Filing a Complaint
- There is a nominal Court Fees for filing a complaint. Even an affidavit does not require to be on stamp papers. It can be self-attested. A complaint can be sent by post to the Consumer Court or presented in person by the complainant or his authorised agent.
- Court fee as per table below has to be paid alongwith filing of complaint. It can be paid in the form of Indian Postal Order or Demand Draft in favour of the prescribed authority.
Upto Five lakh rupees – NIL Fees.
Above Five Lakhs and Upto Ten lakh rupees – Rs. 200/-
Above ten lakh and Upto Twenty lakh rupees – Rs. 400/-
Above twenty lakhs and upto fifty lakh rupees – Rs. 2000/-
Above fifty lakh and upto one crore rupees – Rs. 4000/-
Above one crore rupees – Rs. 5000/-
- Three copies of the complaint alongwith annexures/affidavits are to be filed for the court purposes plus as many copies as there are opposite parties. Keep one copy for the purposes of your records.
- Upon finding a prima-facie case in your favour, the court issues notice to the opposite parties and then decides the complaint on the basis of evidence and documents presented by all the parties.
Reliefs which can be granted
- Removal of defects from the goods.
- Replacement of the goods.
- Refund of the price/charges paid.
- Award of Compensation for the loss or injury suffered.
- Remove the defects in goods or deficiencies in service.
- Putting an end to the unfair/restrictive trade practice.
- Prohibiting the sale of hazardous goods/services.
- Awarding monetary costs to the parties.
- Grant punitive damages
- To stop misleading advertisement and issue correct one.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum can pass interim order in aid and assistance to the principal relief, if there is a strong prima facie case, looking to the balance of convenience and inconvenience and possibility of irreparable loss, to one party by the act of the other.
Any person who is not satisfied by an order made by the District Forum may prefer an appeal against such order to the State Commission within a period of 30 days from the date of the order. The State Commission may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.
Besides hearing original complaints and appeals, the State Commission also has power to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or.has been decided by any District Forum within the State. Such power can be exercised where it appears to the State Commission that such District Forum has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.
Appeals to National Commission
Any person aggrieved by an order made by the State Commission in the exercise of its original jurisdiction, may prefer an appeal against such order to the National Commission. Such appeal shall be made within a period of 30 days from the date of the order. It shall be in such form and manner as may be prescribed. National Commission may, however, entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.
If the case has come up in appeal to the State Commission from the District Forum, then instead of appeal, a revision petition is to be filed before the National Commission.
Jurisdiction of the National Commission
Jurisdiction of the National Commission is as under :
(1) It can entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceed Rs. 1 crore;
- It can entertain appeals / revision petitions against the orders of any State Commission; and,
- It can 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 failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.
Appeals to Supreme Court
An appeal against the order of the National Commission can lie to the Supreme Court. Such an appeal can be only in respect of the powers exercised by the National Commission under Section 21(a) (i), i.e., when the National Commission is exercising original jurisdiction in respect of complaints, where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceed rupees 1 crore. An appeal to the Supreme Court can be made within a period of 30 days from the date of the order of the National Commission. However, the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filling the appeal within the above said time limit.
Finality of orders (Sec. 24)
Where no appeal has been filed against the order of the District Forum, State Commission or the National Commission, the same shall be final.
Limitation period – (Sec. 24 A)
Section 24 A is a new provision, inserted by the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act, 1993, w.e.f. 18.6.1993. It prescribes a period of limitation within which a complaint can be filed. The provision is as under :
- The District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission shall not admit a complaint unless it is filed within two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen.
- A complaint may, however, be entertained after the period specified above in sub section (1) if the complainant satisfies the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be,that he had sufficient cause for not filing the complaint within such period.
Provided that no such complaint shall be entertained unless the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, records its reasons for condoning such delay.