Consumer Protection And Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Aviral Saxena∗

Introduction In the present economic and social scenario the subject of consumer protection is of vital in one form or the other. The consumers do not constitute a separate class. Everybody is included. Everyone is a consumer, the young and old, the rich and poor, workers and ilders1. The last two decades have witnessed an over expanding interest in CONSUMERISM. One can see a wave of awakening and an upsurge of enthusiasm for the rights of consumers2. Although various scientific and technological developments have brought about perceptible socio-economic changes, the consumer’s control over the market mechanism has gradually diminished .His suzerainty in choice of goods and services has been greatly eroded by various forms of unfair monopolistic and deceptive trade practices. The CAVEAT EMPTOR- ‘let the buyer beware’ doctrine of the law concerning the sale of goods, assumed concerning the sale of goods, assumed that the consumer was responsible for protecting himself and would do so by applying his intelligence and experience in negotiating the terms of any purchase. 3That principle may have been appropriate for transaction conducted in village markets. In early times, the consumer may have been able to protect himself since the products were less sophisticated and could be inspected before purchase. But now the conditions have changed. Many modern goods are technological mysteries. The consumer knows little or nothing about these highly sophisticated goods. In real life, products are complex and of great variety and consumers and retailers have imperfect knowledge. The principle of ‘caveat emptor’, thus, has ceased to be appropriate as a general rule. The consumers need protection by law when goods fail to live upto their promises or indeed cause injury4. In recent year, there has been an increasing public concern over the consumer protection issues all over the world. Taking into account the interest and needs of consumers in all countries particularly those in developing countries, the consumers’ protection measures should essentially be concerned with – (1) the protection from hazards to health and safety (2) the promoting and protection of economic interests. (3) access to adequate information
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Aviral Saxena B.A., LL.B. (Hons) IV year, National Law Institute University, Bhopal. Reid on ‘Consumer and the Market’, 1947 pp 87 22 ‘Consumer Protection Law’ article by P.M. Bakshi, Member Law Commission of India, circulated to the trainees at JTRI, (U.P.) 3 See Peter Smith & Dennio Swann – Protecting the Consumer -- An Economic and Legal Analysis (1979) pp 8-9 4 Ibid

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controls on advertising. In some countries.com .both parts of a phenomenon usually described as consumerism – were largely developments of the 1960s and 1970s.International Co-operation and Co-ordination with in the United Nations System – Consumer Protection – Report of the Secretary General (27/5/1983). that it is possible to point to common examples of laws in ancient cultures whose purpose was to protect the purchaser. (1994) 4 SCC 225 7 Economic and Social Council -. The consumerism is of such a wide magnitude and importance that it finds a conspicuous place in Encyclopedia Britannica: “Widespread interest and concern about consumer protection and the growth of organizations whose objectives are to disseminate information about products and to persuade industry to provide better quality goods and services .(4) control on misleading advertisements and deceptive representation. accorded well 5 United Nations. was and to some extent remains that which is implied in the common law maxim. medieval concepts of a “just price” and laws against usury and the manipulation of markets”. This doctrine. pp 5 8 Ibid indlaw. dated 9-4-1985 para 3) 6 Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund v. in the case of more recent legislation. This term has to be fully understood in its historical retrospect with reference to the consumer’s position in common law. and. though such measures in the past were directed largely at marginal abuses or. by transnational corporations and also to the fact that problems encountered by consumers are often not exclusive to any one country. This is mostly due to the international character of business practices. General Assembly – Consumer Protection – (Resolution No. It is true. at products. (5) Consumer education (6) Effective consumer redress5 The consumer deserves to get what he pays for in real quantity and true quality. wholesaler and retailer6. main areas of regulations. Kartick Das. labeling standards. He needs protection from the manufacturer. such as food and drugs. however. These included prescription against selling short-weight or adulterated goods. national consumer protection policies have now acquired international dimensions7. that may constitute a threat to public safety if certain minimum standards are not observed. In every society. 8 Consumerism Consumerism is all pervading. 39/248. in that the marketing of goods and services is often done on a multinational basis. legislation of the later 19th and early 20th centuries still serves as the basis of consumer protection. supplier. however. producer. etc. consumer remains the centre of gravity of all business and industrial activity. THE CONSUMER’S POSITION IN COMMON LAW: the fundamental relation between buyer and seller. The consumer policy is no longer being viewed solely at the national level.caveat emptor (“ let the buyer beware”) according to wh the onus is placed on the ich buyer to protect his own interest by insuring that what he purchases is of sufficient quality to meet his needs. which has been progressively modified in the interests of the consumer to the extent that the law is governed more by the exceptions than by the rule itself. Since the world economy has become so interdependent. in many cases.

