CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986

( With amendments of the Act effected from 15.3.2003 Click to and rules from 5.3.2004) edit Master subtitle style

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CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986
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Enacted to provide for the better protection of the interest of consumer Act applies to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir Chapter I, II and IV came into force on 15.4.1987. Chapter III came into force on 1.7.1987 The act was amended in 2002 and the amendments came into force w.e.f. 15th March 2003.
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WHAT IS A COMPLAINT?
“Complaint” means any allegation in writing made my a compliant that : I. An unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider; II. The goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him suffer from one or more defects ; III. The services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed off by him suffer from deficiency in any respect;
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displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods. agreed between the parties .WHAT IS A COMPLAINT? IV. a price in excess of the price a) b) c) d) fixed by or under any law for the time being in force. A trader or service provider as the case may be has charged for the goods or for the services mentioned in the complaint. displayed on the price list exhibited by him by or under any law for the time being in force. 44 .

55 .WHAT IS A COMPLAINT? V. Goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used are being offered for sale to the public – a) b) In contravention of any standards relating to safety of such goods as required to be compiled with. If the trader could have known with due diligence that the goods so offered are unsafe to the public. by or under any law for the time being in force.

are being offered by the service provider which such person could have known with due diligence to be injurious to life and safety. Service which are hazardous or likely t be hazardous to the life and safety of the public when used. 66 .WHAT IS A COMPLAINT? VI.

partially paid or fully promised to be paid or partially promised to be paid Any body who uses the goods or services with the consent of the consumer 77 .WHO IS A CONSUMER ? Ø Ø Ø Any person who buys goods or avails services for consideration Consideration may be fully paid.

WHO IS A CONSUMER ? Ø Ø Ø Legal heir of consumer in case death of consumer Does not include any person who buys goods for resale or commercial purpose and services for commercial purpose However any person who buys goods for commercial use but exclusively for his livelihood by means of self employment is a consumer. 88 .

WHAT IS A DEFECT ? Ø Ø Ø Fault Imperfection Shortcoming In the Ø Quality Ø Quantity Ø Potency Ø Purity Ø Standards Or Which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force 99 .

WHAT IS A DEFICIENCY ? Ø Ø Ø Ø Fault In the Ø Imperfection Quality Shortcoming Or Ø Standard and Ø Inadequacy Manner of performance Which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force 1010 .

which is made available to potential users and includes.WHAT IS A SERVICE? “Service” means service of any description. but not limited to the provisions of the facilities in connection with 1) banking 2) financing 3) insurance 4) transport 5) processing 6) supply of electrical or other energy 7) boarding or lodging or both 8) house construction 9) entertainment 10) amusement or 11) the purveying or new or other information But does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service 1111 .

A Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission at the State level. 1212 .CONSUMER DISPUTE REDRESSAL AGENCIES 1) 2) 3) A Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum at the District level. A National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission at national level.

20 lakhs and above but not exceeding One Crore National Commission Above One Crore Besides. 1313 .JURISDICTION Forum / Commission Where the value of the goods or services and the compensation. District Forum State Commission Does not exceed Rs. 20 lakhs Rs. State and National Commission have appellate jurisdiction also. if any claimed.

FILING OF COMPLAINTS A complaint may be filed by a) The consumer to whom the goods are sold or services are provided Any recognised consumer association One or more consumers with same interest The central government or state government b) c) d) 1414 .

200 Rs.5 lakhs Rs.FILING OF COMPLAINTS The Fee for filing the Complaint for the district forum is as under Sr. 5. 5 Lakhs and above but less than Rs.) 1515 . 20 lakhs The fees shall be paid by Cross demand Draft drawn on a nationalized bank or through crossed Indian postal order drawn in favour of the Registrar of the Sate Commission and payable at the place of the State Commission (w.3. 400 4) Rs. 1 Lakh and above but less than Rs. 1 lakh rupees Rs.2004.e. 100 Rs. 1) 2) 3) Value of Goods / Service and Compensation Upto Rs. No. 10 lakhs and above but less than Rs. 10 lakhs Amount of Fees Rs.f.

Any other matter which may be prescribed. The discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence. 1616 b) c) d) e) . The reception of evidence on affidavit The requisition of the report of the concerned analysis or test from the appropriate laboratory of from any other relevant source.POWER OF CIVIL COURT TO DISTRICT FORUM The District Forum shall have the powers of Civil Court while trying a suit in respect of the following matters . a) The summoning and enforcing attendance of any defendant or witness and examining the witness on oath.

