A Consumer is someone who buys/purchases goods/product or takes service for some consideration, either for his/her personal use or to earn his living by self-employment.
The consideration may be:
- Partly paid and partly promised.
Rules, Regulations and Basic Concepts: –
Who can file a Complaint?
The following persons or individuals can file complaint –
- Any Consumer
- Any Voluntary Consumer Association
- State Government or Central Government
- One or more than one consumers who has/have common interest
- If any Consumer dies, then his/her legal heir or representative can file a complaint.
Where to file a Complaint?
Complaint can be filed in the following Forums –
- District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum – If the value of the complaint (Claim) is Rs. 20 Lakhs then the Consumer can file a Complaint under this Forum.
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum – If the value of the Complaint (Claim) exceeds Rs. 20 Lakhs but within/below Rs. 1 Crore then the Consumer can file a Complaint under this Forum.
- National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum – If the value of the Complaint (Claim) exceeds Rs. 1 Crore then the Consumer can file a Complaint under this Forum.
What is the Jurisdiction of Consumer Forums?
A Complaint should be instituted within the local limits of the opposite party where he resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain or where cause of action arises.
There is a specified chart to pay the fees of the Complaint.
|Sl.No.||Total value of goods/Services and the Compensation Claimed||Amount of Fee Payable|
|1||Upto one lakh rupees – For complainants who are Below Poverty Line holding Antyodaya Anna Yojana Cards||Nil|
|2||Upto one lakh rupees – For complainants other than Antyodaya Anna Yojana card holders.||Rs. 100|
|3||Above one lakh and upto five lakh rupees||Rs. 200|
|4||Above five lakh and upto ten lakh rupees||Rs. 400|
|5||Above ten lakh and upto twenty lakh rupees||Rs. 500|
|6||Above twenty lakh and upto fifty lakh rupees||Rs. 2000|
|7||Above fifty lakh and upto one crore rupees||Rs. 4000|
|8||Above one crore rupees||Rs. 5000|
What is the Procedure to file a Complaint?
When a Complaint is made in a District Forum or State Commission, it should be filed in 3 sets and when it is made to the National Commission, it should be filed in 4 sets with additional sets equal to the number of opposite party/Parties. Each and every Complaint must contain the particulars of dispute and relief claimed. It should also contain the documents to prove the claim made in the Complaint.
Particulars to be furnished with the Complaint:
It should contain the following things –
- Name and complete address of the complainant
- Name and complete address of the opposite party/parties
- Date of purchase of goods or services availed
- Amount paid for the above purpose
- Particulars of goods purchased with numbers or details of services availed
- Details of complaint, whether it is against Unfair Trade Practice / supply of defective goods / deficiency in service provided / collection of excess price, should explicitly be mentioned in the complaint petition
- Bills / receipts and copies of connected correspondence, if any
- Relief sought for under this Act
- Complaint should be signed by the complainant or his authorised agent
Time Limit to file a Complaint:
A Complaint has to be filed within 2 years from the date on which the cause of action or deficiency in service or defect in goods arises. It can be filed after 2 years also but the Complainant must satisfy the District Forum with reasonable answer.
This article explains the most important topics related to the procedure, filing of Complaints and other relevant topics which are necessary to know to deal with any Consumer Complaint. It also defines the fees required to file a Complaint and also the time limit to file a Complaint. Hope, this article will serve its purpose.