CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1986

INTRODUCTION 

The act provides for greater protection of consumer interests and is intended to make provisions for settlement of dispute of consumers and for matters connected with, by setting up of consumer councils and other bodies. 

The Sales of Goods Act, 1930 also provides protection to buyers by allowing them to reject the goods if the goods delivered are not as per description, but the act only defines the substantive rights of parties and does not provide any specific forum for redressing their grievances. The Consumer Protection Act has made it very easy to seek early redress without indulging to the ordinary civil courts. It has provided consumers with three quasi judicial bodies, i.e. District Forms, State Commission and National Commission, where they are able to seek relief quickly and easily.

The act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Central Government expressly notifies it that, this act shall apply to all goods and services.

HISTORY OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT,1986

  • Earlier consumers were neglected because of the dominance of the traders, manufacturers or businessman etc.

  • However, the only way of redress accessible to aggrieved consumer was to file a civil suit, which is a very long, costly and time consuming process that causes unnecessary harassment to the consumer.

  • As a result, the need for statute of consumer protection law has been felt.

  • In 1985 the United Nations passed a resolution to have a law to safeguard the interests of consumer and their rights. 

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has therefore been implemented.

AIM AND OBJECT OF THE ACT 

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted due to the excessive consumer protection movement. According to the preamble of the act, the act was enacted:-

  1. To ensure greater protection of consumer interests and to create provisions for setting up of consumer councils and other authorities for this purpose

  2. To protect consumer rights. 

 

In the case of, France B Martins vs. Mafalda Maria Teresa Rodrigues, the SC held that the purpose of an act is better protection of consumer’s interest. 

 

Section 6 of the Act stipulates that, it is the responsibility of the Central Consumer Protection Council to promote and protect the rights of the consumer such as:-

a). RIGHT TO PROTECTION AGAINST HAZARDOUS GOODS

The act gives every consumer the right to protection against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. For example: narcotic drugs, adulterated food.

b). RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Every consumer has the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standards and price of goods and services.

In the case of, Consumer Protection Council vs. National Dairy Development Board

The complainant in this case wanted to know how the dairy board was using the palmolein oil, but the board was not furnishing requisite information because according to it the figures were privileged from disclosure in the public interest. It was held that the complainant had the right to information.

c). RIGHT TO ACCESS TO A VARIETY OF GOODS AND SERVICES AT COMPETITIVE PRICE 

Every consumer has right whenever possible, to access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices. This is only when in a market all the dealers are supplied with a variety of goods for benefit of consumers and goods are being offered at competitive price.

 

d). RIGHT TO HEARD AND RECEIVE DUE CONSIDERATION AT APPROPRIATE FORUM 

The Central Consumer Protection Council has been charged with the responsibility of ensuring that each consumer dispute is heard properly and will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. 

 

e). RIGHT AGAINST UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES, UNSCRUPLOUS EXPLOTIATION

Every consumer has the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices, i.e. any business, trade practice that is deceptive, fraudulent or causes injury to consumers, restrictive trade practices, i.e. activities that restrict competition in market, unscrupulous exploitation, i.e. use of the situation in a wrong way. This responsibility has also been given to Central Consumer Protection Council.

 

f). RIGHT TO CONSUMER EDUCATION 

Every consumer has right to consumer education, which means every consumer must be well known with his rights as well as his legal remedies. The Central Consumer Protection Council has been charged with the responsibility of providing proper education to people in terms of remedies available in the Consumer Protection Act.  

 

 

WHO IS A CONSUMER?

Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has defined the term consumer in two parts:-

  • Consumer who purchases the goods 

  • Consumer who hires the services

The act covers both types of transaction. So a consumer means any person who-

  • Buys any “goods” for a consideration

  • Hires or avails of any “services” for a consideration

  • “uses the goods” with the permission of the person who has bought the goods for consideration.

  • “is beneficiary of services” with the approval of person who has hired the services for consideration. 

 

“Consideration” means at the desire of one person any other person has done or abstained from doing something. There is no need for consideration to be paid at once, it may be paid at the time of transaction itself or may be promised to paid at some future date or partly paid at transaction and partly promised to be paid in future or some deferred system of payment.

