Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the following can file a complaint:
- A consumer, or in case of more than one consumer, one or more consumers may file complaint.
- Any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or any other law, for the time being enforced.
- The Central Government.
- Any State Government.
- A legal heir or representative of a deceased consumer.
The Consumer Complaint may be filed in the following forums:
- Consumer Courts at district level – District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF).
- Consumer Courts at state level – State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC)
- Consumer Courts at national level – National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
Appeal against the decision of the National Commission can be filed in the Supreme Court.
Grounds for Filing a Consumer Complaint
A Consumer Complaint may be filed on the following grounds:
- Deficiency of services
- Unfair trade practices
- Manufacturing defect in the product
- Medical negligence
As per Section 24 A of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 a Complaint must be filed within two years from the date on which the cause of action/deficiency in service/defect in goods arises. However, a Complaint may also be filed after two years, if the Complainant is able to satisfy the Forum, the State Commission, or the National Commission that he/she has sufficient reasons for not filing the Complaint within such period.
Procedure for Filing a Consumer Complaint in the Appropriate Consumer Forum in India
The Complaint can be registered, in person, by the Complainant or through his authorized agent or by post addressed to the Redressal Agency. A Complaint when made in District Forum or State Commission shall be filed in three sets and where it is filed in the National Commission, it shall be filed in four sets with additional sets equal to the number of opposite part(s). Every Complaint shall clearly contain particulars of dispute and the relief claimed and shall also be accompanied by copies of such documents as are necessary to prove the claim made in the Complaint.
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