10 Lucknow Development Authority v. is predominantly persuasive rather than informative. known to economists as one of oligopoly. In Black’s Law Dictionary. maintain. Advertising. A third factor that is commonly alleged to have eroded the consumer’s capacity to choose effectively in his own best interest is his increasing exposure to advertising and to new sales techniques. it is explained to mean ‘one who consumes.K. financing practices. which he would probably be unable to evaluate even if it were given to him. The definition is wide enough to include in ‘consumer’ that only the person who buys any goods for consideration but also any uses of such goods with the approval of the buyer. “free gifts” and trading stamps to the “high pressure” techniques practiced by door-to-door salemen. which 9 In Oxford Dictionary. Such a situation. any user of goods or any beneficiary of services.e. A second factor that has weakened the effectiveness of the consumer in protecting his own interests by rational choice among competing alternatives is the complexity of the products that modern technology has made available. exerting monopoly influences. it covers any person who hires or avails of any services for consideration and also includes any beneficiary of such services.com . M. use. Certain changes that have occurred over the past century in the nature of industrial corporations and in the types of products available to the consumer have rendered this assumption invalid. little basis on which the consumer can decide between the merits of two different televisions sets. Sometimes the impression of competition may be created by heavy advertising of “ competing” brands or makes. serves to create demand for products that are unneeded. for example. so that the consumer is no longer afforded the opportunity to choose among effectively competing suppliers. A member of that broad class of people who are affected by pricing politics. 10The important characteristic of ‘goods’ and ‘service’ under the Act is that such goods are supplied at a price to cover the costs. Defining Consumer: Th e definition of the term ‘consumer’ given in clause (d) of section 2(1) of the Act is comprehensive one so as to cover not only consumer of goods but also consumer of services9. setting prices and standards of quality for a particular product. The Act aims to protect the economic interest of a consumer as understood in commercial sense as a purchaser of goods and in the larger sense of user and service. a consumer is defined as “a purchaser of goods or services”. it is argued. Gupta (1994) 1 CPR 469 (SC) indlaw. vacuum cleaners. and dispose of products and services’. There is. which may infact be divided among several suppliers who offer the consumer products so similar in terms of price and quality that effective choice is impossible. other than the actual buyer or hirer. insecurities and prejudices of the consumer. or patent drugs without as mass of technical information. First may be cited the growth of large corporations. when availed with the approval of the hirer. are alleged to subject the consumer to an unjustified degree of influence. Thus. credit reporting. who consumes. is a consumer for the purpose of the Act and he is competent to make a complaint before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums under the Act. Similarly. has often been typical of the markets for detergents and automobiles. debt collection and other trade practices for which state and federal consumer protection laws are enacted. and often exploits the hidden fears. Such corporations do not have to control a product’s entire market. quality of goods and services. individuals who purchase. modern sales methods ranging from so.called “introductory offers”. individuals. Further.with the principle of laissez –faire capitalism that the buyer is served best by free competition between sellers. i.

the term ‘consumer’ does not include a person who obtains any goods for resale or for any commercial purpose. Law of Contract (1985) pp 68 -77 indlaw. when such use is made with the approval of the buyer. However. any user of goods with the approval of the buyer may make a complaint even though he is not a party to the contract for purchase of those goods. or under any system of deferred payment. Consumer Of Goods Under sub-clause (i) of section 2 (i)(d) a consumer for the purpose of goods means any person. The above provision reveals that a person claiming himself as ‘consumer’ should satisfy that – (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) there must be a sale transaction between the seller and the buyer the sale must be of goods the buying of goods must be for consideration the consideration has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment. The rule of ‘privity of contract’ provides that only parties to the contract can sue and not a stranger13. Kartick Das & Others. The user of the goods may also be a consumer when such use is made with the approval of the buyer. It includes anyone who consumes goods or services at the end of the chain of production. 12 User Of Goods The definition of ‘consumer’ given in the Act makes it clear that it includes not only the person who buys any goods for consideration but also any user of such goods when such use is made with the approval of the buyer.com . It is obvious that the parliament intended to restrict the benefits of the Act to ordinary consumers purchasing goods either for their own consumption or even for use in some small venture which may have embarked upon in order to make a living as distinct from large scale 11 12 Ibid Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund v. This was necessary because the goods purchased by a buyer are most likely to be used by his family members. and friends. (1994) CPJ 7 (SC) 13 Avtar Singh . but (c) does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose. and (b) includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys them. relatives. Commercial purpose does not include use by a person of goods bought and used by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self-employment . Under the general principles of the law of contract. But now under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. Thus a third person who is not a party to the contract cannot sue.consequently result in profit or income to the seller of goods or provider of service11. such user of goods are not entitled to sue the supplier or trader of such goods on the ground of ‘privity of contract’. who(a) buys any goods for consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised .

