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Consumer Advice Network
Jago Grahak Jago
Indian Institute of Public Administration

Consumer Forum

Consumer disputes redressal agencies (popularly known as Consumer Forums or Consumer Courts) are set up under the Act at district, State and National level to provide simple and inexpensive quick redressal against consumer complaints. This consumer court deals with complaints where the compensation sought is less than twenty lakhs. This limit is commonly known as the 'pecuniary jurisdiction' of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.

Engagement of Lawyer is not a compulsory, the complainant can himself or through a representative represent his case. Consumer can file complaint in the consumer court against any defective goods purchased or deficient service rendered including restrictive/ unfair trade practice adopted by any trader/person. Normally a complaint is to be filed within two years from the date on which cause of action arose.

District Consumer Forum

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The forum President and members are directly / indirectly appointed by the state   government and he shall be eligible to be a district judge. All members of the court can have a term of up to five years or up to 65 years, whichever is earlier. The District Consumer Forum cannot conduct a hearing without the President and at least one other member.

A District Consumer Forum can hear cases for any company that operates an office or a branch in the district. It can also hear cases provided the actual reason why consumer is filing the complaint (such as sale or maintenance service that led to the defect) partially or fully occurred within the district. For this same reason, it is VERY IMPORTANT that consumer do not do business with any company that does not have local representation or one that makes consumer sign an agreement regarding the jurisdiction of the dispute.

The law provides that the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has the same powers as a civil court under Code of Civil Procedure 1908, but consumer may be surprised as to how much of this power in law books actually manifests when put to practice. The District Consumer Forum can order the company to take the following actions once it hears the complaint and decides that the company is at fault:

Correct deficiencies in the product to what they claim.
Repair defect free of charges
Replace product with similar or superior product
Issue a full refund of the price
Pay compensation for damages / costs / inconveniences
Withdraw the sale of the product altogether
Discontinue or not repeat any unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice
Issue corrective advertisement for any earlier misrepresentation

If consumer is not satisfied with the verdict from the District Consumer Court, consumer can appeal in the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission within a period of 30 days. If a verdict has been given against the company, it can appeal only after depositing 50% of the compensation to be paid to consumer or Rs.25000/-, whichever is lesser.

Help No.Helpline Nos.

    079-27489945 / 46
    155343, 0755-2559778,
    18003456724, 18003456760,
    1800 345 6188
    1800 180 6030
    1800 11 2100
    1800 2222 62
    1800 180 2087