Approaching the state consumer commission

Overview: Assuming you have already fought a case before the district forum and for reasons, decide to approach the state commission, you need to file an appeal. You may also directly file a complaint before the state commission provided you satisfy the eligibility criteria. 

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to serve as guide in understating what a basic draft of a consumer appeal is. 

Areas of Application of Law: Consumer Protection Act, 1986 

Process:

The consumer protection act 1986 prescribes the remedy of appeal from the orders of the district consumer forum. It says that any person who is aggrieved by any order passed by the District Consumer Forum may prefer an appeal against such order to the State Commission.

This appeal has to be filed within a period of 30 days from the date of order. It must however be noted that the 30 day time period in cases is calculated from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the order, however this does not mean that a litigant who approaches the forum belatedly to get his certified copy can take advantage. In other words, limitation period for filing the appeal is from the date of communication of the order to the aggrieved party i.e. when certified copy is received. 

The act provides that a belated appeal can be entertained by the commission even after the expiry of said period of 30 days. However, due and sufficient reasons have to be given and a valid cause has to be shown in order to satisfy the state commission. The procedure for filing the statutory appeal against the orders of the District Forums to the State Commission has been laid down in Rule 8 of the Delhi Consumer Protection Rules, 1987. The  same is given below for reference: 

“       8. Precedure for hearing appeal : 

(1) Memorandum shall be presented by the appellant or his authorised agent to the State Commission in person of sent by registered post addressed to the Commission. 

(2) Every memorandum filed under sub-rule (1) shall be in legible handwriting preferably typed and shall set forth concisely under distinct heads, the grounds of appeal without any argument or narrative and such grounds shall be numbered consecutively. 

(3) Each memorandum shall be accompanied by the certified copy of the order of the District Forum appealed against and such of the documents, as may be required to support grounds of objection mentioned in the memorandum. 

(4) When the appeal is presented after the expiry of period of limitation as specified in the Act, memorandum shall be accompanied by an application supported by an affidavit setting forth on the fact on which appellant relies to satisfy the State Commission that he has sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the period of limitation. 

(5) The appellant shall submit four copies of the memorandum to the State Commission for official purposes. 

(6) On the date of hearing or any other day to which hearing may be adjourned, it shall be obligatory for the parties or their authorised agents to a appear before the State Commission. If appellant or his authorised agent fails to appear on such date the State Commission may, in its discretion, either dismiss the appeal or decide it on the merit of the case. If respondent or his authorised agent fails to appear on such date, the State Commission shall proceed ex-parte and shall decide the appeal ex-parte on merits of the case. 

(7) The appellant shall not, except by leave of the State commission, urge or be heard in support of any ground of objection not set forth in the memorandum but the State Commission in deciding the appeal, need not confine to the grounds of objection set forth in the memorandum or taken by leave of the State Commission under this rule. 

Provided that the Commission shall not rest its decision on any other grounds unless the party who may be affected thereby, has been given, at least the opportunity of being heard by the State Commission.

(8) State Commission may on such terms as it may think fit and at any stage, adjourn the hearing of appeal but not more than one adjournment shall ordinarily be given and the appeal shall be decided, as far as possible, within 90 days from the first date of hearing. 

(9) order of the State Commission on appeal shall be signed and dated by the Members of the State Commission constituting the bench and shall be communicated to the parties free of charge.”

The rules are available at http://www.delhistatecommission.nic.in/acts_rules.htm 

You can directly approach the state commission if the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds rupees twenty lakhs but does not exceed rupees one crore; and the territorial jurisdiction is established. 

Documents required to be submitted in the court if any: vakaltnama (if filing through an advocate)

Power of attorney when complaint is filed through an authorized representative

Pleadings made to the district consumer forum

Punishment/Expected Relief: compensation or cure of the deficiency alleged

 

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