Consumer Complaints Lodged Before 2019 Act Will Continue Before Fora Envisioned As Per 1986 Act: Supreme Court

The bench of Justices Dr. DY Chandrachud. and MR Shah held that the proceedings instituted before the commencement of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 on 20 July 2020 would continue before the fora corresponding to those under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 (the National Commission, State Commissions and District Commissions) and not be transferred in terms of the pecuniary jurisdiction set for the fora established under the Act of 2019. 

The decision was rendered by the Bench on 16th of March, 2020, in a plea against a decision of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) which had dismissed a case on the ground that after the enforcement of the 2019 Act, its pecuniary jurisdiction stood enhanced from Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore. The Apex Court ruled that transferring these complaints as per the pecuniary jurisdiction laid down in the new Act will impact the interests of the consumer and defeat the object of the legislation, which is to protect and promote consumer welfare. 

This significant pronouncement, which settles a widespread confusion prevailing in consumer fora across the country, came in the case Neena Aneja and others vs Jai Prakash Associates Ltd.

The 2019 Act had increased the pecuniary jurisdiction of consumer fora as follows :

District Forum :-Increased to Rs.One Crore from Rs. Twenty Lakhs.

State Commission :- Increased to Rs. Ten Crores from Rs. One Crore.

National Commission :- Above Rs. Ten Crores from Rs.One Crores.

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