This post is about how to prepare a Consumer Complaint.
The post has been contributed by Anuradha Chandel, Advocate – District Court, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Ms. Chandel is currently a Junior Advocate and regularly appears before lower courts and tribunals in Solan, H.P.
A consumer in simple parlance is someone who trades money for goods as an individual. Our Indian economic system favors the consumer over the producers. Consumers are upwardly mobile and middle class. It is conceded that this class i.e., the Consumer class is often exploited at the hands of the producers/manufacturers or the sellers. The incidents of their exploitation are considered to be an offense under the Indian legal system as their hard earned money is utilized or spent on the articles they used to purchase. We use to purchase any product with the belief that the product would be of the same quality or standard as represented by the manufacturer/seller. The extensive advertisement of any product and online purchasing attracts most of the people of our society and the concept of caveat emptor is blemishing today.
Keeping in view the vice, the Consumer Protection Act was enacted which provides for grant compensation on account of loss suffered or harassment of the consumers and also to redress the grievances of the consumers regarding the defect in any product so purchased or deficiency of services hired by him.
A simple hand written complaint by the complainant stating the facts in detail may be considered as a complaint under the provisions of this Act. A person who intends to file a complaint can either engage an Advocate to plead his case or can personally plead the same. There is no bar if he wants to plead and contest his case himself.
- The Complaint has to be filed under Section 12 of the Act, wherein the complainant has to specify the details of the product purchased or the services hired as the case may be, the name of the manufacturer/ seller, a statement specifying the defects in the said product or deficiency in such services and the contents as to what relief he wants to seek.
The relief that can be claimed may be either: (a) Exchanging the defected product with new product; or (b) Refund of the money paid by the complainant. Along with the above mentioned reliefs, compensation on account of harassment, litigation expenses can also be claimed by the complainant.
The complaint has to be accompanied by an affidavit of the complainant duly attested by the Oath-commissioner or otherwise notarized.
- The provisions of the Act as to the court fees are applicable according to the value of the relief claimed. In case of these matters, the court fees are affixed in the Form of I.P.Os and the same has to be affixed with the complaint.
- Documents to prove that the complainant has actually purchased the product or hired the services of the Opposite party has to be file along with other relevant documents such as the report of an expert regarding the defect/deficiency, photographs, etc. These are to be written on the “list of documents” Form in sequence-wise as I have mentioned in one of my previous posts.
- If the complainant is represented through his counsel, in that case, the Power of Attorney duly signed by the complainant and accepted by the advocate is required to be filed. There is no need to affix court fee stamps on the power of Attorney, only an advocate welfare stamp is to be affixed.
- Process fee form along with the copy of complaint and documents for the opposite party is required to be submitted along with the complaint. No need to affix the court fee stamps on this Form.
All these above-stated documents have to be tied up properly in a file Cover.
Image from here.