Ouster of jurisdiction of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. there is no reason for consumers approaching the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. Consumer Redressal Forum. The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act. The dispute that can be sought redressal of by resorting to the machinery under the Act is only the consumer disputes whereas the disputes that may be settled under section 7-B of the Indian Telegraph Act can over and above consumer disputes shall include other disputes.Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act specifically provides that the machinery under the Act is an additional machinery for redressal of the grievances that may be available in addition to those available under other statutes or under general provisions of law. Indeed Sec 3 of the Consumer Act categorically says that the provisions of the Act “shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other 14 General Manager. it cannot be stated that by reason of Section 7 of the Indian Telegraph -B Act there is an ouster of jurisdiction of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. are not in derogation of the provisions of common law remedies by way of a suit or other remedies provided under the enactments. when such services are availed of with the approval of the hirer. but (c) does not include a person who avails of such services for any commercial purpose. 2002 has excluded from the definition of ‘consumer’ any person who avails of services for commercial purpose. There is no ouster at all. a consumer for the purpose of services means any person. The commercial undertakings which are already excluded from approaching the redressal agencies in respect of defective goods will thus be excluded from seeking relief from such agencies in respect of deficient services as well. who(a) hires or avails of any services for consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised or under any system of deferred payment. 1986. AIR 1998 Ker 110 indlaw. Telecom District. Consumer Of Services The second category of consumer laid down under the Act is that of hirer or user of services. Under sub-clause (ii) of section 2 (1)(d) of the Act. Therefore. (b) includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hirer or avails of them. Trivandrum v.14 Exclusion of jurisdiction – The remedies provided under the Consumer Protection Act. The remedy under Section 7-B of the Indian Telegraph Act shall not be available in respect of additional machinery and it is more effective and speedy remedy available to the consumers. Consumer Protection Act vis -à-vis Other Laws Section 3 of the Act provides that “ the provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force”.manufacturing or processing activity carried on for profit. Persons buying goods either for resale or for use in a large-scale profit making activity will not be ‘consumers’ entitled under the Act. Therefore.com . Commercial purpose does not include a person of services availed by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood by means of self-employment. Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act makes it clear that it is an addition and not an ouster.

T. adjudication. delay in disposal of the complaint would not be a ground for rejecting the complaint and directing the complainant to approach the Civil Court18.L. 2002 (108) Comp.P. It would defeat the object of the Act. The remedy of approaching the Company Law Board constituted under Section 10(E) of the Companies Act under the provisions of Sec 45-QA (2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act is in addition to the remedy available under the Consumer Protection Act. State of A. Under the Act. Arbitration clause – No bar to entertain complaint: Even if there exists an arbitration clause in an agreement and a complaint is made by the consumer. consumers are provided with an alternative effacious and speedy remedy. (2002) 7 SCC 668 indlaw. The consumer forum must take expeditious steps to deal with the complaints filed before them and not to keep them pending for years.com . Therefore. are supplementary in nature and have no overriding effect. in relation to certain deficiency of service then the existence of an arbitration clause will not be a bar to the entertainment of the complaint by the Redresal Agency.19 15 16 Prudential Capital Markets v.J. A depositor may approach either the Consumer forum or the Company Law Board under Sec 45-QA (2) read with sub-section (9) of section 58-A of the Companies Act for there is no apparent “exclusion of jurisdiction” of consumer forums for entertaining a dispute at the behest of a depositor15. (2002) 111 CPJ 8 (SC) 19 Charan Singh v. remedies. Official Liquidator. constituted under the Consumer Protection Act since the remedy provided under the Act is in addition to the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. 121 at p 122 17 Souderton Chits (India) Ltd v. The provisions of the Consumer Protection Act do not come in his way. State or National levels. 2000(2) C. (1992) 1 Comp LJ 34 (Mad HC) 18 Dr.P. Merchant & Others v. clear that the provisions contained in Consumer Protection Act do not in any way abrogate even partially the provisions of any other law for the time being in force17. J. 441 at pp 457 458 (A. The provision of section 3 clearly indicates that the forum. The Act does not impede the remedies available to the consumers under the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. The provisions are not in derogation of any other law for the time being in force. Shrinath Chaturvedi. Healing Touch Hospital & Others. provided under the Act is an additional dispensation.16 Section 3: no overriding effect Section 3 makes it clear that the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are in addition to the existing laws and they are to be applied harmoniously with the provisions of the Act. As such. procedure etc. a consumer may initiate proceedings in a Civil Court under the law of contract or sale of goods or any other existing law.. It is thus. Steps in this direction are required to be taken in the right earnest. For example. the Consumer forum has been established under the Act to discharge the functions of a civil Court.law for the time being in force”. The word ‘abrogate’ is used when a law is abolished in its entirely. The word ‘derogation’ means partial abrogation.) Skypack Couriers Ltd v. Tata Chemicals. if summary trials were not disposed of expeditiously by the forum at the District.

