Questions and Answers February 2024
Question 1: Can more than one consumers aggrieved in the same manner? Law? (Chander Prakash Nagar 9414538685)
Answer: Yes Can file complaint together by number of consumers as ‘class action’ or ‘joint complaint’
Sec 2(v) ‘complainant’ one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest
- (1) A complaint, in relation to any goods sold or delivered or agreed to be sold or delivered or any service provided or agreed to be provided, may be filed with a District Commission by-
(c) one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest, with the permission of the District Commission, on behalf of, or for the benefit of, all consumers so interested;
Sec 18 (1) (a)
Central Consumer Protection Authority (“Central Authority“) under Section 18 (1) (a) to “protect, promote and enforce the rights of consumers as a class”
Question 2: Adjournments time and again for 6 months inspite of Written Arguments filed by the complainant, What Remedy? (बिहार पटना)
Facts. Noting by court on 26.12.2023 as hereunder:
उभय पक्ष उपस्थित .अभिलेख के आकलन से ज्ञात होता है की विपक्षी द्वारा हर बार समय मांग किया जा रहा है जबकि वादी प्रत्येक तिथि पैर उपस्थित रहते है और उनके द्वारा लिखित बेहेस भी दाखिल किया जा चूका है.ऐसी स्थिति में विपक्षी जब तक ६००/-रूपया कास्ट की राशी जमा नहीं करत तब तक उसकी बहस स्वीकार नहीं की जाएगी अगली तिथि 2.2.2024
अगली तिथि 13.5.2024.
Write to Ministry of consumer affairs Govt of India, State Consumer commission and Nation consumer commission with the notings made for adjournments
Court should have heard complainant’s arguments proceeding OP ex party and reserve the order, cost could be added with the order.
Question 3: Can there be an appeal against order on appeal, another appeal under CP Act? (Sidharaja Mysore ,Karnataka)
Answer: There is no provision of second appeal under the Act
Section 21(b) in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
(b) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.
It is pertinent to mention that the same provision exists now in the new Act Consumer protection act 2019 too
58 (1) (b) in Consumer Protection Act 2019
“To call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity”.
Case Law: Sunil Kumar Maity V/s State Bank of India and Anr. .civil appeal 432 of 2022 decided on 21th Jan 2022
“It is needless to say that the revisional jurisdiction of the National Commission under Section 21(b) of the said Act is extremely limited. It should be exercised only in case as contemplated within the parameters specified in the said provision, namely when it appears to the National Commission that the State Commission had exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or had failed to exercise jurisdiction so vested, or had acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.’
Question 4: According to RERA regulations, the builder bears the responsibility of covering maintenance costs for unsold apartments. Should the society be accountable for the maintenance fees of 35 unsold flats when the entire building, comprising 230 flats, has been handed over to the society? (Mr Patel)
Answer: When the entire building, including the unsold 35 flats, is transferred to the society, these unsold flats now belong to the society as the owner. While the builder may not retain ownership of these flats, it’s plausible that adjustments in accounts have been made, considering the construction and unsold flat costs.
Under these circumstances, occupants are not obligated to pay monthly maintenance charges for the unsold flats. The expenses for common areas, electricity, plumbing, and other communal services are to be covered from the collective funds belonging to the society.
Question 5: The senior citizen is incapable of personally attending the Consumer Commission as the consumer applicant. However, the commission asserts that his presence is mandatory. What can be done in this situation? (Mr Vijay Kapoor)
Answer: The complainant has the authority to designate someone to appear on their behalf. Failure of the complainant to appear may lead to the dismissal of the complaint by default.
Question 6: Enforcement proceedings related to the Jiva club matter are underway. An execution petition has been submitted, but the opposing party (OP) has failed to appear in court. The known address is a rented property, and I lack information about any real estate holdings. However, I do possess details about the bank accounts. Is it possible to seize the funds from the bank account? (S. Dass)
Two issues involved –a) Notice not served.
- Notice can be sent to available address last known to the court and you.
- Can send through email also.
- Substituted service via publication in the local newspaper where the opposing party’s office or branch is situated is a viable option. An application must be filed with the court seeking permission for this alternative method, including details regarding the notice.
- b) Attachment of property occurs only after serving notice on the property, and if the opposing party (OP) still fails to appear.
