Limitation Period for Filing Consumer Cases

Introduction

On August 9th, 2019, the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 became law. However, as of July 20th, 2020, it is in effect.

While the New Act retains some of the old requirements, it also adds new ones to strengthen the existing laws and create a comprehensive consumer protection statute.

New sections in the Consumer Protection Act 2019 include:
• E-commerce and direct selling;
• Strict Norms for Misleading Advertisement;
• Strict Norms for Product Liability;
• Changes in Pecuniary Jurisdiction; and
• Greater Ease in Dispute Resolution.
• Unfair Contract and Alternative Dispute Resolution through Mediation was included to the “Unfair Trade Practice” provision.

Consumer

A person who buys products or services for a consideration that has been paid or promised, or partially paid and partly promised, or under any system of postponed payment includes the user of such things or the recipient of services.

According to the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, “buying any items” and “hiring or availing any services” encompasses offline or online transactions via electronic means, teleshopping, direct selling, and multi-level marketing.

Who isn’t a customer?
A person who obtains:
• things for free
• services for free
• products for resale or for business reasons
• services for commercial purposes
• services under contract of service
Commercial purpose, according to the Act, does not cover the use by a person of items purchased and used solely for the purpose of earning a living through self-employment.

Rights of consumers under the Consumer Protection Act of 2019
The Act provides consumers with the following six consumer rights: right to safety, right to information, right to choose, right to be heard, right to seek redress, and right to consumer awareness.

Who has the right to complain?
i. a consumer; or
ii. any voluntary consumer association registered under any law in force; or
iii. the Central Government or any State Government; or
iv. the Central Authority; or
v. one or more consumers; or
vi. in the case of a consumer’s death, his legal heir or legal representative; or
vii. in the case of a minor, his parent or legal guardian;

Where can one make a complaint?
A complaint must be filed with a District Commission whose jurisdiction includes:
• the place of business or residence of the opposing parties, or
• the place of business or residence of the complainant, or
• the place where the cause of action, in whole or in part, arises.

What information should be included in the complaint?
The complainant’s name, description, and address; the opposing party’s name, description, and address; the facts surrounding the complaint, including when and where it arose; and any documents in support of claims.

Is there a deadline for submitting a complaint?
The complaint must be submitted within two years of the occurrence of the cause of action. This would be two years from the day the service or product defect arose/was discovered. This is also known as the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.

Procedure for filing the complaint before Consumer Commission

A complaint should be

  1. in writing, and
  2. it can be lodged in a traditional (offline) or
  3. online (http://edaakhil.nic.in/) manner.

The complainant or his agent can present the complaint in person. It can also be sent registered mail with the court fee attached.
Traditionally, three copies of the complaint must be provided, with one being kept for official purposes, one being forwarded to the opposing party, and one being forwarded to the complainant. In the event that the number of opposing parties increases, further copies of the complaint are required.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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