Section 30: Power to order discovery and the like – Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed. impounding and return of documents or other material objects producible as evidence. and served as if they were summons issued by such Courts. production. and the discovery. shall also be sent together with the record sent under that sub-section . the Court may. a summon may be issued to the defendant to appear and answer the claim and may be served in the manner prescribed. or (c) any other Civil or Revenue Court outside India to which the Central Government has. at any time. outside India. either of its own motion or on the application of any party – (a) make such orders as may be necessary or reasonable in all matters relating to the delivery and answering of interrogatories. Section 29: Service of foreign summons – Summons and other processes issued by – (a) any civil or revenue Court established in any part of India to which the provisions of this code do not extend to. declared the provisions of this section to apply. Section 28: Service of summons where defendant resides in other States – (1) A summon may be sent for service in another State to such Court in such manner as may be prescribed by rules in force in that State. by notification in the Official Gazette. Section 31: Summon to witness--The provisions in Sections 27. the admission of documents and facts. inspection. (3) Where the language of the summons sent for service in another State is different from the language of the record r ferred e to in sub-section (2). (b) issue summons to persons whose attendance is required either to give evidence or to produce documents or such objects as aforesaid: (c) order any fact to be proved by affidavit. (2) The Court to which such summons is sent shall upon receipt thereof proceed as if it had been issued by such Court and shall then return the summons to the Court of issue together with the record (if any) of its proceedings with regard thereto. 28 and 29 shall Apply to summons to give evidence or to produce documents or other material Objects. where the language of the Court issuing the summoning is Hindi. or (b) any civil or revenue Court established or continued by the authority of the Central Government. 1986 and Code of Civil Procedure. 1986 as under: “ Section 27: Summons to Defendants – where a suit has been duly instituted.Consumer Protection Act.com . indlaw. or (b) in Hindi or English where the language of such record is other than Hindi or English . 1908 The following are the relevant provisions under the Code of Civil Procedure for the purposes of trying suit under Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act. a translation of the record – (a) in Hindi. may be sent to the Courts in the territories to which this code extends.

Endorsements on documents rejected as inadmissible in evidence. Provided that where it appears to the Court that either party bona fide desires the production of a witness for cross-examination. Provisions as to documents applied to material object. Rejection of irrelevant or inadmissible documents. 10.Production. Endorsement on copies of admitted entries in books accounts and records. 3. and that such witness can be produced. 9. or the Court otherwise directs. Power to order attendance of deponent for cross examination – (1) Upon any application evidence may be given by affidavit. Court may send for papers from its own records or from other Courts.Section 32:Penalty for default – The Court may compel the attendance of any person To whom a summon has been issued under Section 30 and for that purpose may(a) (b) (c) (d) issue a warrant for his arrests attach and sell his property impose a fine upon him not exceeding five hundred rupees order him to furnish security for his appearance and in default commit him to the civil prison. Recording of admitted and return of rejected documents. 7. Court may order any document to be impounded. an order shall not be made authorizing the evidence of such witness to be given by affidavit. 6. 8. or that affidavit of any witness may be read at the hearing . impounding and return of documents – Under this Order following rule are outlined: 1. These provisions are outlined here as under for ready reference: Order XIII. on which statement on his behalf may be admitted: Provided that the grounds thereof are stated. Documentary evidence to be produced at or before the settlement of issues. 2. indlaw. but the Court may. Matters to which affidavits shall be confined – (1) affidavits shall be confined to such facts as the deponent is able of his own knowledge to prove. or copies of extract from documents. at the instance of either party. (2) The cost of every affidavit which shall unnecessarily set forth matters of hearsay or argumentative matter. 11. on such conditions as the Court thinks reasonable. (2) Such attendance shall be in Court unless the deponent is exempted from personal appearance in Court.Under Order XIX the following rules are relevant: 1. 4. Endorsement on document admitted in evidence. shall (unless the Court otherwise directs) be paid by the party filing the same. order the attendance for cross-examination of the deponent. Effect of non-production of documents. except on interlocutory applications. ORDERS XIII and XIX under the Code of Civil Procedure. 3. Order XIX Affidavits. 2.com . Power to order any point to be proved by affidavit – Any court may at any time for sufficient reason order that any particular fact or facts may be proved by affidavit. Return of admitted documents. 5. 1908 are also relevant for the purposes of the summoning and enforcing attendance of any defendant or witness and examining the witness on oath.