To remove the defect in goods or deficiency in the services in question. the charges paid by the complainant. to replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from any defect. to return to the complainant the price. as the case may be. 1717 .RELIEF TO THE COMPLAINANT ? IF THE COMPLAINT IS PROVED THE FORUM SHALL ORDER a) b) c) d) e) to remove defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question. or . to pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to negligence of the opposite party.

f) i) To provide for adequate cost to parties. 1818 . h) to withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale.RELIEF TO THE COMPLAINANT ? to discontinue the unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice or not to repeat them. hc) to issue corrective advertisements to neutralize the effect of misleading advertisement at the cost of the opposite party responsible for issuing such misleading advertisement. ha) to cease manufacture of hazardous goods and to desist from offering services which are hazardous in nature. if it is of the opinion that loss or injury has been suffered by a large number of consumers who are not identifiable conveniently. g) not to offer hazardous goods for sale. hb) to pay such sum as may be determined by it.

§ 1919 .APPEAL § shall be filed within thirty days. Delay in filing appeal may be condoned if there is sufficient cause.

LIMITATION PERIOD Within two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen. 2020 .

it shall. as may specified in the order. not exceeding ten thousand rupees. is found to be frivolous or vexatious. dismiss the complaint and make an order that the complainant shall pay to the opposite party such Cost. 2121 . for reasons to be recorded in writing. the State Commission or the National Commission.DISMISSAL OF FRIVOLOUS OR VEXATIOUS COMPLAINTS § Where a complaint instituted before the District Forum.

the State Commission or the National Commission. 2222 . such trader or 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 or with fine which shall not be less than two thousand rupees but which may extend to ten thousand rupees.PENALTIES 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. or with both.

1986 • • • • • A person may be consumer of goods. When I open a bank account. I could be the consumer of services. 2323 . 1986 for any consumer complaint one had to go to an ordinary Civil Court. a gas stove or a refrigerator. pay the necessary fee. positive or negative. Under the Consumer Protection Act. He had to engage a lawyer.NOTE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT. no Court fee has to be paid and the decision on the complaint is much quicker. Prior to the consumer Protection Act. take an insurance policy. 1986 tries to help a consumer when for example. When I purchase a fan. as the Court can evolve a summary procedure in disposing off the complaint. and be harassed for years or decades before any outcome. was there in that litigation. I could be the consumer of goods. the goods purchased are defective or the services rendered to him are subject to so deficiency. or services. get my car repaired. The consumer protection Act.

000/-. which is vested in a district Forum cannot be created for State Commission by merely exaggeration of a claim. He claimed compensation of Rs.00. It was evident that he had purposely boosted his claim to bring the matter within the pecuniary jurisdiction of the State Commission. State Bank of India (1995) the total claim in a complaint did not exceed Rs. It was held that the matter was not within the jurisdiction of the State Commission and such a claim was rejected by the State Commission. Raghunath Vs Trans India Tourism (1996) the complainant had suffered a loss of Rs.000/-. 1. 5.000.00. 5. The complaint was returned bt the State Commission for presentation in proper District Forum with necessary correction.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. § In B. jurisdiction. Therefore. The Complainant could seek the remedy from the District Forum. according to his own statement. PECUNIARY JURISDICTION In Krishan Dass Chaurasia V. § 2424 .

K. Synthethetics Vs. The complaint filed in Calcutta was held to be outside the territorial jurisdiction of the District Forum. NO ACTION WHERE NO TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION In J. Smt. Anita Bhargava (1993) the registered office of the Opposite Party was situated at Kanpur.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. The Order passed by the Calcutta District Forum was set aside in Appeal 2525 . Payment was made through Bank in Delhi.

It was held that the evidence by affidavit was legal and sufficient to support the complainant’s case. 2626 . He was not allowed to break open the lock and produce the ticket and was forced to pay excess charge for four persons. In appeal by the Railway Authorities it was pleaded that the complainant had not produced any witness to support his claim. Ramswaroop Chandil (1998) the complainant? Respondent had a circular ticket in his possession during journey which was locked in his box. EVIDENCE THROUGH AFFIDAVITS IS LEGAL & SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE. etc.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. Dismissing the appeal it was held that he had narrated his case in the affidavit and the same was not rebutted by the Opposite party. § § § In Union of India Vs. The District Forum awarded compensation in his favour for refund of fare and excess charge and for inconvenience. humiliation and Advocates fee.

