The object of the Consumer Protection Act is to protect the consumers from exploitation and to save the consumers from adulteration, sub-standard goods and services and to safeguard the interest of the Consumers.(How to file consumer complaint)
How to file a consumer complaint, First of all, we need to understand that all the complaint of consumers comes under the Consumer Protection Act 1986. Consumer complaint means any all written allegation. And therefore, the following are the consumer complaint.
- unfair trade practice or restricted trade practice adopted by any trader or service provider and
- the goods brought by him or agreed to be brought by him suffered from one or more defects
- deficiency in service hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him
- a trader or service provider charge excess price for good or service.
- goods offered for sale to the public which will be hazardous to life and safety and
- Services offered by the service provider which will be hazardous to life and safety.
Who is consumer
Consumer means any person or any individual who buys any goods and services for consideration. And for that he has paid or promised and partly paid or partly promised. And also any services which are hired or availed of for consideration which has been paid or promised and partly paid or partly promised. Therefore the consumer means any person.
Where to file a consumer complaint
Consumer complaints can file before the district forum within the local jurisdiction the opposite party actually or voluntarily resides. Or carries on business or personally work for gain or the cause of action wholly partly arise.
How to make a consumer complaint
Every complaint shall file u/s 12 of the consumer protection act 1986. Complainant has to pay prescribed court fee payable by pay order. After filing the complaint the District forum shall admit the complaint or reject. The district forum shall not reject without hearing the complainant. The district forum shall admit or reject the complaint within 21 days from the date of filing of the complaint. After the admission of the complaint, the district forum shall issue a notice to the opposite party.
When the opposite party receives the complaint, the opposite party shall file their written statement against the allegations contained in the complaint. Thereafter both the parties shall file their respective affidavit of evidence.
Thereafter if the district forum is satisfied that the complainant has proved the allegation. That the goods complained suffered from any defect specified in the complaint or the allegations contained in the complaint about the services. Then forum shall issue a direction to the opposite party. The directions may include
- removing the defects,
- to replace the goods with new goods with a similar description
- return the price of the good to the complainant
- to pay compensation to the complainant for any loss or injury.
- remove the defects from good and remove the deficiency from services.
- to discontinue the unfair trade practices
Hence, the above is the procedure to file consumer complaints.
How to file appeal
After all, if Aggrieved person by the order of district forum may file an appeal to the state commission. Such appeal has to file within thirty days from the date of order. In addition to if the complainant failed to file an appeal within 30 days, in that case the complainant has to preferred condonation of delay application.
Jurisdiction of District Court, state commission and national commission
In addition to the above, the District forum – Where the value of goods and services and compensation if claimed shall not exceed twenty lacs.
State Commission -Where the value of goods and services and compensation if claimed shall exceed twenty lacs but shall not exceed one crore.
And National commission -Where the value of goods and services and compensation if claimed shall exceed one crore.
Limitation to file consumer complaint
After all, every complaint must file within two years from the date on which cause of action arises.
And, in conclusion, after reading above, you will get little idea about how to file a consumer complaint in consumer court.
Important Factors of Consumer Protection Act 2019
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 has recently replaced the old Consumer Protection Act 1986. But the new Act has not come in effect. The new Act has come with a slew of measures and tightens the existing rules for the further safeguard of consumer rights. There are some key points which includes the introduction of the central regulator, strict penalties for misleading advertising, guidelines for e-commerce and electronic service provider.
Consumer Court and Pecuniary Jurisdiction
The new Act has increased the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court which means the court can take up the matter depending upon the value of the case. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the district court has increased up to Rupees One Crore. And One Crore to Ten Crore of the State Commission. Above 10 Crore is of National Forum.
Another important aspect of the new act is that the new act allows the consumer to file the complaint in the court from anywhere. This has the big relief provided to the consumer. Because earlier the consumer require to file the complaint in the area where the seller or service provider was located. This is a good move considering the rise in e-commerce purchases, where the seller can be located anywhere. Also, the new act enables the consumer to seek hearing of his consumer case through video conferencing. And this helps in saving the time and money of both.
Liability of manufacturer
If goods or services cause injury or loss to the consumer due to manufacturing defects or poor service, the manufacturer or a service provider has to compensate a consumer. For example if the explosion of pressure cookers happens due to manufacturing defects and harm the consumer. The manufacturer has to compensate the consumer for the injury. Earlier in the old act consumer would be compensated only for the cooker’s cost and for compensation consumers had to approach the civil court.
The most important impact of the new act is on e-commerce platforms as it also includes service providers under the new act. And product liability shall be on service providers, sellers along with the manufacturer.
Guidelines for eCommerce platform
The new act proposes the guidelines for the platform like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. They have to disclose sellers details such as their address, email ID, website, conditions related to refund, exchange, term of contract and warranty.
This act also ensures that no counterfeit products are sold on these platforms and if any such product is recognized the company could be penalized. This move is essential since there are many fake products sold through the e-commerce platform.
Dealing with false complaint
The new bill proposes to deal with fake complaints by individuals against companies. There are provisions of fine of Rs. 10,000/- to 50,000/-, if any consumer files false complaint against company.
The new Act proposes center regulator i.e. Central Consumer Protection Authority to protect, promote and enforce the rights of the consumers. CCPA can direct on the complaints of unfair trade practices, issue safety guidelines and have punitive powers such as imposing penalties. The object of the Central Consumer Protection Authority is to strengthen the existing consumer rights.
Here is the full consumer protection act
Here is the pdf file of consumer protection act for download consumer protection act