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 Howrah consumer court?
You can approach Howrah consumer court within two years from the date on which cause of action arises. Before approaching Howrah 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 Howrah consumer court.
For filing case in Howrah 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 Howrah Consumer Forum?
The case should be filed in Howrah 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 Howrah Consumer Forum?
The Howrah 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 Howrah consumer court?
Though hiring a lawyer is not mandatory in Consumer Court, but if you do not have time and need professional guidance then you should hire a lawyer to file & fight your case on your behalf. So if you are comfortable visiting court, you do not need lawyer or an advocate to file a consumer case in Howrah consumer forum. You yourself can approach Howrah consumer forum and file case by submitting case documents. It usually takes a few hours time.
Everything you need to know about Consumer Courts in India
To safeguard the interests of consumers, the Indian Government established the consumer courts under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 has just superseded the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, which had been in effect for three decades. The consumer courts are quasi-judicial organizations where regular people may seek justice against their perpetrators. Agencies that handle consumer complaints, disagreements, and disputes were established as a result of this statute.
These forums were created to give customers who have been taken advantage of or defrauded by businesses or sellers fair justice. The Consumer Court of India has a classification system for cases heard there; this classification system offers three levels of categorization for consumer hearings. Nevertheless, regardless of a case's classification, the overall Consumer Court system hears all consumer matters and grievances:
District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission: These organizations function at the district level and handle disputes involving compensation claims of up to 20 lakh rupees.
The State Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission: These state-level panels handle all claims for compensation that total more than 20 lakh rupees but less than one crore rupees.
Commission for the National Consumer's Dispute Resolution: These courts function nationwide. They handle situations with a demand for compensation of over 1 crore rupees.
What do you mean by Consumer rights in India?
The definition of a consumer right under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 is "the right to know about a quality or its many elements, such as quality, quantity, strength, purity, price, and standard." The right to knowledge about the "quality, affordability, quantity, purity, price, and standard of goods or services" is defined as a consumer right. However, even if this may be the case, consumers must be safeguarded from improper action. Consumers should be aware of their rights.
The true situation of India's customers might be described as absolutely hopeless, despite the country's strong and transparent legislation protecting consumer rights. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is the most significant of the several laws passed in India to protect consumer rights. This legislation enables every individual, including a corporation, an undivided Hindu family, and a firm, the freedom to exercise their right as consumers to buy products and services. As a consumer, it is crucial to be informed of one's fundamental rights and the legal channels and processes available if such rights are violated.
Common types of Consumer concerns:
- Any flaw or inadequacies in the product or service a person has purchased
- Unethical or constrained business activities by business or service provider
- If price charged is higher than the price shown on the products, the price agreed upon by the parties, or the price imposed by any authority
- Any product or service that harms someone's health, safety, or life.
Which kinds of cases can be taken up by the Consumer Court?
Although all issues falling under the purview of Indian consumer law must be considered by the Consumer Court, the following cases are among the most often heard:
1. Adulteration of ingredients, for example suppliers and manufacturers of edible oil accused of adding ingredients to oil without informing the general public. This is considered a fraudulent act because it could lead to consuming ingredients without the consumer's knowledge.
2. Hoarding food supplies or creating food shortages. The Consumer Court of India frequently hears about food shortages and hoarding issues because a single supplier's monopoly in the commercial sector permits the unjustified and unrestrained regulation of market activity and exchange.
3. The Consumer Court of India frequently hears issues involving the exploitation of the consumer market regarding product responsibility and warranty, as well as the examination of Black Market suppliers.
When can I go to consumer court?
As per the Consumer Protection Act, a person is considered a consumer if they acquire a good or service for their use rather than for a business. This implies that if you are dissatisfied with a service or a quality of a product you have purchased or have committed to acquire, you may submit a case in consumer court within two years after the complaint. As a customer, you have the right to be compensated for any inconvenience or harm by using a subpar good or service.
Consumer court for Flipkart
If you are unable to get any resolution from Flipkart regarding issues like undeliverable package, refund refusal, faulty appliances, unwanted parcel received, Return not picked up, empty package delivered, refusal to return faulty goods etc, you can approach Consumer Court to file a case against Flipkart.
Consumer court for Automobiles
If you are experiencing issues in your car or two wheeler and are unable to resolve it, you can approach Consumer Court to file a case against the Automobile company or Car Dealer. You can complain regarding faulty vehicle, inadequate quality checks before delivery, feature not working, leaking engine oil, mileage problem, starting trouble, no proper brakes, Registration issues, etc.
