What is the Consumer Court / Consumer Forum?
Consumer Court is a special purpose court that deals with consumer complaints, disputes and grievances. Consumer courts were established to protect the rights of consumers in India.
Consumers can file a case against a seller or service provider if they feel cheated or exploited. The purpose of establishing a separate forum for consumer disputes was to ensure speedy resolution of disputes with minimum inconvenience and expense to consumers.
Who can file a complaint before a Consumer Court?
A case can be filed in Consumer Court by one or more consumers, any registered association, Central or State Government, or any representative of the consumer.
What type of cases can be filed in Consumer Court?
The consumer can file a case against the seller or service provider if he has suffered loss or damage due to :
1. Defective product
2. Deficiency in service
3. Unfair or restrictive trade practices
4. Harmful goods or services
5. Excess price charged
What are the types of Consumer Court?
As per the Consumer Protection Act, a complaint can be filed in:
1. District Forum at District level, if the value of goods or services is less than 1 crore. Each District in India has a District Forum.
2. State Commission at State level, if the value of goods or services is more than 1 crore but does not exceed 10 crores. Each State in India has one State Commission.
3. National Commission at National level, if the value of goods or services exceeds 10 crores. The National Commission is located in Delhi.
What is the procedure of filing the case in consumer court?
You can approach consumer court within two years from the date on which cause of action arises. Before approaching consumer forum, you first need to send Legal Notice to the opposite party and give them 30 days to resolve the dispute. If they ignore your Legal Notice and do not reply or resolve within 30 days, then you can approach consumer court.
For filing case in consumer forum, you just need to mention all the details of the case, attach annexures and submit it in few copies. Normally three copies of these documents are required to be submitted - one for court, one is forwarded to the opposite party and one is for the complainant. In case the number of opposite parties is more then more copies of the case documents are required. Along with these case documents, you also need to deposit the required court fees for entertaining your consumer case.
What is the time limit for filing a case in Consumer Forum?
The case should be filed in Consumer Forum within two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen. This would mean two years from the day the deficiency in service or defect in goods has arisen / detected. This is also known as the limitation period for filing a case in court.
What reliefs are provided by Consumer Forum?
The Consumer Forum can give direction to:
- Remove the defects from the goods;
- Replace the goods;
- Refund the price paid;
- Remove the defects or deficiencies in the services;
- Award compensation for the loss or injury suffered by the complainant;
- Discontinue and not to repeat unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice;
- Withdraw hazardous goods from being offered for sale;
- Cease manufacture of hazardous goods and desist from offering services which are hazardous in nature;
- Pay for sum (not less than 25% of the value of defective goods or services provided);
- Issue corrective advertisement to neutralize the effect of misleading advertisement;
- Provide adequate costs to parties.
How Voxya helps in Consumer Complaints?
Voxya provides an online platform to resolve consumer complaints. We draft & send professional Legal Notice to opposite party and then further help consumers by preparing case documents to file consumer forum case. You can start by filing your consumer complaint here https://voxya.com/file-consumer-complaint
Do I need a lawyer for filing a case in consumer court?
No, you do not need lawyer or an advocate to file a consumer case in consumer forum. You yourself can approach consumer forum and file case by submitting case documents. It hardly takes 2-3 hours time.