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Consumer Court in India: An Informative for Consumers | Company Vakil

Consumer Court

Consumer Court is a special purpose court, in India, that deals with cases concerning consumer disputes and grievances. These are judiciary hearings set up by the government to guard the consumer rights. Its key function is to keep up the fair practices by the sellers towards consumers. Consumers could file a case against a seller if they are harassed or exploited by the sellers. The court will only provide a verdict in favour of the consumers/customers if they have the proof of exploitation, i.e., bills or other related documents. If a consumer does not provide proper documents required for filing a case then it would be very hard for the consumer to win or even file a case.

Consumer movement

The consumer movement as a social force originated with the requirement of defending and promoting the interests of consumers against the unethical and unfair trade practices. Rampant food shortage, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil gave rise to the consumer movement in an organized form in the year 1960.

The movement succeeded in bringing force. A big step was taken in 1986 by the government of India with the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 (COPRA).

Objectives

The major function of consumer court is to provide some extra freedom to the consumers and to keep fair practice by the seller or the service provider towards the consumer. Submitting complaint is very easy and a consumer has no need to appoint any lawyer. Approaching a consumer court is very trouble-free and extremely cheap as you can represent yourself without having to appoint a lawyer and not necessary to pay any court fee but just some nominal fee.

Types

  1. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A national level court functions for the whole country and deals reimbursement claimed exceeds rupees one crore. The National Commission is the top body of Consumer Courts; it is also the highest Appellate Court in the hierarchy.
  2. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): A state-level court functions at the state level with cases where reimbursement claimed is above 20 lakh but up to one crore. The State Commission has Appellate jurisdiction over the District Forum.
  3. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): A district-level court functions at the district level with cases where the reimbursement claimed is up to 20 lacks.

At present, in India there are more than 620 District Forums and more than 30 State Commissions. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) at the apex is located at Delhi.

Determining the Valuation for the Purpose of Deciding the Forum needed to be approached by the consumer.

It has been time after time held that for the purpose of pecuniary jurisdiction, it is the worth of the good and/or services which should be considered. It is not the deficiencies, the value of the price of removing the deficiency, advance payment or any other feature to be considered for the purpose of determining the pecuniary jurisdiction. It was also established that interest forms a part of compensation.

 Territorial Jurisdiction of Consumer Court

  1. A complaint might be made to the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission while considering the pecuniary jurisdiction. A complaint should be filed in the For a within whose local limits:
    1. The conflicting party, or when more than one respondent, then each of the parties, voluntarily resides or carries on business. The party might have a branch office or individually works for gain in the local limits; or
    2. The cause of action arises, either wholly or partially

For the reason of establishing where the cause of action arises, it can be linked with the Contract Act, the principles of which apply to the Consumer Protection Act also. It can, therefore, be stated that for the purpose of consumer complaints, describing usual contracts for services and/or goods, the cause of action will arise at any of the following places,

  1. Where the contract has been made;
  2. Where acceptance of the contract has been communicated;
  3. Where the contract is performed or will be performed;
  4. Where the consideration as per the contract has been either paid or payable;
  5. Where the repudiation of the contract, if any, has been received.

How is Territorial Jurisdiction decided when performing an Online Transaction?

Online transactions have become an essential part of our living. When a buyer seeks redressal against any suppliers or service providers who have a web presence, the lines of territorial jurisdiction fade away. In such cases, these quasi-judicial bodies have stepped up to the help the consumer until the legislation clears up the circumstances. The emails exchanged among the parties which are online, through the internet, constitute a contract. Thus, the cause of action can arise at several places. According to a Landmark judgment, the territorial jurisdiction over a consumer complaint in an online transaction will lie at any of the numerous places, where the cause of action arises, which can be where the consumer is situated.

Do Civil Courts address Consumer Matter?

Yes, the Act does not remove the powers of the civil court, but only seeks to provide a more competent redressal mechanism. It was observed by the National Commission that the jurisdiction of the Consumer forum cannot be ousted exclusively on the account of a Civil Suit instituted by the respondent, which is not the case where the person has by now approached a Civil Court.

How to file a Consumer Complaint?

  1. A Consumer complaint has to be filed in writing form and can be filed on a plain paper, instead of a stamp paper.
  2. It should contain the complete details of the parties, the transaction, the goods, and the defect or deficiency, the reimbursement, and the relief sought. All the related documents should also be affixed along with it.
  3. The complaint could be registered by the consumer, in person or through an authorized agent, or by the registered post.
  4. There is no prerequisite to engaging a lawyer and the consumer can appear in the court for himself.
  5. A nominal amount of fee will accompany every complaint as specified in the table given below. It will be in the form of crossed Demand Draft on a nationalized bank.

Consumer Court is a special purpose court, in India, that deals with cases concerning consumer disputes and grievances. These are judiciary hearings set up by the government to guard the consumer rights. Its key function is to keep up the fair practices by the sellers towards consumers. Consumers could file a case against a seller if they are harassed or exploited by the sellers. The court will only provide a verdict in favour of the consumers/customers if they have the proof of exploitation, i.e., bills or other related documents. If a consumer does not provide proper documents required for filing a case then it would be very hard for the consumer to win or even file a case.