Consumer Court for Bank
The official regulator of banking in the nation, the Reserve Bank of India, has provided a list of websites for banks and other financial institutions where customers can file complaints. The entire list is available at https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/ComplaintBank.aspx. But when you face issues like fraudulent transactions, excessive / unauthorised charges, unresponsiveness, lack of transparency and unfair trade practices, you need much more than this. In all such cases, you can file a case against the Bank in Consumer Court.
Consumer Court for Real Estate
If consumer is facing any issue with his Real Estate company or agent, he can file a case in Consumer Court. Though a separate court RERA has been established to handle real estate matters but consumers can still approach Consumer Court if they want to. You can file case related to delay in possession, hidden charges, false commitments, unresponsive builder, refund issues, etc.
Consumer Court for Airlines
Government-owned or privately-owned, profit-driven airline companies only care about increasing their profits at the expense of the hard-earned money of innocent passengers. If a passenger encounters any of the following circumstances, they may file a complaint - Flight cancellations made without properly notifying the passenger; last-minute cancellations of tickets without notice; unreasonable delays in departure; Poor food service while on board, non-initiation of refunds in cases of refundable reservations, problems with the behavior of flight crews, lost baggage etc.
Consumer Court for Hospital
You can file a case in Consumer Court against Hospital or Doctor if you have suffered poor service, incompetent nursing staff, improper diagnosis, wrong medicine delivered, intentionally looting customers, wrong treatment, medical negligence, unjustified bills etc.
Consumer Court for a Refund
If you are facing issues in getting a refund from the service provider or seller, you can approach Consumer Court and file a case there. The Consumer Courts have the power to request a refund and award damages to a client if it finds that the service or product is not delivered in line with the contract's conditions. Moreover, you can even claim interest on the money that was paid to purchase the goods or service.
Consumer Court for Ecommerce
With the aid of knowledgeable consumer protection lawyers in India, you can bring a lawsuit against an online retailer in a consumer court.
You can file a case against Ecommerce store if you are unable to resolve issues like missing product in the order, damaged / defective / counterfeit / low quality product, refused refund / return, unresponsive customer support, no or wrong delivery of product etc.
Consumer Court for Insurance
Consumers who have faced problems in getting maturity amount or delay in insurance claim settlement can approach Consumer Court to get relief. You can also file case in matters like false commitments by insurance agents, unsatisfactory claim settlement, negligence and bad customer support by insurance companies or agents.
Consumer Court for Electricity
Do you feel that you are being overcharged for the electricity bill? Have you received your electricity bill, but it is just unbelievable as the amount is more than what you have been paying normally? Then this is the right time to fight for your right and take action. You can file a case in the consumer court against the company that is in charge of generating the bills.
Consumer court for Amazon
If you are getting no resolution from Amazon or they have failed to provide fruitful response, you can approach Consumer Court to get justice. Do you feel that the product that has been delivered to you is not of the same quality? Is it the wrong product? Do you want to get it returned, then you can contact Amazon first, and if they fail to do so, then a case can be registered against them in the consumer court.
Consumer Court vs. RERA
The question of whether a house buyer would be entitled to compensation as a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act or in accordance with RERA's regulations has typically been up for dispute.
The Supreme Court has addressed this issue in a number of cases, giving the complainants the freedom to choose the venue in which they wish to file for relief. It has also ruled that, despite the fact that RERA offers a similar remedy, consumers cannot be prevented from filing a complaint in consumer court under the terms of the Consumer Act.
Let's examine which forum is preferable in light of many factors, as complainants have the freedom to select the venue for submitting a complaint and requesting a remedy.
RERA is better suited or has the advantage when it comes to the topic of applicability because as opposed to Consumer Courts, which have authority over a wide range of matters, it has a distinct court specifically designated for resolving Real Estate disputes.
According to its track record, there is a greater likelihood that RERA hearings will go more quickly. As can be shown, the RERA Act distributes any claims with a financial threshold better than the consumer courts. When comparing the capacity to recognize a breach or violation of either a legal requirement or an agreement between the parties, RERA is preferable because:
It has the authority to act on complaints it receives about the topic or to take suo moto notice.
Compared to consumer courts, where the process is significantly more difficult and drawn out, it has a less involved and time-consuming process for submitting the complaint.
It is advisable to follow a simpler process because the relief and compensation for the same complaint are more or less equivalent in both forums. Although both venues have more or less comparable histories, Consumer Court is favored when assessing based on how well disputes are resolved during litigation. The statistics of records in consumer courts are somewhat better than those in RERA.