RIGHTS OF CONSUMER AND HOW TO FILE A CONSUMER CASE?
THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986 was enacted to provide a simpler and quicker access to consumer grievances. The Act for the first time introduced the concept of ‘consumer’ and conferred express additional rights on him.
RIGHTS OF A CONSUMER:
- Right to Choose.
- Right to Safety.
- Right to Information.
- Right to be Heard.
- Right to Redressal.
- Right to Consumer Education.
Before filing a complaint there are few essentials that are very important for the consumer. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 list out some of these that needs to be followed before filing a complaint which are as follows:
- First, you must be a consumer to file complaint.
- Secondly, it is important that a consumer complaint can be filed within two years from the date on which cause of action arises.
- Third most important thing we also need to ensure one more thing before filing a complaint that the case falls within the jurisdiction of a particular District/ State commission.
PROCEDURE FOR FILING
STEP 1: PREPARING A COMPLAINT PETITION
The first step involved in filing a case in the Consumer Court is preparing a complaint petition. The petition carries all the details of the case. Below is a checklist outlining the finer aspects of preparing a complaint petition:
- The complaint has to be definite and precise.
- Proofs, documents and receipts related to your complaint.
- Copies of the Complaint Petition and the proofs will also have to be served upon all the parties involved.
- Above all, it must be ensured that the case falls within the jurisdiction of a particular District Forum/State Commission by checking if the opposite party resides or carried on business or has a branch office within the limits of the jurisdiction.
STEP 2: CHOOSING A CONSUMER COURT
There are three distinct levels of Consumer Courts that have been set-up to help you file your case
- The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum–
The consumer complaints/ cases in disputes that involved a consideration value up to Rs 20 Lakhs are accepted.
- The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission–
The Consumer Complaints/ cases in disputes that involved a consideration amount ranging between 20 Lakhs to 1 Crore are accepted.
- The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission –
The Consumer complaints/cases in disputes involving consideration ranging beyond Rs 1 Crore are accepted.
STEP 3: DEPOSITING THE STATUTORY FEE
The fees that is decided as per the Respective Forum to which the complaint is filed.
STEP 4: FILING FOR APPEALS AND REVISONS
- State Commission–
For filing an Appeal in the State Commission a Statutory Deposit at the rate of 50% of the awarded amount, or Rs 25000/- whichever is less has to be deposited.
- National Commission-
Appeals that are to be filed to the National Commission, that is the Statutory Deposit of the 50% of the awarded amount or Rs 35000 whichever is less has to be deposited.
- Supreme Court –
An appeal / revision can be filed as against the final order passed by National Commission in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
An affidavit along with the complaints also needs to be filed to ensure that the facts stated are true and correct. According to the Act, it is not necessary for the Complainant to engage an Advocate; the complaint can be filed in person or by any authorized representative.
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