In the case of, Indrani Bhattacharjee vs. Chief Medical Officer 

Medical treatment given to employees and their families run by employer are part of service. Employees would be ‘consumer’ as defined in section 2(1)(o) of the act.

In the case of, Surya Prakash Mahapatra vs. Controller of Examination, Sambalpur University 

It was held that conduct of examination and declaration of result is a statutory duty of University. The University does not render any service. Therefore, complainant student was held to be not a ‘consumer.’

In the case of, Spring Meadows Hospital vs. Harjol Ahluwalia

Where a young child was taken to a private hospital by parents and treated by doctor, it was held that not only child but parents were also consumers. Hence when the child suffered damage due to the negligence of doctors and the hospital, both the parents and child could claim compensation under this act.

 

WHAT IS A CONSUMER DISPUTE?

  • It is defined in section 2(1) (e) of the act.

  • It refers to a dispute where the person against a complaint has been made denies the allegations contained in complaint. 

 

WHO CAN FILE A COMPLAINT?

As per section 2(1)(b) of the act following person can file a complaint:-

  • A consumer

  • Any voluntary consumer association registered under this act or under any other act for time being in force.

  • The Central Government or any State Government

  • One or more consumer, on the behalf of all other consumers having same interest

  • In the event of the death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative. 

 

SOME OTHER IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS 

  • “Goods” means goods as defined under Sales of Goods Act, 1930.

  • “Manufacturer” means a individual who-

  • Makes or manufactures any good or parts thereof

  • Does not manufactures goods, but assembles parts thereof made or manufactured by others

  • Puts or causes to put his own mark on any good made or manufactured by any other manufacturer.

  • “Defect” means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, purity or standard which is required to be maintained in relation to any good.

  • “Deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, short coming, inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by a person in pursuance of contract or otherwise in relation to any service.

  • “Restrictive Trade Practices” means a trade practice which tends to bring about manipulation of price, condition of delivery or affects the flow of supplies in market in such a manner so as to impose on consumer’s restrictions and unjustified costs.

  • “Unfair Trade Practices” means a commercial practice that adopts unfair or deceptive methods such as fraud, false representation etc, for the purpose of encouraging sales.

        

CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCILS

Consumer Protection Councils can be subcategorized as:

-Central Consumer Protection Council

-State Consumer Protection Council

-District Consumer Protection Council

1. CENTRAL CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL

Section 4 of the Act authorized the Central Government to establish a Central Consumer Protection Council.

The Central Consumer Protection Council may comprise of the following members, not more than 150 in number-

  • The Minister-in-charge of Consumer Affairs in Central Government as its chairman.

  • The Minister of State or Central Government’s Deputy Minister-in-charge as its Vice Chairman.

  • Minister-in-charge of Consumer Affairs in States.

  • Eight parliamentarians, five from Lok Sabha and three from Rajya Sabha.

  • Secretary of the National Commission for Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes.

  • Not more than 20, representatives of the Central Government Departments and independent organizations which are concerned with consumer affairs

  • Not less than 35 representative of the consumer organization or consumers

  • Not less than 10 representatives of woman.

  • Not exceeding 20 representatives of farmers, trade and industries

  • Not exceeding 15 persons capable of representing consumer interests not specified aboce

  • Member –Secretary of the Central Council shall be the Secretary-in-charge of the Consumer Affairs in the Central Government.

 

The term of council shall be 3 years. If any member wants to resign sooner, he may do so by submitting his written resignation to the chairman of council. The vacancy created by the resignation must be filled out from the same category to which the outgoing member belonged and only for the period for which the resigning member would have continued. 

The Central Council shall meet as and when needed in accordance with section 5 of the act, but at least one meeting of Council shall be held annually. The Central Council shall meet at the place and location which the chairman thinks fit and shall follow such procedure as may be prescribed with respect to the transactions of company. 

As per section 6 of the act, the object of Central Council is same as that of act and discussed under the heading of “aim and objects.” 

2. STATE CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL

Section 7 of the act authorizes the State Government to establish State Consumer Protection Council.

