– To be able to get maximum assistance from the best advocates for District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chandigarh, one must first know the process.
Under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 the State Government is under an obligation to establish a District forum in each district of the State. In a district, more than one District Forum can be constituted if required. At present, there are 604 district forums operating in different states. It is headed by a person who is competent to be appointed as a district judge. The district forum is entitled to entertain cases in which the value of goods and services or compensation if claimed does not exceed rupees 25 lakhs.
A complaint shall lie in a District Forum within the local limits of whose jurisdiction:
- The opposite party or where there are more than one, at the time of the filing of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides or carries the business for personal gain.
- The complainant or where there are more than one, at the time of the filing of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides.
- Where the cause of action arises whether in whole or partial.
It shall be noted that the consumer court cannot entertain a case if it is pending before the civil court. In case, two courts have jurisdiction complaint can be filed in any of them. The parties cannot make an agreement regarding jurisdiction if the court has no jurisdiction to try the case.
The district forum deals with complaints where the compensation sought is less 25 lakhs. This is known as pecuniary jurisdiction.
A person entitled to file a complaint:
A complaint can be filed in respect of the goods sold or service provided by the following persons
a) By the consumer to whom such goods are sold or agreed to be sold or delivered or such service provided.
b) It can also be filed by a consumer association and it does not matter whether the person to whom such goods are sold or service provided is a member of the association or not.
c) One or more consumers together, if they have the same interest. For this, permission of the district forum is a must. This is for the benefit of the consumers so interested.
d) The central govt. or the state govt., either in their individual capacity or as representative of the consumer whose interest has been affected.
It is essential that the complaint must be accompanied by such amount of fees and in such manner as may be prescribed. The District forum on receiving the complaint has the choice whether to allow it to be proceeded with or reject it. But the complaint must not be rejected without giving the opportunity of being heard. The admissibility of a complaint is decided by the court within 21 days of receiving the complaint from the consumer. After the complaint has been allowed to be proceeded with, it shall not be transferred to any other court.
The consumer can challenge the decision of the district forum if he is not satisfied before the State Commission and against the order of the state commission, the complainant can approach the National Commission.
The composition of the District Forum
The district forum President and the members are appointed by the state govt. In addition to this, it is essential that he shall be eligible to be a district judge. They are appointed for a tenure of 5 yrs or up to 65 yrs, whichever is earlier. The proceedings cannot be carried without the president and at least one other member.
Powers of District Forum
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has the same power as that of a civil court as provided under Code of Civil Procedure 1908. Once it is finalized that company is at fault, the court can direct the company to take the following actions:
- To correct the deficiencies in the product which consumer has claimed
- Repair the defect in the good free of cost.
- To replace the product with a similar product.
- To give a full refund of the price.
- To provide compensation for the loss or damage.
- To withdraw the sale of a product.
- To discontinue unfair trade practice or not to repeat it.
- Issue corrective advertisement for earlier misrepresentation.
If the Consumer is not satisfied with the order of the district forum, he can challenge the same within 30 days in State Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum. If the verdict is against the company, the consumer can appeal only when he deposits 50% of the compensation to be paid to the consumer, or Rs. 25000\- whichever is lesser.
For further clarification, you may contact B&B Associates LLP on the numbers given below, and our best advocates for District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Chandigarh will write back to you.