We all people purchase goods or avail services to fulfill our requirement. Sometimes these goods or services may not live up to the expectation or fails to justify their price point. Every now and then, consumers are deceived by the trader’s unfair practices. Fortunately, the Government has established the Consumer Protection Act 1986 to counter that situation.
Who can Lodge a Consumer Complaint?
Before we dive into the procedural steps regarding the submission of the consumer complaint, let us have a look at the entities that are eligible for this process.
Apart from that, the following entities can also address the complaint filing process.
- Consumer association
- State government
- Diverse customers experiencing the same trouble.
- the legal heirs and representatives of the consumers.
The Consumer Protection Act was established with an end goal to make the process of complaint filing as simple as possible. So a consumer can file a complaint without the assistance of a lawyer.
Filing of a Consumer Complaint
The complaint cannot be considered legitimate until and unless the consumer gives notice to the concerned party. This will give a clear perception regarding the interest of the party in the complaint. Needless to mention that the dispute can be settled without the interference of the legal bodies. However, if things don’t go as expected, then the customer can reach out for the respective forum and file the complaint.
Before registering the grievance, consumer-first needs to choose in which jurisdiction of consumer forum his case lies.
A. Jurisdiction of Consumer Forums:
The consumer ought to opt for consumer forum for the filling purpose which has both pecuniary and territorial jurisdiction.
Territorial Jurisdiction Complaint should be instituted with a –
- District forum (section 11)
- State commission (section 17)
- National commission (section 21)
Pecuniary Jurisdiction Consumer complaints can be filed for value enumerated as below,
Forums – Amount
- District forum – up to 20 lakhs
- State Commission – 20 lakhs – 1 crore
- National Commission – > 1 crore
B. The procedure filing complaint in Consumer Forums:
The complaint can be lodged on a simple paper.
The fundamental essence of the complaint should be waived around facts and nothing else for establishing the cause of action. Following things needs to be incorporated in the consumer complaint.
- Name and complete details of both the parties.
- Detail regarding the purchase of goods or services such as date and time, including the amount value.
- Facts of conflict; like a defect in goods or service etc.
- Details of the relief solicited in the complaint.
- Documents that can support the claim of the customer such as copy of bills, warranty receipt, and the copy of the complaint.
The compensation claimed ought to be incorporated in the complaint. If necessary, includes details such as refunds, litigation expenditure, damages etc. However, keep in the mind that representation of these amounts could vary in different jurisdictions.
The statement of jurisdiction ought to be incorporated in the complaint.
A verification affidavit ought to be attached with the complaint, including the facts and claims.
At the end of the signature should be put on the complaint. The consumer is entitled to argue his case through the authorised representative.
The consumers need to stand up against malpractices done by traders, and they have every right in the world to settle the dispute through a viable judiciary process. Consumer Protection Act 1986 is the best way through which users can overcome such malpractices with ease.
Read our article: Comprehensive Guide on Consumer Protection Rules on E-Commerce, 2020