The State Consumer Protection Council shall comprise of following members:-

  • The Minister-in-charge of Consumer Affairs in the State Government as its chairman.

  • Such number of other official or non official members representing such interests as may be prescribed by the State Government.

  • Such number of other official or non official members, not exceeding 10 as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

 

The State Council shall meet as and when necessary, but at least two meeting of the council shall be held each year. The State Council shall meet at such place and time as the chairman may thinks fit and shall observe such procedure in respect to the transaction of business as may be prescribed by the State Government.

Section 8 of the Act defines the objects of the State council. It states that the objects of each state council shall be to encourage and safeguard within the State the rights of the consumer’s as laid down in clause (a) to (f) of sec 6.

 

3. DISTRICT CONSUMER PROTECTION COUNCIL

Section 8A of the Act empowers State Government to establish for every a council to be called as District Consumer Protection Council.

The District Consumer Protection Council shall consist of following members:-

  • The Collector of District, who shall be its chairman

  • Such number of other official or non official members representing such interests as may be prescribed by the State Government.

The District Council may meet as and when necessary, but at least two meeting of the council shall be held each year. The State Council shall meet at such place and time as the chairman may thinks fit and shall observe such procedure in regard to the transaction of business as may be prescribed by the State Government.

Section 8B of the Act defines the objects of the District council. It says that the objects of every state council shall be to promote and protect within the District the rights of the consumers laid down in clause (a) to (f) of sec 6.

             

CONSUMER DISPUTE REDRESSAL AGENCIES

The Consumer Protection Act provides for the establishment of the three following Consumer Dispute Redressal Agencies-

  1. District Forum 

  2. State Commission

  3. National Commission 

In the case of, State of Karnataka vs. Paramjit Singh

It was held that the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission have the powers of judicial magistrate of first class for the trial of offences under the act. 

 

DISTRICT FORUM

Composition of District Forum 

Sec 10(1) states that each district forum shall consist of:-

  • A individual who is or has been eligible to be a District Judge, who shall be its President

  • Two other members, one of whom shall be a woman. The other members shall have following qualification:-

  • Be not less than thirty-five years of age

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

  • Be a person of ability, integrity and must have at least 10 years of appropriate understanding and experience in dealing with problems relating to economics, legal, commercial, government affairs, accounting etc.

Every appointment under this section shall be made by State Government on the recommendation of selection committee. Each member of state forum shall hold office for a period of five years or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. A member shall be eligible for reappointment if he satisfies the criteria mentioned.

The salary and other allowances payable to members shall be as such as prescribed by the State Government. 

 

Jurisdiction of District Forum 

Sec 11 of the Consumer Protection Act , provides that the District forum has the jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of goods and services and the compensation requested, if any, does not exceed 20 lakh rupees. 

 

Territorial Jurisdiction 

Complaint can be lodged in that District Forum within the local boundaries of whose jurisdiction-

  • The opposite party or where there are more than one parties, each of the opposite parties actually or voluntarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or works personally for profit at the moment of complaint.

  • Where there is more than one party, any of the opposing parties who actually or voluntarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or works personally for profit at the moment of complaint. In such a case, however, the permission of District Forum is given or the opposite party who do not resides.

  • Where all or part of cause of action occurs.

In the case of, B Mohanlal Naik vs. District Consumer Forum, Mehboonbnagar

The complaint was about medical negligence. The complaint had issued legal notice from District Mehboobnagar. It was held that the District Consumer Forum at that place would have territorial jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.

Manner of Making a Complaint 

Sec 12 provides that, a complaint may be lodged with a District Forum by-

  • A consumer

  • Any voluntary consumer association registered under this act or under any other act for time being in force.

  • The Central Government or any State Government

  • One or more consumer, on the behalf of all other consumers having same interest

  • In the event of the death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative. 

Each complaint must be followed by the prescribed fee and must be payable in the prescribed way. The District Forum may acknowledge or dismiss the complaint upon the receipt of complaint. However without giving a chance to be heard, a complaint cannot be dismissed.

The complaint’s admissibility must be decided within 21 days from the date on receiving of the complaint. A complaint accepted by the District Forum shall not be transmitted for time being in force to any other court, tribunal or any authority established by or under any other law.