- c) Account cannot be attached without taking all steps as it leads to many complications, other business /personal activities of a person get affected
- c) You can get address and other details from the bank, can request court to direct bank to do so.
Question 7: I lodged a complaint with the District Commission regarding a faulty paper cup machine, involving three entities: the dealer Rashmi Enterprises, the manufacturer Aman Impex, and SBI General Insurance for a loan. Only Rashmi Enterprises participated in the proceedings, resulting in an order against them and in my favour. I appealed, contesting the lack of compensation. Both SBI and Rashmi Enterprises challenged the order on their part. The State Commission identified an error in the district order, as Aman Impex was not served, absolving the manufacturer of liability. The State Commission recommended invoking the Product Liability clause for executing the order in the absence of the manufacturer. (Rajnikanth Panigrahi)
Answer: If there is no existing order against the manufacturer, the recourse under the product liability clause, specifically Section 85 and 86, allows you to pursue action against the dealer exclusively.
Question 8: I acquired a piece of land that originally belonged to the government (designated for a school and garden), but the colonizer and the sarpanch illegally sold it to me. They were subsequently incarcerated for this crime. However, I am currently facing challenges in obtaining construction approvals. (Sanchay Deshmukh)
Answer: The property is no longer legally yours as it has been declared government land. You have the option to file a case in a civil court, treating it as a recovery suit, seeking a refund of your money along with compensation for unfair dealing. Alternatively, you can file a complaint before the consumer court or RERA, citing unfair trade practices, and seek a refund along with compensation.
Question 9: A complaint was submitted to the consumer forum against DHFL, but it was dismissed. Subsequently, an appeal was made to the NLCT with a copy sent to the president, yet no action has been taken.
Answer: NCLT is not an appellate court for consumer matters. Therefore, filing an appeal there may not be effective. However, if the case is dismissed due to the opposing party being declared insolvent, you can then act as a financial creditor and submit a claim before NCLT seeking a refund or any other resolution as per the decisions made by NLCT.
Question 10: I reserved a flat in 2017 with a stipulated construction period of 3 years. However, after 6 years, the flat is now ready, but there is a request for an increased cost. (Imran Khan)
Answer: Submit a complaint to the consumer commission and request an interim order for possession at the initially agreed cost until a decision is reached on the merits of the case. File a claim for compensation for the delay in court. Challenge the issue of increased costs by emphasizing that the delay was caused by the builder, and the homebuyer had initially agreed to the cost set during the three-year construction period.
Question 11: I bought a vehicle with the expected delivery date set for December 6, 2023. However, upon delivery, I discovered that the sunroof was not functioning. The assurance was made to rectify the issue by December 11, 2023, but neither the repair nor the replacement of the vehicle has taken place. Additionally, attempts to cancel the registration are being denied.
Answer: You can lodge a complaint with the consumer commission, and depending on the merits of the case, you have various options such as repair, replacement, refund, etc.
Question 12: A newly purchased bike is experiencing starting problems, and despite efforts by the service centre, the defect persists. A case has been filed with the consumer commission, and the service centre is now declining to provide any further service. The upcoming court date is scheduled for February 19, 2024. Is there a way to expedite the repair process or secure an earlier court date? What type of application can be submitted before the court to address this issue? (Sandeep Arora)
- You can file an application stating this problem and ask for an early date.
- During the next hearing, you have the option to submit an application for an interim order, seeking permission to have the vehicle repaired until the case is adjudicated on its merits.
- You can also request the court to obtain expert opinion about the defects in the vehicle and decide the relief on merits.
Question 13: What should I do now that I am receiving a substantial bill of Rs 25,000 for a four-month period due to a fast meter?
Answer: Submit an application to the electricity department requesting a meter inspection and be prepared to pay a fee for this service. If the meter is discovered to be fast or defective, the billing will be adjusted based on the previous billing pattern, calculating the average over the last six months.
Question 14: Bought Yamaha Aero on October 5, 2023. The engine experienced a stoppage after covering 1364 km and required repairs for four days. Subsequently, after traveling 3200 km, the same issue recurred. Is it possible to request a replacement for the vehicle?
Answer: A replacement is not warranted unless it is declared irreparable or found to have a manufacturing defect. In such instances, one may consider approaching the consumer court, seek an expert opinion, and pursue a decision based on the merits of the case.