or attempt to commit. the section will not be applicable. shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years. for offences against public justice and for offences relating to documents given in evidence – (1) No court shall take cognizance (a)(i) of any offence punishable under Section 172 to 188(both inclusive) of the Indian Penal Code. Kadambari Mishra . 38 at p 40 Kuppa Goundan v. or fabricates false evidence for the purpose of being used in any stage of a judicial proceeding. 1973 are the relevant provisions and they are given hereunder: Section 195: Prosecution for contempt of lawful authority of public servants. (b) (i) of any offence punishable under any of the following sections of the Indian Penal code namely Sections 193 to 196 (both inclusive) 199.Whether document at subsequent stage could be received: The documents sought to be produced at a subsequent stage of the proceeding can be received by the Court only if good cause is shown for non-production thereof20. or (iii) of any criminal conspiracy to commit such offence. False evidence – Determination of – Where at the time when the judgement was delivered the Magistrate had no material before him to form an opinion that the petitioners had given false evidence. 1986 and Indian Penal code 1980 The following are the relevant provisions under the Indian Penal Code: Section 193: Punishment for false evidence – Whoever intentionally gives false evidence in any stage of a judicial proceedings.P. AIR 1984 Pat. and shall also be liable to fine. 1973 Section 195 and 340 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.com . or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both. Section 228: Intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in judicial proceeding – whoever intentionally offers any insult or causes any interruption to any public servant while such public servant is sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding. AIR 1966 SC 1863 at p 1865 indlaw. except on the complaint in writing of the public servant concerned or of some other public servant to whom he is administratively subordinate. or (ii) of any abetment of. Rajesh . 205 to 211 (both 20 21 Debakant Misra v. shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. M. shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months.S.21 Consumer Protection Act. such offence . and whoever intentionally gives or fabricates false evidence in any other case. 200. 1986 and Code of Criminal Procedure. Consumer Protection Act.

475 or 476 of the said code. any Court is of opinion that an inquiry should be made into any offence referred to in clause (b) of sub-section of Section 195 which appears to have been committed in. the Appellant Court of inferior jurisdiction shall be the Court to which such Court shall be deemed to be subordinate. after such preliminary inquiry. and includes a Tribunal constituted by or under a Central. Revenue or criminal court. and upon its receipt by the Court. such Courts shall be deemed to be subordinate to t e Civil or Revenue court according to the nature of h the case or proceeding in connection with which the offence is alleged to have been committed. or in relation to.Section (1) any authority to which he is administratively subordinate may order the withdrawal of the complaint and send a copy of such order to the Court. in respect of a documentary produced or given in evidence in a proceeding in that Court such court may.com . or attempt to commit. when such offence is alleged to have been committed in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in a proceeding in any Court. or punishable under Section 471. a proceeding in that Court or. or in the case of a Civil Court from whose decrees no appeal ordinarily lies. upon an Application made to it in this behalf or otherwise. to the Principle Court having ordinary original civil jurisdiction within whose local jurisdiction such Civil Court is situate: Provided that – (a) where appeals lie to more than one Court. (b) Where appeals lie to a Civil and also to Revenue Court. or (ii) of any offence described in Section 463. when such offence is alleged to have been committed in. no further proceedings shall be taken on the complaint: Provided that no such withdrawal shall be ordered if the trial in the court of first instance has been concluded. (2) Where a complaint has been made by a public servant under clause (a) of sub. the term ‘Court’ means a Civil. if any as it thinks necessary – indlaw. (3) In clause (b) of sub-section (1). or the abetment of. Except on the complaint in writing of that Court. a Court shall be deemed to be subordinate to the Court to which appeals ordinarily lie from the appealable decrees or sentences of such former Court. or in relation to. Section 340:Procedure in case mentioned in Section 195 – (1) when. as the case may be. (4) For the purposes of Clause (b) of sub-section (1). any offence specified in sub-clause (i) or sub-clause (ii).inclusive) and 228. Provincial or State Act if declared by that Act to be a court for the purpose of this section. any proceeding in any Court. or of some other Court to which the court is subordinate. or (iii) of any criminal conspiracy to commit.

therefore. Pre condition for taking cognizance – For the purpose of Section 195 (1) (b) (i). were committed. it is clear that the offences under Section 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. (b) in any other case. the complaint cannot be split up and cannot be allowed to proceed in respect of offences under Section 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code 24. So.25 Bar of the Section 195 – Taking cognizance and acting in contravention of Clause (b) should be quashed. Srinivasan. J. 475 or section 476 of the Indian Penal Code 22. Hence. 1982 Cr.25 (All) 25 Chandrapal Singh v.J. 4) In this section "Court" has the same meaning as in Section 195". Maharaj Singh . 424 at p -430 (All. 1731 at p 1734 26 Kamalapati Trivedi v. P. or if the alleged offence is non-bailable and the Court thinks it necessary so to do. 777 at p -778 indlaw. be exercised by the Court to which such former Court issubordinate within the meaning of sub-section (4) of Section 195. the Court will be well within its jurisdiction to dismiss the complaint for nonprosecution. 1983 Cr. a complaint by the Court ids a pre-condition for taking cognizance of such offence by any Criminal Court. Applicability of Section 195 – Section 195(1) (b) (ii) applies to offences described in Section 463 or punishable under Sections 471. 3) A complaint made under this section shall be signed (a) where the Court making the complaint is a High Court.J. and (5) bind over any person to appear and give evidence before such Magistrate. 24 at p.C. Ltd v. 2000 (1) C. send the accused in custody to such Magistrate. AIR 1979 S. 414 at p 418 24 Maharaji v.L. it would have the inherent power and jurisdiction to restore the complaint on good cause being shown for the non-appearance of the complainant23. State of Uttar Pradesh.com .L. 120-B and 109 of the Indian Penal Code. namely under Section 467. by the Presiding Officer of the Court.) New India Assurance Co. 2) The power conferred on court by sub-section (1) in respect of an offence may in any case where that court has neither made a complaint under sub-section (1) in respect of that offence nor rejected an application for the making of such complaint.T. also. 1982 Cr. L.(1) (2) (3) (4) record a finding to that effect make a complaint thereof in writing send it to a Magistrate of the first class having jurisdiction take sufficient security for the appearance of the accused before such Magistrate. Court’s power to dismiss complaint for non-cooperation – In the absence of the complaint. by such officer of the court as the Court may appoint. Complaint whether can be split up? – From the averments in the complaint in the instant case.26 22 23 Ram Pal Singh v. Rama Shanakar. State of West Bengal . L. were committed in the course of the same transaction in which the other offences.

