The Consumer Rights that every consumer impliedly possesses are governed by The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which has established “Consumer Courts”. These courts are divided into a hierarchical structure, which consists of:-
The District Forum: The forum takes up complaints where the compensation claimed by the complainant for the defective goods comes within the limit of Rs. 20 Lakhs.
The State Commission: This Commission can entertain appeals against the orders of the district forum if the consumer feels dissatisfied with the orders of the district forum. The compensation claimed must be between Rs. 20 Lakhs and Rs. 1 Crore only.
The National Commission: This Commission situated in New Delhi can take up appeals against the decisions made by the State Commission and can entertain appeals that demand compensation of more than Rs.1 Crore.
When a consumer is dissatisfied with the orders of the National Commission, the said person can appeal to the Supreme Court as per section 27A of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
How to file a complaint?
Firstly, when you face any sort of defects or deficiency in the goods that you have purchased or the services that you have acquired, it is advisable to send a legal notice to the company before you file a case in the consumer court. This is because once the notice is sent, it is likely that the company solves your issue immediately, without you filing a complaint against them.
If the company fails to do so, you can go to a consumer court within your local limits to file a petition, and the requirements for which are:-
- Your Name
- Your Age
- Your Address
- The description of the company against whom you are filing a complaint, which includes the names of the parties involved.
- The details of your problem – The product you ordered, the product you received, the deficiency in them, etc.
- The grounds on which you file your complaint – For example, “I’ve ordered a washing machine from X company, but due to some reason water keeps leaking from it, and that is why I’m filing a complaint.” Basically the main reason for your grievance.
- Depending on the amount of compensation claimed, it is important to identify if the forum/commission has the right jurisdiction, as mentioned earlier in the article.
- The last part is the Prayer, where you ask the opposite party to compensate you for the goods you purchased, the compensation for your mental trauma if faced with any, and the litigation charges.
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