/How to File a Complaint in the Consumer Court
filing a complaint in consumer court

How to File a Complaint in the Consumer Court

So you have decided to take the unscrupulous trader/company to the consumer court, and are looking at legal support in how to file a complaint in the consumer forum?  Congratulations! you have taken one bold step towards exercising your rights as a consumer.  To understand the next steps, please read through the content below.

You can also download an easy to understand and shareable PDF version of the process. If you would like to have a professional consumer rights adviser assist you in the process, get in touch with us now by clicking here.

When does one approach a consumer court?

When does one approach a consumer court?

A Consumer Court is a forum for any consumer to approach and file a petition against a company or an individual. The grievance can be in the event of deficiency in providing promised services or selling defective goods knowingly.

Preparing a Complaint Petition

The first step involved in filing a case in the Consumer Court is preparing a complaint petition. The petition carries all the details of your case. Though you can present your petition on a plain paper, there is a suggested format which can be used to emphasise your case in a precise manner. Below is a checklist outlining the finer aspects of preparing a complaint petition:

  • Your complaint against the defaulting trader/service provider has to be filed within two years of the cause of action
  • The complaint has to be definite and precise. You can’t include generalised statement(s)
  • Keep all facts, proofs, documents, receipts, cards etc. related to your complaint in proper order. You will be required to submit them at the time of hearing of the case
  • Once the Complaint Petition is ready, you will have to make 3 copies of the same along with photocopies of all the relevant proofs, supplemented with an affidavit
  • Copies of the Complaint Petition and the proofs will also have to be served upon all the parties involved, besides the three copies being filed
  • Above all, you will have to ensure that your case falls within the jurisdiction of a particular District Forum/State Commission by checking if the opposite party resides or carried on business or has a branch office within the limits of the jurisdiction
Choosing a Consumer Court

There are three distinct levels of Consumer Courts that have been set-up to help you file your case

  • The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum – This is the most elementary form of Consumer Court, and is present in every district of India. The District Forum can only accept consumer complaints/cases in disputes that involved a consideration value of up to Rs. 20 Lakhs. A decision of the District Forum can be questioned before Honourable State Commission by way of an Appeal
  • The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – These Commissions are set-up at the state level in their respective capital. The State Commission can accept complaints/cases in disputes ranging above Rs. 20 Lakhs to Rs.1 Crore. A decision of the State Commission can be questioned in the Honourable National Commission by way of an Appeal
  • The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission – The National Commission is the third level of Consumer Court. Set in New Delhi,the National Commission accepts cases in disputes ranging beyond Rs. 1 Crore. The decision of the National Commission can be questioned in the Honourable Supreme Court of India by way of an Appeal
Depositing the Statutory Fees
Each of the three courts have designated fees, also known as ‘Statutory Deposits‘. This fee can be paid by way drawing postal orders/demand draft/fixed deposit receipts, and is based on the amount of compensation one wishes to claim.

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Filing for Appeals and Revisions

Provisions have been made in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to file Appeal/Revisions to higher level Commission(s) and to the Honourable Supreme Court of India, if one is not satisfied with the verdicts of the respective Court(s) below:

State Commission
An Appeal can be filed as against the final order passed by District Forums before State Commission of the respective state. The appellant will have to make a Statutory Deposit at the rate of 50% of the awarded amount, or Rs.25000/- whichever is less. Any interlocutory order (an order being passed by any District Forum during continuation of any consumer case which seems to be irregular or being passed in excessive and/or beyond exercise of jurisdiction) can be questioned before the Honourable State Commission by way of preferring revision as against same.

National Commission
An Appeal / Revision can be filed as against the final order passed by State Commission before National Commission. The appellant will have to make a statutory deposit at the rate of 50% of the awarded amount, or Rs.35000/- whichever is less. Any interlocutory order (an order being passed by any State Commission during continuation of any consumer case which seems to be irregular or being passed in excessive and/or beyond exercise of jurisdiction) can be questioned before the Honourable National Commission by way of preferring revision as against same.

Supreme Court
An Appeal / Revision can be filed as against the final order passed by National Commission in the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Any interlocutory order (an order being passed by any National Commission during continuation of any consumer case which seems to be irregular or being passed in excessive and/or beyond exercise of jurisdiction) can be questioned before the Honourable Supreme Court of India by way of preferring revision as against same.

 
Process Summary
  • Make sure you have a definite and precise complaint against the defaulter. Take the support of our Legal Adviser to draft your complaint
  • Ensure your case falls within the jurisdiction of a particular District/State Commission
  • Make a list of all the mentioned proofs, invoices, bills, documents etc., to support your complaint
  • Submit printed copies of the Complaint Document along with copies of all the proofs to all the involved parties
  • Prepare a Postal Order/Demand Draft/Fixed Deposit Receipt as applicable

If you feel you are ready to file a complaint in the consumer court, and would like to have a professional consumer rights adviser assist you in the process, get in touch with us now by clicking here