Consumer movement

The consumer movement as a social force originated with the requirement of defending and promoting the interests of consumers against the unethical and unfair trade practices. Rampant food shortage, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil gave rise to the consumer movement in an organized form in the year 1960.

The movement succeeded in bringing force. A big step was taken in 1986 by the government of India with the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 (COPRA).

Objectives

The major function of consumer court is to provide some extra freedom to the consumers and to keep fair practice by the seller or the service provider towards the consumer. Submitting complaint is very easy and a consumer has no need to appoint any lawyer. Approaching a consumer court is very trouble-free and extremely cheap as you can represent yourself without having to appoint a lawyer and not necessary to pay any court fee but just some nominal fee.

Types

  1. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A national level court functions for the whole country and deals reimbursement claimed exceeds rupees one crore. The National Commission is the top body of Consumer Courts; it is also the highest Appellate Court in the hierarchy.
  2. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): A state-level court functions at the state level with cases where reimbursement claimed is above 20 lakh but up to one crore. The State Commission has Appellate jurisdiction over the District Forum.
  3. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): A district-level court functions at the district level with cases where the reimbursement claimed is up to 20 lacks.

At present, in India, there are more than 620 District Forums and more than 30 State Commissions. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) at the apex is located at Delhi.

Determining the Valuation for the Purpose of Deciding the Forum needed to be approached by the consumer.

It has been time after time held that for the purpose of pecuniary jurisdiction, it is the worth of the good and/or services which should be considered. It is not the deficiencies, the value of the price of removing the deficiency, advance payment or any other feature to be considered for the purpose of determining the pecuniary jurisdiction. It was also established that interest forms a part of compensation.

 Territorial Jurisdiction of Consumer Court

  1. A complaint might be made to the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission while considering the pecuniary jurisdiction. A complaint should be filed in the For a within whose local limits:
    1. The conflicting party, or when more than one respondent, then each of the parties, voluntarily resides or carries on business. The party might have a branch office or individually works for gain in the local limits; or
    2. The cause of action arises, either wholly or partially

For the reason of establishing where the cause of action arises, it can be linked with the Contract Act, the principles of which apply to the Consumer Protection Act also. It can, therefore, be stated that for the purpose of consumer complaints, describing usual contracts for services and/or goods, the cause of action will arise at any of the following places,

  1. Where the contract has been made;
  2. Where acceptance of the contract has been communicated;
  3. Where the contract is performed or will be performed;
  4. Where the consideration as per the contract has been either paid or payable;
  5. Where the repudiation of the contract, if any, has been received.

How is Territorial Jurisdiction decided when performing an Online Transaction?

Online transactions have become an essential part of our living. When a buyer seeks redressal against any suppliers or service providers who have a web presence, the lines of territorial jurisdiction fade away. In such cases, these quasi-judicial bodies have stepped up to the help the consumer until the legislation clears up the circumstances. The emails exchanged among the parties which are online, through the internet, constitute a contract. Thus, the cause of action can arise at several places. According to a Landmark judgment, the territorial jurisdiction over a consumer complaint in an online transaction will lie at any of the numerous places, where the cause of action arises, which can be where the consumer is situated.

Can a Civil Court be approached for Consumer Matter?

Yes, the Act does not remove the powers of the civil court, but only seeks to provide a more competent redressal mechanism. It was observed by the National Commission that the jurisdiction of the Consumer forum cannot be ousted exclusively on the account of a Civil Suit instituted by the respondent, which is not the case where the person has by now approached a Civil Court.

How to file a Consumer Complaint?

  1. A Consumer complaint has to be filed in writing form and can be filed on a plain paper, instead of a stamp paper.
  2. It should contain the complete details of the parties, the transaction, the goods, and the defect or deficiency, the reimbursement, and the relief sought. All the related documents should also be affixed along with it.
  3. The complaint could be registered by the consumer, in person or through an authorized agent, or by the registered post.
  4. There is no prerequisite to engage a lawyer and the consumer can appear in the court for himself.
  5. A nominal amount of fee will accompany every complaint as specified in the table given below. It will be in the form of crossed Demand Draft, drawn on a nationalized bank or through a crossed Indian Postal Order which should be drawn in favour of the Registrar.
S. No. Total Value of goods and or services and the compensation claimed Amount of fee payable
District Forum
1. Up to one lakh, for complainants lower than, are Below Poverty Line (upon producing an attested copy of “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” card) Nil
2. Up to one lakh for remaining complainants. 100
3. Above one lakh and up to five lakh 200
4. Above five lakh and up to ten lakh 400
5. Above ten lakh and up to twenty lakh 500
State Commission
1. Above twenty lakh and up to fifty lakh 2000
  1. Nationalized bank or through a crossed Indian Postal Order which should be drawn in favour of the Registrar.
S. No. Total Value of goods and or services and the compensation claimed Amount of fee payable
District Forum
1. Up to one lakh, for complainants lower than, are Below Poverty Line (upon producing an attested copy of “Antyodaya Anna Yojana” card) Nil
2. Up to one lakh for remaining complainants. 100
3. Above one lakh and up to five lakh 200
4. Above five lakh and up to ten lakh 400
5. Above ten lakh and up to twenty lakh 500
State Commission
1. Above twenty lakh and up to fifty lakh 2000
2. Above fifty lakh and up to one crore 4000
National Commission
1. Above one crore 5000

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