Consumer Rights Initiatives:
"Right to Consumer Education" (RCE), (Consumer Welfare Fund - CWF, DCA, GoI)
THE STEPS IN FILING A CONSUMER COMPLAINT:
It is required that before filing any complaint the consumer gives notice to the opposite party of the grievance faced by the consumer. If the issue is resolved then no need for going to file the complaint. But if not then they consumer can approach the consumer forum by procedure given as under:
1) The Consumer has to file his complaint in the forum which has jurisdiction over the dispute. Jurisdiction can be on the basis of territory and pecuniary.
In territorial jurisdiction complaint can be instituted in the forum within whose local limits where the opposite party resides or carries on his business or has a branch office or works personally for gain or If there are more than one opposite party then the place where anyone opposite party resides or carries on his business or has a branch office or works personally for gain or Where the cause of action arose.
In pecuniary jurisdiction, the consumer has to see the amount involved in the complaint the jurisdiction is as of District Forum: Up to Rs. 20 Lakhs, State Commission: Rs. 20 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crores and National Commission: Exceeding Rs. 1 Crores.
2) You have to pay the prescribed fee by a demand draft on a nationalized bank in favor of the Registrar of the consumer forum.
The prescribed fee for Filing Complaints are given below:
(1)Up to one lakh rupees – For complainants who are Below poverty line holding Antyodaya Anna Yojana Cards - Nil
(2)Up to one lakh rupees – For complainants other than Antyodaya Anna Yojana card holders. - Rs.100
(3)Above one lakh and up to five lakh - Rs.200
(4)Above five lakh and up to ten lakh - Rs.400
(5)Above ten lakh and up to twenty lakh - Rs.500
(6)Above twenty lakh and up to fifty lakh - Rs.2000
(7)Above fifty lakh and up to one crore - Rs. 4000
(8)Above one crore - Rs. 5000
3) You have to prepare and draft your complaint stating the details, like your name description, the address of the complainant as well as of the opposite party and the necessary facts which establish your cause of action. At the end of the complaint, you have to sign.
4) Copies of the Documents which support your case and allegations like a copy of Bill, warranty with the copy of complaint written and the notice made to the opposite party of the grievances.
5) The Complaint should contain the compensation amount and the relief you are demanding from the opposite party and you can also ask for refunds, a claim for damages, litigation cost etc. you have to state the amount demanded as per the different heads.
6) You have to state how your case falls within the jurisdiction of the forum where the complaint is filed.
7) If you have not filed the complaint within 2 years of the cause of action then you have to state the reasonable cause for such delay.
8) You also have to file an affidavit stating that the facts and details in the complaint are true and correct.
9) The complaint can be presented by him or his authorized representative as there is no need for any lawyer. It is on your wish to hire a lawyer or represent the case yourself.
10) Minimum 5 copies of complaint have to be filed in the forum and 5 additional copies to send to each opposite part which can be sent by registered post.
Consumer Awareness, Redressal Mechanism
and functioning of Consumer Forums:
Complaint and Redressal Mechanism
The complaint filing mechanism and time etc.
The procedures of letter, complaint and measures
The details to be furnished of consumers and the relevant documents need to be enclosed
The consumer must mention details of the problem and the demand on the company for redressal. This could be a replacement of the product, removal of defect(s), refund, or compensation for expenses incurred, and for physical/mental torture. The claims, however, need to be reasonable
You should preserve all bills, receipts, and proof of correspondence related to the case. Avoid using voice mail or telephone because such interactions are normally difficult to prove
The complaint can be in any Indian language, but it is better to use English
There is no compulsion to hire a lawyer. The main cost consists of correspondence and traveling to the consumer forum for the hearing
Maintain a complete record of the emails and documents sent and received.
2. Consumer redressal forum
It was explained that the under the Consumer Protection Act, every district has at least one consumer redressal forum, also known as a consumer court. Here, consumers can get their grievances heard. Above the district forums are the state commissions. At the top is the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in New Delhi.
The following points have been made clear to the consumers (Common people)
The procedures of file the complaint:
An appeal is a legal instrument which enables persons dissatisfied with the findings of a consumer court to approach a higher court to present his case and seek justice. In the context of consumer forums:
An appeal can be made with the state commission against the order of the district forum within 30 days of the order, which is extendable for further 15 days (Section 15)
An appeal can be made with the National Commission against the order of the state commission within 30 days of the order or within such time as the National Commission allows (Section 19)
An appeal can be made with the Supreme Court against the order of the National Commission within 30 days of the order or within such time as the Supreme Court allows (Section 23)