Who is a complainant under Consumer Protection Act?

Under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 a complainant can be: Any consumer; Voluntary consumer association; Central Government or State Government; One or more than one consumers, where there exist many consumers; In cases of death of consumer, his legal heir or representative. The complainant can file a case with the help of a consumer protection lawyer in case of violation of his rights.

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Where can a complaint be made under Consumer Protection Act?

As per the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 a complaint can be filed with the help of good consumer protection lawyers in India in: District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): If the value of the claim is up to 20 lakhs. Each district has a district forum and has 3 members. Appeal from the orders can be filed in State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): If the value of the claim exceeds 20 lakhs but is within one crore. Each State has one SCDRC. Appeals from DCDRF lie to this Commission. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) If the value of the claim exceeds one crore. NCDRC is located in New Delhi. Appeals from SCDRC lie to NCDRC and it is authorized to hear those cases. Any objection or appeal from this Commission only lies to the Supreme Court.

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Under what circumstances can a complaint be made under Consumer Protection Act?

Filing of a consumer complaint under Consumer Protection Act can be done in writing by expert consumer protection lawyers online under the following circumstances: Loss or damage is caused to the consumer due to unfair or restrictive trade practice of a trader or service provider; the article purchased by a consumer is defective; the services availed of by a consumer suffer from any deficiency; a trader or service provider, as the case may be, has charged for the goods or for the service mentioned in the complaint a price in excess of the stipulated price; Goods or services, which will be hazardous to life and safety, when used, are being offered for sale to the public.

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What is the time period to file a complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

Filing of a consumer protection complaint has to be done within two years from the date on which the cause of action or deficiency in service or defect in goods arises. However, a complaint may also be filed after two years, if the complainant satisfies the District Forum that he/she has sufficient reasons for not filing the complaint within such period. The delay in filing should be accountable for and be reasonable.

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What is the fee for filing a complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

The prescribed fee payable for filing a complaint before the District Forum, State or National Commission is varied. It is suggested to take help of top consumer protection lawyers online to determine the fee payable. The prescribed fee currently is as follows: Relief Claimed Prescribed Fee District Forum Up to 1 Lakh           Rs.100/- 1 Lakh to 5 Lakhs       Rs.200/- 5 Lakhs to 10 Lakhs        Rs.400/- 10 Lakhs to 20 Lakhs    Rs.500/- State Commission 20 Lakh to 50 Lakhs Rs.2000/- 50 lakhs to 1 crore Rs.4000/- National Commission Above One Crore Rupees Rs.5000/-

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Can the fee for the complaint under Consumer Protection Act be waived off?

Yes, the fee for consumer protection complaint can be waived off under certain circumstances under the Consumer Protection Act. The complainants who are below the poverty line are entitled for exemption from payment of fees for complaints up to rupees one lakh on production of an attested copy of the Antyodaya Anna Yojana card.

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What are the particulars that need to be furnished when filing a complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

The particulars of a consumer complaint include: Name and complete address of the complainant. Name and complete address of the opposite party or parties (as the case may be). Date of purchase of goods or services availed. Amount paid for the purchase of goods or services. Particulars of goods purchased with numbers or details of services availed. Details of complaint, whether it is against unfair trade practice or supply of defective goods or deficiency in service provided or collection of excess price, should explicitly be mentioned in the complaint petition.   Bills or receipts and copies of connected correspondence, if any. Relief sought for under this Act. Complaint should be signed by the complainant or his authorised agent.

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What is the procedure to file a complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

The procedure to file a complaint is simplified and can be done with the help of an experienced consumer protection lawyer. The complaint can be filed on a plain paper. A stamp paper is not required for declaration. It should contain the details of the complainant and the opposite party in relation to the consumer protection case. Complaint can be registered, in person, by the complainant or through his authorized agent or by post addressed to the Redressal Agency. The prescribed fee has to be paid along with the complaint. The fees charged is very nominal in proportion to the value of the claim. The following points should be kept in mind while filing a consumer complaint in India: The complaint can be sent by Registered Post to the District Forum or State Commission. Minimum of five copies of the complaint has to be filed. Three copies have to be in a green legal paper (some forums accept white also) plus one for the Office of the Forum and one for the Opposite Party. The complainant should keep one copy for herself or himself and get a receiving on the same. An additional copy for each opposite party has to be filed.

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Can you appeal against the order of the Consumer Forum?

Depending on the forum where the complaint is lodged, the forum to file an appeal is decided under the Consumer Protection Act. A complainant can file an appeal in the appropriate forum with the help of a consumer protection advocate in India. Aggrieved by the order issued by the District Forum, appeal petition may be filed before the State Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of order. Aggrieved by the order issued by the State Commission, appeal petition may be filed before the National Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of order. Aggrieved by the order issued by the National Commission, appeal petition may be filed before the Supreme Court of India within 30 days from the date of receipt of order.

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What remedies can you expect as a result of the complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

Consumer Protection Act not only provides for a speedy disposal of cases but also efficient remedies as a result of the complaint under the Act. Reliefs available under Consumer Protection Act to the consumers are: Removal of defects from the goods; Replacement of the goods; Refund of the price paid; Removal of defects or deficiencies in the services; Award of compensation for the loss or injury suffered; Discontinue and not to repeat unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice; To withdraw hazardous goods from being offered for sale;   To cease from manufacturing of hazardous goods and desist from offering services which are hazardous in nature; If the loss or injury has been suffered by a large number of consumers who are not identifiable conveniently, to pay such sum (not less than 5% of the value of such defective goods or services provided) which shall be determined by the forum; To issue corrective advertisement to neutralize the effect of misleading advertisement; To provide adequate costs to parties.

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Can you file an online complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

Yes, the Consumer Protection Act provides for filing an online complaint on the portal to ensure speedy disposal of cases and easy reporting of all grievances of all consumers.

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Can an aggrieved home buyer file complaint under Consumer Protection Act?

An aggrieved home buyer has a right to either approach the Adjudicatory Authority under RERA or the appropriate authority under the Consumer Protection Act. If the amount of claim exceeds Rs. 1 crore, the complainant can file a case with NCDRC thus ensuring speedy disposal of cases. The Act is applicable to them as the builders or promoters of any property project are considered to be providing “services”. Acts or omissions for which the complaint can be lodged under the Act are delay in delivery of possession, defective and faulty construction, diversion of funds collected for a particular project or poor-quality standard of the project.

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How can I file a case in consumer court against e-commerce website or online shopping website? 

You can file a complaint in a consumer court against an online shopping website with the help of expert consumer protection lawyers in India.  Before anything, one must immediately seek redressal by calling the customer care service of the particular e-commerce website. Contact their customer care service over phone/e-mail. Thereby posting your complaint on social media and tagging the concerned brand. Alternatively File your complaint online. In case, you are not heard and your complaint is still not resolved, try posting it on the concerned brand's twitter page/FB page. There is a fair chance you will be heard.  If in case the first step of trying to seek redressal directly from the brand is not effective then one has to approach the District level Consumer Forum. To file a complaint in a Consumer Court, the complainant needs to find the Consumer forum in his/her region where the complaint is to be filed against the E-commerce company. The consumer has to consider the regional and the financial jurisdiction of the forum before filing the complaint.

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