Procedure on Receipt of Complaint 

Section 13 of the act lays down a  procedure after the admission of complaint-

Clause (1)- when a complaint is received by the District Forum :

  1. it refers a copy of complaint to the opposite party within twenty-one days from the date of admission, directing him to give his version of case within a period of 30 days or no longer than 15 days as may be given by the District Forum.

  2. Where the opposite party denies to accept the allegation purported in the complaint or fails to take any action to represent his case within the time given by District Forum, the Forum may proceed to settle the dispute in a manner as prescribed in clause (c) to (g).

  3. Where the complaint alleges a defect in the good which cannot be determined without test, than the District Forum sends the goods for testing in the appropriate laboratory. The laboratory is asked to gives its report to the District Forum within a period of 45 days or such extended period as may be granted by District Forum.

  4. Before any sample of good is referred to any appropriate laboratory under clause (c), the Forum may require the complainant to deposit such fees as may be specified, for payment to the appropriate laboratory.

  5. The District Forum shall remit the amount so specified to the appropriate laboratory to enable it to carry out the test and on receipt of report from the laboratory, the District Forum will forward a copy of report along with its remarks, if required to the opposite party .

  6. The District Forum will require the complaint or the opposite party to raise objection in regard to the report made by laboratory.

  7. After that the District Forum will give the reasonable opportunity to both the parties of being heard and than issue an appropriate order under section 14.

 

Clause (2)- 

  1. If the complaint is admitted by forum under sec 12 relates to goods in which the procedure specified in subsection (1) cannot be followed, than the District Forum will refer a copy of such complaint to opposite party directing him to give his version of the case within a period of 30 days or such extended period not exceeding 15 days as granted by the District Forum.

  2.  Where the opposite party denies to accept the allegation purported in the complaint or fails to take any action to represent his case within the time given by District Forum, the Forum may proceed to settle the dispute either:-

  • On the basis of evidence brought to its notice by complainant or by the opposite party.

  • Ex-parte, on the basis of evidence brought to its notice by the complainant.

 

If the complaint fails to appear on the date of hearing, the District Forum may dismiss the case or decide it on merits.

Clause (3)-

It provides that no proceedings complying with the procedure laid down in subsection (1) and (2) shall be called in question in any court on the ground that the principle of natural justice is not complied with. 

  1. Every complaint shall be heard as speedy as possible and an endeavor shall be made to decide the complaint within the period of 3 months from the date of receipt of notice by the third party where the complaint does not require any test, endeavor shall be made to decide the complaint within the period of 5 months from the date of receipt of notice in case where the complaint require the test.

  2. Where during the pendency of any proceedings before the District Forum, if it appears necessary on the basis of facts and circumstances of case, the Forum may pass interim orders.

 

Clause (4)- 

It provides that the District Forum will have the same power as are vested in civil code under the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

 

Clause (5)-

Every proceeding before the District Forum shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of the sec 193 and 228 of the IPC and the District Forum shall be deemed to be a civil court.

In the event of death of a complainant who is a consumer or of the opposite party against whom a complaint has been made, the provision of CPC shall apply subject to modification, as the case may be.

 

Findings of District Forum

  • According to section 14, when the proceeding are conducted as per section 13 and allegations are proved against the opposite party, the District Forum may pass following orders:-

  • To remove the defects in the goods as pointed out.

  • To replace the goods with new goods of same category which shall be free from any defect.

  • To return to the complainant the price and the charge paid by the complainant.

  • To award compensation to consumer for the loss and damages suffered by him.

  • To discontinue the illicit practices and not to repeat them again.

  • Not to offer hazardous goods for sale i.e. by ceasing such goods, by issuing corrective advertisements.

  •  To provide adequate cost to parties.

 

In the case of, Rajasthan State Industrial Corporation vs. Premier Paints

It was held that the authorities under the act have to confine themselves only to the type of relief that are provided by the section. Outside the scope of this section no further relief can be provided.

 

In the case of, United India Assurance vs. Ajmer Singh Cotton and General Mills 

It was held that  in the appropriate cases the Forums and Commissions under the act are authorized to grant reasonable interest according to the facts and circumstances of each case 

  • Subsection (2) says that, every proceeding under subsection (1) shall be conducted by the President of District Forum and at least one member thereof sitting together.

