There are many procedure of Consumer Court in India. Following is an outline of the procedure for filing a complaint before the District Forum or the State Commission. We have attempted to give simple information and key pointers, but you may consult the Consumer Protection Act for further details.
If the relief claimed in the complaint is less than Rs. 20, 00,000/-, then the complaint must be filed before the District Consumer Forum. If the relief claimed is between Rs. 20, 00,000/- and Rs. 1, 00, 00,000/-, then the complaint must be filed before the State Commission. When the relief claim exceeds Rs. 1, 00, 00,000/- then the complaint must be filed before the National Commission at New Delhi.
The jurisdiction of the tribunal - where the opposite party resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works within the jurisdiction of the Forum or where the cause of action (for defective, spurious, fake, substandard or dangerous goods OR deficient or delayed services or services not carried out OR for misleading advertisements OR for unfair trade practices) started within the Forum's jurisdiction. The cause of action can be defined as the factor from which this dispute arose.
Relief: The relief which the complainant is seeking: here state whether you want removal of defects, replacement of goods, refund of excess price, refund of charges paid for deficient services, cessation of unfair trade practice, correction of misleading advertisements etc. apart from damages and costs of filing the complaint. You are also entitled to claim the costs of your complaint from the opposite party. Hence include that amount in your complaint.
Limitation: The limitation period for filing complaint is two years from the date of the cause of action. In case the limitation period expires, the Forum or Commission may still take your complaint on board, if they are convinced about the reasonableness of the cause for the delay. However, do avoid delays, since you will be required to provide explanations for every single day.
Consumers facing the same problem can come together and file a single complaint. Enclosing a petition with the complaint stating that the facts and circumstances relating to the complaint and the relief claimed are the same for all the petitioners and that they may be allowed to join together and file a single complaint.
Procedure to file a Complaint:
Documents required to file consumer complaint
Before a consumer complaint can be filed against a company, you need to ensure that you have all the supporting documentation that you need. These may include the following documents related to the purchase of the product from the company:
• An invoice or bill for the purchase (Preferably with an invoice number and Tax ID of the company)
• Warranty card for products and SLA for services (This is optional)
• Proof of payment such as copy of the cheque or credit card statement (This is optional)
• Any other communication or record from the company that can show negligence, insensitivity or lack of attention from the company (Telephone call logs made to the company with long wait times, letters from company expressing uncaring attitude etc.)
• The registered address of the company. You should be able to find this either in the above documentation, website of the company or from third party sources such as directories. In case you cannot get a copy of the bill, do not worry or feel helpless. Most of the billed purchases are entered into the ledger and accounting books of the company. So when you reach a court, you may be able to retrieve the purchase information from the company's accounting system merely by quoting the serial number of the product that you purchased or even an approximate purchase date.
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