Consumer Court is a special purpose court in India that deals with cases regarding consumer disputes, conflicts and grievances. They are judiciary hearings set up by the government to protect the consumers' rights. Its main function is to maintain the fair practices & contracts by sellers. Consumers can file a case against a seller if they are cheated or exploited by sellers. The court will only give a verdict in favour of the consumers/customers if they have proof of exploitation, i.e., bills or purchase memos. If a consumer does not have the proper documents required for filing a case then it would be very difficult for the consumer to win or even file a case.
Rights provided by consumer courts
The consumer rights provided by consumer courts in India are:
- Right to Safety: The right to be protected from all types of hazardous goods and services
- Right to Information: The right to be fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services
- Right to Choose: The right to free choice of goods and services
- Right to be Heard: The right to be heard in all decision-making processes related to consumer interest
- Right to Redressal: The right to seek compensation, whenever consumer rights have been infringed
- Right to Consumer Education: The right to complete consumer education
List of consumer courts in India
- National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A national level court works for the whole country and deals compensation claimed exceeds rupees one crore. The National Commission is the Apex body of Consumer Courts; it is also the highest appellate court in the hierarchy.
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): A state level court works at the state level with cases where compensation claimed is above twenty lakh to one crore. The State Commission also has the appellate jurisdiction over the District Forum.
- District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): A district level court works at the district level with cases where the compensation claimed is up to twenty lakh.
Process to file a complaint
The Process to file complaint with Consumer Courts in India, first you will need to buy a copy of the Consumer Protection Act. The format for filing a complaint is simple with the guidelines being provided as well. It is advisable to draft your complaint in a clear and concise manner testifying the facts and support it with the mandatory documentation.
• Along with your complaint and the affidavit, you must attach a list of documents that you are submitting as part of evidence and references in the complaint file. Make sure that you attach only photocopies of the evidence documents.
• Sign and attach a Vakalatnama along with your documents. This will give your lawyer the authorization to represent your case in the court.
The consumer movement as a social force originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices. Rampant food shortages, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil gave birth to the consumer movement in an organized form in the 1960s.
The main function of consumer court is to provide some extra privilege to the consumers and to maintain the practice by the seller of the service provider toward the consumer. Submitting complain is very simple and a consumer has no need to hire any lawyer. Approaching a consumer court is very simple and extremely cheap as one can represent oneself without having to hire a lawyer and not required to pay any court fee but just a nominal fee.
- "National Consumer Forum India".
- "CONSUMER PROTECTION AND NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION". NCDRC. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "World Consumer Rights Day: Six consumer rights every Indian must know!". 15 March 2019. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- "DCDRF, Raigad". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
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