Sub-section (2A) makes it compulsory that every order made by the District Forum shall be signed by the President and member or members conducted the proceeding. In case where the proceedings were conducted by the President and only one member and there are the difference of opinion than each of them shall submit the point of differences to the third member and then the decision of majority shall prevail.

  • Subsection (3) provides that, the procedure relating to the conduct of the meeting of the District Forum, its sitting and other matters shall be such as may be prescribed by the State Government.

 

Appeal

Section 15 of the Act provides that, any person who is aggrieved by the order of District Forum can appeal against such order to State Commission within the 30 days and the commission may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if sufficient cause is shown.

No appeal shall be entertained unless the appellant has deposited 50% of the penalty amount or Rs 25000 amount whichever is less. 

 

STATE COMMISSION 

Composition of the State Commission

Sec 16 says that each State Commission shall consist of:-

  • A person who is or has been qualified to be a Chief Justice of High Court, who shall be its President

  • Not less than two members, and not more than such number of members, as may be prescribed, one of whom shall be a woman. The other members shall have following qualification:-

  • Be not less than thirty-five years of age

  • Posses a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

  • Be a person of ability, integrity and must have adequate knowledge and experience of at least 10 years in dealing with problems relating to economics, law, commerce, public affair, accountancy etc.

 

Every appointment under this section shall be made by State Government on the recommendation of Chief Justice of High Court.

Jurisdiction of State Commission

Section 17 of the Act provides that, the State Commission will have following jurisdictions:-

  • The value of goods and services and the compensation claimed exceeds Rs 20 lakhs but does not exceed Rs 1 crore.

  • To entertain the appeals against the orders of District Forum.

  • To call for records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by the District Forum, if the District Forum has acted beyond its power or has failed to perform its duties.

 

The State Commission may transfer a complaint pending before the District Forum to any other District Forum, at any stage of the proceedings on the application of the complainant or on its own motion, in the interest of justice.

Procedures Applicable to the State Commission 

According to Section 18, the provisions of sections 12, 13 and 14 for the disposal of complaints by District Forum shall be applicable to the State Commission also with such modifications as may be necessary.

 

Appeal 

Section 19 of the Act provides that, any person who is aggrieved by the order of State Commission can appeal against such order to National Commission within the 30 days and the commission may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if sufficient cause is shown.

No appeal shall be entertained unless the appellant has deposited 50% of the penalty amount or Rs 35000 amount whichever is less. 

 

In the case of, Housing Board vs. Housing Board Colony Welfare Association

The order was pronounced but before signing on the order the President went on leave and the order could not be delivered. After coming back when the President delivered the order then only the order could be delivered. Thirty days were allowed to be counted after the date of delivery.

NATIONAL COMMISSION

Composition of the National Commission

Sec 20 says that each National Commission shall consist of:-

  • A person who is or has been qualified to be a Judge of Supreme Court, who shall be its President

  • Not less than four members, and not more than such number of members, as may be prescribed, one of whom shall be a woman. The other members shall have following qualification:-

  • Be not less than thirty-five years of age

  • Posses a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university

  • Be a person of ability, integrity and must have adequate knowledge and experience of at least 10 years in dealing with problems relating to economics, law, commerce, public affair, accountancy etc.

Every appointment under this section shall be made by Central Government on the recommendation with the Chief Justice of India.

Jurisdiction of National Commission

Section 21 of the Act provides that, the State Commission will have following jurisdictions:-

  • The value of goods and services and the compensation claimed should exceed Rs 1 crore.

  • To entertain the appeals against the orders of State Commission.

  • To call for records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by the State Commission, if the State Commission has acted beyond its power or has failed to perform its duties.

The National Commission may transfer a complaint pending before the District Forum to any other District Forum or before one State Commission to other State Commission, at any stage of the proceedings on the application of the complainant or on its own motion, in the interest of justice.

 

Procedures Applicable to the National Commission 

According to Section 22, the provisions of sections 12, 13 and 14 for the disposal of complaints by District Forum shall be applicable to the National Commission also with such modifications as may be necessary.