2727 . (1995) it has been held that the parties can be called upon tom lead evidence on affidavits not only on question of deficiency in service but also on subject of determination of damages. The Consumer Protection Act. § The Consumer Protection Act contemplates speedy disposal of complaints.. Oriental Insurance Co. for speedy disposal of cases. AFFIDAVITS PERMITTED TO DETERMINE DEFICIENCY IN SERVICE AS WELL AS DAMAGES.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. This in consonance with the objective of the Consumer Protection Act. therefore. which are required to be disposed off within 90 days of service of notice to Opposite Party. § In Prem Prakash Mehra Vs. does not contemplate regular trial as is usually done in civil suits. Ltd.

Telephone Vs. NON-SPEAKING ORDER CAN BE SET ASIDE § In S. The order of the District Forum was set aside and the case was sent back to the District forum for re-consideration in accordance with law after notice to the parties. Else the order becomes arbitrary in the eyes of law.O.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. however briefly. considered by it as well as the reasons for the conclusion. No reasons were given for such order. 2828 § § .compensation to the complainant. The State Commission held that the order of the District Forum should be a speaking one. allowed the complaint and directed that the telephone bills of the complainant be revised on the basis of average consumption and awarded Rs. 200/. Handoi. Rama Shankar Pandey (1997) the District Forum. the essential facts and material. It should give.D.

and the matter was remanded to the District Forum.. No other member had signed it. REMAND WHEN ORDER SIGNED BY PRESIDENT ONLY § § In S. Aslo Steel Ltd. the order of the District forum was signed only by the President of the Forum. The present order was held to be invalid. Section 14 requires that every order shall be conducted/signed by the President and at least one member.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. Ravisankar Vs. 2929 .

CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. 1986. R. PRESIDENT SITTING SINGLY § It has been held by the National Commission that the orders passed by the President of the State Commission sitting singly without the junction of any other member is contrary to Section 14(2) of the Consumer Protection Act.S. Such an order is invalid (Raj kumar Mangla Vs. Singh (1995) 3030 .

i. Avtar Krishan Ambedkar (1998) the revision petition was filed against the order of the President of the District Forum. The said order was set aside and the case was referred back to the District Forum for fresh decision in accordance with law. It was held that the President sitting singly was acting without jurisdiction. 3131 . without associating any of the two companion members.e. PRESIDENT SITTING SINGLY § § In Haryana Urban Development Authority Vs. It was held that Section 14(2) requires that all proceedings shall be conducted by the President of District Forum and at least one member thereof sitting together.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT.7. which was passed by the President sitting singly. 1997. Gurgaon dated 11.

The reason for delay in filing the complaint given by the complainant was her pregnancy. PREGNANCY NO GROUND FOR CONDONATION OF DELAY § In Registrar. 3232 . Puja Pravin Wagh (1999) the complainant filed a complaint 3 1/2 months after the expiry of the limitation period of 2 years against the University of Pune for the wrong declaration of result. University of Pune Vs. 2. On appeal it was held that the fact of pregnancy was no justification for the delay. The complaint being time barred the order of the District Forum was set aside.5000/.to the complainant. Mrs. The District Forum condoned the delay and awarded compensation of Rs.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT.

Consumer Forums are required to make an attempt to serve the ends of justice so that compensation is awarded. on moderation. calculation of damages depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. aims to bring about a qualitative change in the attitude of the service provider. While awarding compensation. Healing Touch Hospital (2000) it has been held by the Supreme Court that while quantifying damages. which not only serves the purpose of recompensing the individual. Indeed. in an established case. DAMAGES § In Charan Singh Vs. 3333 . but which also at the same time. a Consumer Forum has to take into account all relevant factors and assess compensation on the basis of accepted legal principles. No hard and fast rule can be laid down for universal application.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT.

Vs. is maintainable. Birla Yahama Ltd. in case of delay in release of provident fund. In Provident Fund Commissioner Vs. who is a member of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme. is a consumer and duties performed by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner under such scheme is “service” and thus. 3434 . Shiv Kumar Joshi (2000) the Supreme Court has held that an employee. complaint for deficiency in service. DAMAGES § § In Patel Roadways Ltd.CASE LAWS ON THE ACT. AIR 2000 the Supreme Court has held that Consumer Forums have jurisdiction to entertain complaints against carriers regarding loss of or damage to goods entrusted to carrier for transportation.

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