1986 show beyond doubt that the statute does not contemplate the determination of the complicated issues of fact involving taking of elaborate scrutiny and assessment of such evidence. Sub section (1) (b) (ii) of Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays down that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence described in the section mentioned therein when such offence is alleged to have been committed in respect of “a document produced or given in evidence in a proceeding in any Court”. Verma (1993) 1 C.com .D. 1986 deals wih the establishment of three –tier t Consumer Disputes Redressal Redressal Agencies. 1986 deal with composition of the District Forum.Bar on cognizance under Section 195(1)(b)(ii) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Procedure (Section 471 of the Indian Penal Code) not applicable . AIR 1988 S. 1996(1) C. Despite all this the appellant did not chose to be present before the District Forum and consequently has only to blame itself for the necessary consequences of ex-parte proceedings against it28. 419 at pp.C. It was assumed that the reasoning given by the High Court in support of its judgments is not correct but that does not help the appellants.P.C. Orissa State Financial Corporation. 107 29 Gap Paper Board Industries (P) Ltd v. State of Haryana .J. 1991. namely: (a) the District Forum (b) the State Commission. and (c) the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Section 10. It was held that since the document alleged to have been forged was not produced in the Court. 16 and 20 of the Consumer Protection Act. while sections 11. 74 at pp 77 indlaw. the State Commission and the National Commission respectively. 105 at pp 106. v.R. section (2) and (3) of the Consumer Protection Act. It is no doubt true that the forms constituted under the Act are vested with the power to examine witnesses on oath and to order the discovery and production of documents. The original document was not filed in the civil court and temporary injunction was obtained on the strength of its copy. 17 and 21 of the Act lay down the jurisdiction of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies as under: - 27 28 Sushil Kumar v. the provision of Section 195(1) (b) (ii) of the Code of Criminal Procedure have no application. S.A copy of the forged deed was produced in suit. A second notice was again issued by the District Forum more as a matter of abundant caution and the same was also duly received by the appellant and replied to by it vide its letter dated the 30th of October 1991. 29 Other Safeguards Three-tier system for the redressal of grievances: Section 9 of the Consumer Protection Act.27 Procedure and practice -. 420 Wheel World of Ambala Cantt. Statute does not contemplate the determination of complicated issues of fact – Sub.Reasonable opportunity – It is manifest from the record that the first notice issued to the appellant was duly received by it and indeed so acknowledged in its own letter addressed to the District Forum dated the 16th of October.

or has acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity. (f) to discontinue the unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice or not to repeat them. as the case may be . or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested in it by law .(a) The District Forum – to ascertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and the compensation.(ii) to entertain appeals against the orders of any State Commission. while the procedure t be adopted by the National Commission is given in o section 22 of the Consumer Protection Act. claimed exceeds rupees one crores. the charges paid by the complainant. claimed exceeds rupees twenty lacs but does not exceed rupees one crores. (c) to return to the complainant the price .com . 1986 an appeal against the order of the National Commission lies to the Supreme Court of India. The manner in which complaint is to be made. and (iii) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law. The following reliefs can be granted by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies: (a) to remove the defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question. (ii) to entertain appeals against the orders of any District Forum within the State. or . (b) to replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from any defect. or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested or has acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity. if any. suppliers. 1987. (g) no to offer the hazardous goods from being offered for sale. (e) to remove the defects or deficiencies in the services in question . etc. if any. and (iii) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any District Forum within the State. 1986 is intended to protect the legitimate interests of consumers against traders.or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested . (c) The National Commission – (i) to entertain complaints where the value of the Goods or services and compensation. (h) to withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale. (i) to provide for adequate costs to parties The District Forums and the State Commissions are to be appointed by the State Governments and in every State they have been appointed. if any. the procedure on receipt of complaint and the reliefs that can be granted by the District Forum and the State Commission are incorporated in sections 12 to 14 and 18 of the Act. 1986 read with the rules 14 and 15 of the Consumer Protection Rules. where it appears to the State Commission that such District Forum has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law. (d) to pay such amount as may be awarded by its as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to the negligence of the opposite party. They National Commission is to be established by the Central Government by notification in the Gazette of India and consequently the National Commission has been established by the Central Government vide notification dated 17th August 1988. indlaw. By virtue of section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act. claimed does not exceed rupees twenty lacs. The Consumer Protection Act. (b) The State Commission – (i) to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation.