The National Commission will have the power to review any order made by it, where there is an error apparent on the face of record.

 

Appeal 

Section 23 of the Act provides that, any person who is aggrieved by the order of National Commission can appeal against such order to Supreme Court within the 30 days and the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if sufficient cause is shown.

No appeal shall be entertained unless the appellant has deposited 50% of the penalty amount or Rs 50000 amount whichever is less. 

 

In the case of, Modern Insulators ltd vs. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd

Where the National Commission allowed new facts to be urged in appeal before it and allowed the appeal on the basis of facts so urged for the first time, the Supreme Court held that the findings so reached was not legally tangible. 

E-COMMERCE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

People have started to believe and accept the new technologies with the changing era. Electronic Commerce, commonly known as E-commerce is a practice of buying and selling the goods and services online and it has gained popularity due to the exposure of variety of goods and services, that a physical market cannot demonstrate. 

E-commerce is one of the most convenient ways now a days for people to shop now, as it saves times, efforts and gives plenty of options. But with these advantages there are certain hidden cons also. There are certain common complaint which customers generally have while making transactions online, such as:-

  • Delivery of faulty and incorrect products. 

  • Delay in reimbursement of money on return of product.

  • Delay in product shipment.

  • Product guarantee and warranty issues.

 

In the lack of adequate legal framework, such problems are very hard to address. Many organizations work for the consumers protection i.e. OECD, ICC and so on. 

OECD Guidelines regarding E-commerce

  1. Consumers involved in e-commerce should be provided with transparent and efficient consumer protection which is no less than the level of protection provided in other types of trade.

  2. E-commerce businesses should produce due attention to consumer interests and act in line with the fair business, advertising and marketing prices as well as the general principle of good faith.

  3. No attempt should be made by businesses to restrict a consumer’s ability to male negative reviews, dispute charges, or file complaints with government agencies, authorities and other bodies.

  4. No representation, omission or practices should be made by businesses that is likely to be deceptive, false, fraudulent or unfair. Businesses should not misrepresent or hide terms and conditions that may affect a consumer’s transaction decision.

  5. Online disclosures should be clear, accurate, easily accessible in order to provide consumers with sufficient information to make informed transaction decisions.

  6. E-commerce businesses with consumers should provide information describing the offered goods or services that is sufficient to enable customers to make informed decisions.

  7. E-commerce businesses should provide data on the terms, conditions and expenses of a transaction that are adequate to allow customers to create informed decisions about a transaction. At any stage of the transaction, customers should be able to easily access the information.

  8. Businesses should provide customers with a chance to review summary data on the good or service as well as any data on shipment and pricing before customers are asked to verify a transaction. They should allow consumers to modify or stop the transaction. 

  9. Businesses should provide easy-to-use payment systems for customers and enforce safety measures in line with payment related hazards, including those arising from unauthorized access to or use of private information, fraud and identity theft.

  10. Businesses should provide consumers with redress for the harm they suffer as a result of goods or services that are, for example, damaging their devices, failing to meet advertised quality criteria or problems with delivery.

  11. Enterprises should protect the privacy of consumers by ensuring that their practices in the collection and use of consumer data are lawful, transparent and fair, allow for consumer participation and choice, and provide reasonable safeguards for security. 

 

Although there are no specific laws under the Indian Consumer Act, but it can still safeguard the consumer’s interest. As the person making the online purchase will be considered as a consumer as per section 2(1)(d) of Consumer Protection Act and can file a complaint on the following grounds as mentioned in section 6 of the Act:-

  • Unfair Trade Practice

  • Restrictive Trade Practice

  • Deficiency

  • Excessive price

  • Hazardous goods etc.

 

The court to which the complaint shall be made relies on the pecuniary jurisdiction and place. Under the Consumer Protection Act there are certain courts where a complaint can be lodged on the basis of amount or compensation claimed in the subject matter:-

  • District Forum for the matters up to Rs 20 lakh.

  • State Commission for the issues exceeding Rs 20 lakh and up to Rs 1 crore.

  • National Commission for the matters up to Rs 1 crore.