or length of life of a product or of any goods that is not
based on an adequate or proper test thereof:

Provided that where a defence is raised to the effect that such warranty or guarantee is based on adequate or proper test, the burden of proof of such defence shall lie on the person raising such defence;

(viii) makes to the public a representation in a form that purports to be-

  • a warranty or guarantee of a product or of any goods or services; or
  • a promise to replace, maintain or repair an article or any part thereof or to repeat or continue a service until it has achieved a specified result,

if such purported warranty or guarantee or promise is materially misleading or if there is no reasonable prospect that such warranty, guarantee or promise will be carried out;

(ix)    materially misleads the public concerning the price at which a
product, or like products or goods or service, have been or are, ordinarily
sold or provided, and, for this purpose, a representation as to price
shall be deemed to refer to the price at which the product or goods or
services has or have been sold by sellers or provided by suppliers
generally in the relevant market unless it is clearly specified to be the
price at which the product has been sold or services have been provided
by the person by whom or on whose behalf the representation is made;

(x)     gives false or misleading facts disparaging the goods, services or
trade of another person.

Explanation – For the purpose of clause (1), a statement that is –

  • expressed on an article offered or displayed for sale, or on its wrapper or container; or
  • expressed on anything attached to, inserted in, or accompanying, an article offered or displayed for sale, or on anything on which the article is mounted for display of sale; or
  • contained in or on anything that is sold, sent, delivered, transmitted or in any other manner whatsoever made available to a member of the public;

shall be deemed to be a statement made to the public by, and only by, the person who had caused the statement to be so expressed, made or contained;

(2) permits the publication of any advertisement whether in any newspaper or otherwise, for the sale or supply at a bargaining price, of goods or services that are not intended to be offered for sale or supply at the bargain price, or for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable, having regard to the nature of the market in which the business is carried on, the nature and size of business, and the nature of the advertisement.

Explanation – For the purpose of clause (2) “bargaining price” means –

(a) a price that is stated in any advertisement to be a bargain price, by reference to an ordinary price or otherwise; or

(b) a price that a person who reads, hears or sees the advertisement, would reasonably understand to be a bargain price having regard to the prices at which the product advertised or like products are ordinarily sold;

(3)     permits –

  • the offering of gifts, prizes or other items,-with the intention of not providing them as offered or creating impression that something is being given or offered free of charge when it is fully or partly covered by the amuont charged in the transaction as a whole;
  • the conduct of any contest, lottery, game of chance or skill, for the purposes of promoting, directly or indirectly, the sale, use or supply of any product or any business interest;
  • withholding from the participants of any scheme offering gifts, prizes, etc., the information about final results of the scheme.
  • permits the sale or supply of goods intended to be used, or are of a kind likely to be used, by consumers, knowing or having reason to believe that the goods do not comply with the standards prescribed by competent authority relating to performance, composition, contents, design, constructions, finishing or packaging as are necessary to prevent or reduce the risk of injury to the person using the goods;
  • permits the hoarding or destruction of goods, or refuses to sell the goods or to make them available for sale or to provide any service, if such hoarding or destruction or refusal raised or tends to raise or is intended to raise, the cost of those or other similar goods or services.
  • manufacture or sale of spurious goods or adopting deceptive practices in services.

Author’s Details:

Pankaj Chandgothia Advocate;

SCO 14-15, Sector 28 C, Chandigarh; Contact Number: 9501456699

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