How to approach Consumer Courts in India

Shivani Sinha | 13-Apr-2016

Well, well well…I am writing this post today just because I have lost my patience with the never ending malign and dishonest behaviour by companies today. You also might be fed up of your prepaid account balance on phone being deducted without any usage or your online purchased product be of the worst quality ever and not getting refund for it or you might be charged excess over an item at a reputed retail outlet. Companies, be it from any domain, consider Indian consumers as ‘captives’. This is simply because they have the opinion that Indian consumers are ignorant enough and even have no choice but to keep getting oppressed and harassed by these companies. But, in the age of RTI and digital media, it’s high time to expose and shame these oppressors for the malicious conduct. In the last few years, people have been using the power of web and social media to keep them on their toes, and save themselves from the negative publicity. But, some of these firms are still rigid enough to pay heed to this and consider Indian consumers to be hapless goat who they believe is only squealing at them.

For them, India has Consumer Forums popularly known as Consumer Courts. Consumer courts are set up to address consumer complaints with respect to any of the product in market for which the consumer feels that he has been cheated or deceived and the product has not turned up to his expectations. A consumer must be ready to fight up for his right. Let we consumers know about the simple steps which can help to curb cheating and ill practices done by these companies.

One can lodge a complaint against any seller or dealer who is engaged in selling goods and services be it of any category irrespective of the manufacturer. It’s generally the attorney who specifies the time period of 15-45 days given to the company to address the consumer grievances. If the company fails to redress your issue you can hire up a Consumer Protection Lawyer and file a case against the company. The complainer must submit his complaint with valid documents like cash menu, receipts, warranty card etc. You definitely need to submit an office notification to the company against your wish of why you actually filed a complaint.
The fee needs to be paid much before filing the complaint in demand draft or postal order format. 

The costs involved in the process :

  1. For up to 1 lakh, applicable charges are 100 INR.
  2. For 1 lakh to 5 lakhs – 200 INR charges apply.
  3. For 10 to 20 lakhs – cost up to 500 INR apply.
  4. For up to 20 lakhs – approach the district consumer forum.
  5. For up to 20 lakhs to 1 crore approach the state consumer forum.

Fee needs to be paid in demand draft or nationalized bank for the presence of the concerned district consumer forum. Your Consumer Protection Attorney must make sure that your complaints are well addressed and justice is given to you as soon as possible. The process though might be lengthy and time taking but justice must be delivered to the one who deserves it.

You must give your best efforts to curb down such atrocious practices in the consumer business these days. For Filing a complaint there are some specific conditions that need to be fulfilled :

  1.  You must be a consumer.
  2. If you purchase goods for your business and then have re-sold them, then you are not a consumer.
  3. Notice in the simplest form relating to your grievance relating to the supplier for all your faults, grievances and defects.
  4. If you have purchased goods and services for your own personal use such as medicines etc, then you can definitely file up a complaint on one of the consumers court.
  5. You need to address the notice to the nearest address of the consumer court available.
  6. Filling a complaint to the district forums.
  7. Typed complaint forum with 1.5 inches of margin space.
  8. Index for the page number of the document.
  9. Application giving valid reasons for the delay of your affirmation well notarised by a notary.
  10. Details of issue on which the grievance had been claimed.
  11. Signed by the complainant 
  12. You need to enclose a Vakalat or an Consumer Protection advocate on your behalf
  13. Affidavit that the complaint stands true
  14. Explain well in written how the case falls in jurisdiction 
  15. Minimum 5 copies with additional copies circulated to the respondent.
  16. Permission from the district court, State forum or National commission is mandatory. You also need to end the complaint with your signature.
  17. In case any other person is authorised in the compliant his physical presence or signature must also be authorised.
  18. Name address description of the complainant must be mentioned along with the details against whom the complaint is made also.
  19. Copies to support your complaint 

A simple format for affidavit with complaint is given which needs to be notarised by a public notary. Once the complaint is admitted, consumer forums will direct you to give in copies of complaint. It will be sent to the respective consumer court with notice from the commission office.

So if you fall into the above mentioned categories, register your case in the consumer forum and do not sit back with poor product experiences and start roaring if cheated. Remember that you yourself will need to approach companies and speak out for bad experiences and notify them that your word of mouth can do wonders for their marketing and sale campaign. Speak up, go to the nearest consumer forum, register your case with the above described procedures and make sure you are well heard off. Are you still thinking about filing a complaint at Consumer Forum? Hire a Consumer Protection lawyer from Fagnum and make these companies learn a good lesson for their cheating!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.
About the Author
Shivani Sinha
A Master degree holder is a Content Developer and an SEO specialist. Having more than 6 years of experience into content development and marketing, she has contributed substantially in this arena. She is good at brainstorming and fast in writing crispy content, bold slogans, catchy captions and punchy one liners. Her stories are well researched and provide for an interesting read. She enjoys working in association with entrepreneurs while spearheading business launches providing marketing advice.