Under the Consumer Protection Act. the place where the person concerned voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain is situated. Penalties Under Consumer Protection Act. therefore. Therefore no civil court can entertain or try any suit against any order passed by these consumer disputes redressal agencies. the State Commission or the National Commission to send. when they take cognizance of any deficiency in service or unjust reduction in the amount payable to the complaint suo motto on the basis of facts disclosed. whether the complainant has been wrongfully denied the amount which becomes payable to him for the alleged defective goods and deficiency in service. the State Commission or the National Commission. and any person aggrieved by an order made by the State Commission in exercise of its power may prefer an appeal against such order to the National Commission within a period of thirty days from the date of order as per provision of section 19 of the Act. while any person aggrieved by an order made by the National Commission may prefer an appeal against such order to the Supreme Court within a period of thirty days from the date of order as per provision of section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act. as the case may be.com . the State Commission or the National Commission . 1986 engagement of lawyers by the complainant is not a must for pleading their cases before the Consumer Forums. and thereupon. on the basis of the facts disclosed in the petitions and in the proceedings before them. The object of the Consumer Protection Act. This makes it all the more necessary for the forums to determine. as the case may be. in the same manner as if it were a decree or order by a Court in a suit pending therein and it shall be lawful for the District Forum. such t ader or r indlaw. therefore. Section 25 of the Act provides that every order made by the District Forum. State Commission or the National Commission shall. or (b) in the case of an order against any other person. full opportunity must necessarily be given to the opposite party to justify and defend its action. Under section 24 of the Act every order of a District Forum. the registered office of the company is situated. shall execute the order as if it were a decree or order sent to it for execution. Any person aggrieved by an order made by the District Forum may prefer an appeal to the State Commission within thirty days of the order under section 15 of the Act. 1986 to provide speedy. in the event of its inability to execute it. such order to the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction – (a) in the case of an order against a company .The Consumer Forums have to protect the interests of consumers and would be within their rights if any deficiency in service is noticed from the facts disclosed in the complaint sent by them but which the consumer had failed to formulate and articulate in the complaint. simple and inexpensive redressal of consumer disputes has. the Court to which the order is sent. On the other hand a petty consumer may be illiterate or ignorant. The Consumer Forums are bound only to observe principles of natural justice and. the State Commission or the National Commission may be preferred by the District Forum. 1986. 1986 Section 27of the Consumer Protection Act provides that where a trader or a person against whom a complaint is made or the complainant fails or omits to comply with any order made by the District Forum. if no appeal has been preferred against such order under the above provisions of this Act. been accomplished by the established of three-tier system for the redressal of grievances under the Act. be final.

person or complainant shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one month but which may extend to three years . transport.com . The PIL includes the litigation by a group of indlaw. economic and political ……”. the State Commission or the National Commission. In a society where a consumer is generally made victim of the unfair trade practices by the well – organized sector of the traders and businessmen and as such the illiterate. as the case may be. Law has the same relationship to the State as the language has to the society. Access to justice is recognized as one of the most important basic human rights today and it is very difficult. PIL under the Act The preamble to the Constitution of India has incorporated that – “We. by a number of organized unscrupulous traders and public undertakings who want to make easy money by taking advantage of the ignorance and inactiveness of such consumer. the public interest litigation is the only answer to protect the interests of the consumers. may. insurance. electricity. In the absence of public interest litigation by group or class action. ignorant and financi lly weak consumer is to fight against the powerful lobby of a businessmen. social. if it is satisfied that the circumstances of any case so require. Law is a command or an order and can be better described as the language of the State. The public interest litigation is finding acceptance in INDIA mainly due to the apathy of the administration and the government owned corporations towards the difficulties of the common people and for the welfare of the public interest. to realize most of the human rights without access to justice. specified in this section. or with fine which shall not be less than two thousand rupees but which may extend to ten thousand rupees. if not impossible. or both. or with both: Provided that the District Forum. the poor unorganized consumers are not only cheated and defrauded. entertainment financing. The filing of a suit for a recovery of damages for defects in the goods or deficiency in services was not only cumbersome and time consuming process but the court fees was required to be paid on each such suit at the time of filing of the suit which had been discouraging the consumers to approach the civil courts in India for recovery of damages under law of torts for such defects in goods or deficiencies in the services. water supply led to more and more exploitation of the consumers. the People of India. However. The vast expansion of trade and industry and increase in the services available to the consumers like banking. having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens: Justice. but are exploited to such an extent that these consumers get almost nothing in comparison to money they pay for the purchase of such goods and services in the market. Rule of law is the soul of every civilized society. with the passage of time rule of law is being used not only to maintain order and to protect individual interests but is also used to protect the interests of the society and the public at large to fulfill the ideals of the modern welfare state. for a term lesser than the minimum term and the amount lesser than the minimum amount. Rule of Law is the common way of life in a civilized society. The interpretation of the law is the function of judiciary in a democracy like ours and the main concern of administration of justice is protection of the rights of the people for the well being of its subjects. impose a sentence of imprisonment or fine.

