Complete Guide to filing a Complaint in Consumer Court in India
After you buy an item or service you may experience problems with your purchase and if the Brand/Service provider is not providing proper resolution despite raising many complaints then you have the right to escalate your complaint. First step will be try to reach the seller and request them to solve your issues. If they don’t react or you are not satisfied with their response, you may register a case with the consumer courts in India. You will learn how to file a case in the consumer court by reading this article.
What is a Consumer Court?
Consumer Court is the special purpose court that deals with cases regarding consumer disputes and grievances which are set up by the government to protect the consumer rights. The main function of consumer court is to provide some extra privilege to the consumers and to maintain fair practice by the seller or the service provider towards the consumer.
Approaching a consumer court is very simple and extremely cheap as you can represent yourself without having to hire a lawyer and not required to pay high court charges but a nominal fee.
Types of Consumer Courts in India :
Consumer courts in India are categorized into three levels based on the total value of goods/sales purchased and Compensation amount claimed by the complainant.
a)National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)
A national level court deals with cases value exceeding 1 Crore Rupees. It is located in the National Capital New Delhi.
b) State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC)
A state level court works at the state level with cases valuing less than 1 Crore but more than 20 Lakh Rupees. You can find a State Commission in every state in India.
c) District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF)
A district level court works at district level with cases valuing less than 20 Lakh Rupees. District forums are available in main cities across the country. You can approach one nearby your location if your case comes under district forum legislation.
Once you have identified your case value, you can choose the corresponding consumer court to approach by comparing to the ranges mentioned above for the three levels of consumer courts.
Things To Know Before Filing A Complaint with Consumer Court:
Am I eligible for Complaining?
Any consumer can complain in the consumer court if the person gets exploited, harassed or provided poor service/product by the seller. If you are a consumer of some product who paid a certain amount to it and not satisfied with the conditions below, you can start filing a case against them.
Can complain when you have
- Issues with Service/Product Received or
- Improper response after complaining to the company
To be a consumer a person has to satisfy the following conditions
- The person must have paid some money to the product or service received
- A person who has not purchased the commodity but using it with the approval of the buyer is also considered a consumer.
Who doesn’t become a Consumer?
If you have purchased goods or services for your business, for example for re-selling them, you are not a consumer. Once you satisfy the above conditions, you can proceed further by paying the fee required to register your complaint.
To know about court fee structure and how to pay, click on the link below : Fee for all Consumer Courts in India
How to Register Complaints in Consumer Courts?
(Identify your Territorial and Pecuniary Jurisdiction)
A complaint shall be instituted in a District Forum or State Commission or National Commission by taking into consideration your region of living and your case’s match in the level of courts classified.
Things to Know before hand
- Get together supporting documents, such as sales receipts, warranties, contracts, and work orders from the purchase and also the photo-copies of e-mails, or logs of any contact you’ve had with the seller about the purchase.
- Complaint can be registered within 2 years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen.
- Stamp paper is not required for declaration.
- Complaint can be registered in-person by the complainant or through your authorized agent or by post addressed to the Redressal Agency.
- Lawyers are not necessary.
After you identified your jurisdiction and known a few basic things, you can start preparing your complaint by following the procedure below;
Preparing the Complaint:
Before registering your case, make sure your complaint is genuine and you have the evidence to prove the exploitation in the court. If a consumer does not have the proper documents required for filing a case then it would be very difficult for the consumer to win or even file a case. If your case is not genuine then the complaint is not taken into consideration.
Consumer Complaint should be signed by the complainant and supported by a Notarized attested affidavit with 1+3 sets + Number of Opposite Parties with file cover. The Consumer Complaint along with all the copies should be numbered sequentially and duly indexed in the following order:-
- Index of complaint
- The name and complete address of the complainant
- The name and complete address of the opposite party/parties
- Date of purchase goods or services availed
- Amount paid for the above purpose
- Particulars of goods purchases with numbers or details of services availed
- The 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 other related documents, if any
- The relief amount sought for
Although it is not essential that the Complaint should be typed, it is always better to get it typed.
Where to Submit the Complaint:
Submit the properly filed complaint cover to the concerned department in the court of your jurisdiction.
- The case is filed in the city / state where the Opposite Party has a registered office / branch
- The case can also be filed in the city / state where the cause of action has occurred.
Important points to remember
- Consumer courts take about 1 to 2 years (or even more at times) to settle the case. The consumer is expected to attend the court hearings at least 4 to 5 times in a year.
- Time limit to file case in the consumer court is within 2 years from the cause of action. So be quick in your action.
Before taking further actions make sure you meet up all the requirements and check all the documents required.
We have the collection of how to file a case in the consumer court in several cities in India. To know how to file a case in your region click on your city link;