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Legal FAQs

Any person who can be termed as a consumer under the Act can make a complaint. The following are the persons who can file a complaint under the Act :a consumer; or any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or under any other law in force, or the Central Government or any State Government, one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest

You would have to check where the jurisdiction would lie and then ascertain the value of the claim. You will have to file your complaint depending upon the amount of money or compensation you want from the opposite party for the deficient service he has provided you or for the defective product that you have been sold.

Pecuniary Jurisdiction
In cases where the value of goods and services involved is less than Rs. 20 Lakhs in value, you will have to file the complaint in the District Forum constituted in the specified districts of a State.
In cases where the value of goods and services involved is more than Rs. 20 Lakhs in value but does not exceed Rs 1 crore you will have to file the complaint with the State Commission constituted in the capital cities of the different states In cases where the value of goods and services involved is more than 1 crore in value then you can file a complaint with the National Commission which has been constituted only in New Delhi.
Territorial Jurisdiction.
The jurisdiction of the complaint is determined by the facts of the case and where the cause of action arises. Further, when you file a complaint, the area in which the opposite party resides or carries on his work or business will also have to be taken into consideration by you. This means that if you are filing a complaint against a service provider for a sum below 20 lakhs you would have to approach the District Forum in the jurisdiction where the cause of action arose. If the matter is above 20 lakhs but below 1 crore then it would be filed in the State Commission within which State the trader/ service provider/ manufacturer is located in the state in which the trader resides or works in. These two factors will have to be kept in mind while filing your complaint. The cause of action for an e-commerce purchase can be the place from where the order was placed.

There are consumer forums at the District, State and National level. The District Forums are headed by the person who is or has been or is eligible to be appointed as a District Judge and the State Commissions are headed by a person who is or has been a Judge of High Court. The National Commission is headed by a sitting or retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India.

The jurisdiction of other courts to hear consumer disputes is not excluded. This is because the Parliament of India felt it was necessary to have an efficient & convenient mechanism to address and resolve the various consumer complaints across the country. As a result it created a three-tier remedial machinery for the inexpensive and quick disposal of consumer complaints. As these forums only deal with consumer complaints/issues and nothing else, all their time can be devoted to addressing consumers complaints.

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

As per sect. 2(!)(g) of the Act, the deficiency means any fault, imperfection,shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality,nature and manner of performance n rendering any service required to be maintained under any law, contract or otherwise.

As per sect. 2(1)(nnn) o the Act, restrictive trade practice means any trade practice which tends to bring about manipulation of price of goods or services or their conditions of delivery or flow of supplies insuch a manner as to impose on the consumers unjustified costs or retrictions It also includes delay beyond the period agreed to by a trader in supply of such goods or in providing the services which has led or is likely to lead to rise in the price;any trade practice which requires a consumer to buy, hire or avail of any goods or ,as the case may be, services as condition precedent to buying, hiring, availing of other goods or services

A) Under the original un-amended Act of 1986, no requirement of payment of Court-fee or any other formal procedure of Court was contemplated. However, after the amendment of 2002, there is a nominal fee you may have to pay for filing a complaint. For example in the District Forum located in Delhi the fee structure is as follows –
Up to 1 Lakh – Rs.100
1 Lakh & above but less that 5 Lakhs – Rs.200
5 Lakhs & above but less that 10 Lakhs – Rs.400
10 Lakhs & above but less that 20 Lakhs – Rs. 500
You will have to pay the specified fee in the form of a crossed demand draft drawn on a nationalized bank or through a crossed Indian Postal Order in Favour of the Registrar of the State Commission & payable where it is situated. The concerned District Forum shall deposit the amount so received.

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.

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

No, the Consumer Courts are only meant for the ordinary consumers who have bought goods & services for their own use or needs. Those who buy the goods/services for commercial purposes or resale purposes are excluded from the act. This forum is not meant for businesses ,firms and Industries but for the common man/consumer looking for quick & effective justice.

An appeal against the orders of district forum can be filed before its respective State Consumer Dispute Redressal commission.

An appeal against the orders of District forum can be filed before the State commission within the period of thirty days from the date of such order.
However, the state commission may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period. Further, the appellant has to deposit fifty per cent of the decree amount or twenty-thousand rupees, which ever less.

Yes. If any person fails or omits to comply with the order of a Forum, he may be punished with imprisonment up to three years or with fine of Rs.2000/- which may extend to Rs 10,000/- or with both.

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