in public interest litigation. as well as taking of action by the courts of law on receipt of a letter by post or a newspaper report where a large number of people are suffering from a common harm although the writer is not one of such persons thereby enlarging the locus standi rule. of sizeable segments of society. as well as taking of action by the Courts of law on receipt of a letter by post or a newspaper report where a large number of people are suffering from a common harm although the writer is not one of such persons thereby enlarging the locus standi rule. as per section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act. The principle of public interest litigation or social action litigation has been incorporated in the Consumer Protection At. a complaint under the Act . on behalf of. constitutional or statutory.persons or a social organization for the benefit of the general public. the petitioner has no legal right to withdraw the litigation without the court’s permission. (c) one or more consumers. social and economic disadvantages cannot themselves assert and quite often not even aware of those rights. all consumers so interested. The technique of public interest litigation serves to provide an effective remedy to enforce these group rights and interest…Therefore. or that the services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of suffer from deficiency of that the trader has charged excess price. The public interest litigation is finding acceptance in this country mainly due to the apathy of the administration and the government owned corporations towards the difficulties of the common people and for the welfare of the public interest. The proceedings in a public interest litigation as intended to vindicate and effectuate the public interest by prevention of violation of the rights. constitutional or statutory. 1986 and to get redress from an unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practice adopted by any trader. ignorance. The public interest litigation includes the litigation by a group of persons or a social organization for the benefit of the general public. (b) any recognized consumer association whether the consumer to whom the goods sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or service provided is a member of such association or not.com . ignorance. with the permission of the District Forum. can be filed by any one of the following :(a) the consumer to whom such goods are sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or such service provided or agreed to be provided. social and economic disadvantages cannot themselves assert and quite often not even aware of those rights. where there are numerous consumers having the same interest. or that goods which are hazardous to life and safety when used. or that the goods bought suffer from one or more defects. which owing to poverty. or (d) the Central of the State Government indlaw. are being offered for sale to the public in contravention of any la w for the time being in force . of sizeable segments of society. or for the benefit of. The proceedings in a public interest litigation are intended to vindicate and effectuate the public interest by prevention of violation of the rights. which owing to poverty.

There is a need to create voluntary protection councils on the pattern of public complaints boards like those established in SWEDEN. Therefore. and other dangerous and injurious articles are not produced and marketed in the country because we should not forget that each one of us including the owners and the workers of these industries are basically consumers . the need of the hour is that the voluntary organizations of business and industry like Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) should adopt self –regulatory measures to protect the consumers so that the goods which will be hazardous to life and safety of consumers when used. 1987 the memorandum of appeal or be sent by registered post addressed to the Commission.com . indlaw. water. electricity. the State Commission or the National Commission. NORWAY and DENMARK. The consumer protection cells should also be created in the public utility corporations providing consumer services like telephones. The making of the complaint as well as filing of the appeals by registered post is a significant departure from the earlier procedural law to encourage the public interest litigation in the field of consumer protection. it can be said that to encourage public interest litigation in the area of consumer disputes. Under Rule 14 of the Consumer Protection Rules. However. Similarly under Rule 15 of the Consumer Protection Rules. Similar provisions for filing of complaint by post before the District Forum and the State Commission Protection Rules framed by various state governments. transport and television to solve petty complaints of the consumers. as the case may be. 1986 and these associations are now required to act judiciously. 1987 a complaint shall be presented by the complainant in person or by his agent to the National Commission or be sent by registered post addressed to the National Commission. the class of consumers and the registered consumers associations under the Consumer Protection Act. The Central Government and the State Governments can also file complaints under the Act. sufficient protection has been made available to the consumers. patiently and with restraint to create confidence in the public to protect the interests of the consumers. by registered post and without paying any court fee. 1986 by making provision that a complaint under the Act can be made to the District Forum. The concept of the public interest litigation has been incorporated under the Consumer Protection Act.