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Before filing a consumer complaint, we must know who can lodge a consumer complaint. Now the question is only for the consumer. In terms of section 2 (1) (d) a consumer is a person who purchases goods or services for consideration which may be partially or completely promised any other person who may use the goods with the consent of the consumer and not for the purpose of producing or reselling. Without the buyer’s permission and not for the purpose of producing or reselling. Unless the consumer the following persons and rights may lodge a complaint:
The government has passed a consumer protection law to make the process of filing a complaint easier and easier for consumers. Thus, the consumer can file a complaint on his own without the help of an attorney.
Steps 1: Complaint can be made on simple paper; paper stamp is not required.
Step 2: The complaint must be written down stating the facts needed to determine the cause of the action.
The following must be stated in the Consumer Complaint:
Step 3: The required claim must be specified in the complaint and with it the consumer can claim a refund, damages, legal costs etc. but these figures should be interpreted under different headings and in accordance with the financial authority of the relevant consumer forums.
Step 4: A legal statement should be made on the complaint about how the case enters the consumer forum.
Step 5: A verification affidavit must be attached to the complaint stating that all the facts and requests made in the complaint are true and correct.
Step 6: At the end of the appeal, it must be signed. The buyer may lodge a complaint in person or through his or her authorized representative. An appeal lodged with a regional tribunal or state commission needs to be filed in three batches and when filed with the national commission it needs to be filed in four clusters with additional sets for each opposing party.
Step 7: The complaint must be lodged within two years from the date on which the cause of the action occurred. If there is a delay, sufficient reasons must be given to the court to allow the appeal to be lodged.
The Consumer Protection Act lists six basic rights of all consumers:
1. The right to be protected from the sale of goods, products or services that are harmful to health and property.
2. The right to be informed of the quality, value, power, purity, quality and value of goods, products or services, as the case may be, in order to protect the consumer from unfair commercial practices.
3. The right to guarantee, where possible, access to various goods, products or services at competitive prices.
4. The consumer’s right to have his or her grievances heard and resolved in a fair and just forum.
5. The right to seek redress against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or the unscrupulous exploitation of consumers;
6. The right of consumer awareness.
The basic and primary mechanism under the Act is to restore justice to the complainant in the form of liquidated damages or replacement of goods/services and for certain offences, punitive damages may also be awarded to the consumer.
|Failure to comply with order of District/State/ National Commission||Imprisonment- period of not less than 1 month extendable up to 3 years (or) fine- not less than Rs. 25,000/- up to Rs.1,00,000/- (or) both|
|Failure to comply with order of CCPA under s.20, 21 A complaint can be filed by the Central Consumer Protection Authority or any officer authorised by it in this behalf.||Imprisonment which may extend up to 6 months (or) fine which may extend up to Rs. 20,00,000/- (or) both|
|Manufacture for sale, or storing, selling or distributing or importing products containing an adulterant, but does not result in an injury to the consumer||Imprisonment which may extend to 6 months (and) fine which may extend to Rs. 1,00,000/-|
|Manufacture for sale, or storing, selling or distributing or importing products containing an adulterant, causing injury resulting in grievous hurt to the consumer||Imprisonment which may extend to 7 years (and) fine which may extend to Rs. 5,00,000/- Such an offence shall be cognizable and non-bailable|
|Manufacturing for sale, or storing, selling or distributing or importing spurious goods, causing injury resulting in grievous hurt to the consumer||Imprisonment which may extend to 7 years (and) fine which may extend to Rs. 5,00,000/- Such an offence shall be cognizable and non-bailable|
|Manufacturing for sale, or storing, selling or distributing or importing spurious goods, causing injury not amounting to grievous hurt to the consumer||Imprisonment which may extend to 1 year (and) fine which may extend to Rs. 3,00,000/-|
An offence punishable under Section 88 and 89 of the Act is compoundable on payment of such amount as may be prescribed (such amounts cannot exceed the maximum amount of fine imposed under the Act). However, the option to compound the offence is not available to a repeat offender committing the same or similar offence within 3 years from the date the first offence was compounded.