• Mr. Mir Adil Rashid

Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission

Introduction

A new phase in consumer rights has started in India with the new Consumer Protection act 2019 and by repealing the consumer protection act 1986. The act aims to strengthen and protect consumer rights, imposing strict penalties on electronic service providers, product manufacturers, and provides for the settlement of disputes through mediation. A shift can also be seen in the provisions of the new act from Caveat emptor to Caveat Venditor as the fraud and unfair trade practices will now be penalized.


The consumer protection act 2019 provides for the establishment of a Consumer dispute Redressal Commission at three levels, District Level, State Level, and National Level. The new act also provides for the establishment of regulators, adjudicatory bodies, and Advisory Councils at the district, state, and national levels.


There shall be established for the purpose of this act, the following agencies:-

  1. A Consumer dispute Redressal Forum is known as "District Forum" established by the state government in each district of the state by notification. Provided that the state government may if it deems fit establish more than one District Commission in a District.

  2. A Consumer disputes redressal Commission be known as the "State Commission" established by the state government in the state by notification.

  3. A Consumer disputes redressal Commission by the Central Government by notification to be known as National Commission.

District Commission (Section 28(1))

This commission consists of a President and at least two members and not more than such a number of members as may be prescribed in consultation with the Central Government.


Section 29: The Central Government may specify by notification the rules for the qualifications, method of recruitment, the procedure for appointment, the term of office resignation, and removal of the President and members of the District Commission.


Section 30: The rules related to Salaries, allowances, and other terms and conditions of service of the President and members may be specified by the state government by notification.


Section 31: The President, as well as the members, shall before the commencement of this act hold office till the completion of his term for which he has been appointed.

And in case of Vacancy in office of President or member of District Commission, the state government may direct any other District Commission to exercise the jurisdiction in respect of that District.


Section 33: The state government shall in order to discharge the functions of the District Commission provide the District Commission with such officers and employees required to assist the District Commission. They have to discharge functions under the general superintendence of the President of the District Commission. Salaries, allowances payable to officers and employees must be such as may be prescribed.


Section 34: The District Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods and services paid as consideration does not exceed one crore rupees.


Any person aggrieved by the decision of the District Commission may file an appeal before the State Commission within a period of 45 days from the date of order in such form and manner as may be prescribed. An appeal can be entertained after the expiry of 45 days if there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.


State Commission (Section 42(1))

This commission consists of a President and at least four members not more than such a number of members as may be prescribed in consultation with the Central Government.


Section 43: The Central Government may specify by notification the rules for the qualifications, method of recruitment, the procedure for appointment, term of office resignation and removal of the President and members of the State Commission.


Section 44: The rules related to Salaries, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the President and members may be specified by the state government by notification.


Section 46: The state government shall in order to discharge the functions of the District Commission provide the District Commission with such officers and employees required to assist the State Commission. They have to discharge functions under the general superintendence of the President. Salaries, allowances payable to officers and employees must be such as may be prescribed.


Section 47(1): The State Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods and services paid as consideration exceeds one crore rupees but not exceed ten crore rupees.


Any person aggrieved by the decision of the State Commission may file an appeal before the National Commission within a period of 45 days from the date of order in such form and manner as may be prescribed. An appeal can be entertained after the expiry of 45 days if there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.


National Commission (Section 53(1))

This commission consists of a President and not less than 4 and not more than such members as may be prescribed.


Section 55(1): The Central Government may specify by notification the rules for the qualifications, method of recruitment, the procedure for appointment, term of office resignation and removal of the President and members of the National Commission.

Provided the President and members shall hold office for a prescribed term but not exceeding 5 years from the date on which he enters the office and shall be eligible for re-appointment.


Section 55(2): The Salary and allowances and terms and conditions of service of the President and members of the National Commission shall be varied to his disadvantage after his appointment.


Section 58(1): The National Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods and services paid as consideration exceeds ten crore rupees.


Any person aggrieved by the decision of the National Commission may file an appeal before the Supreme Court within a period of 30 days from the date of order in such form and manner as may be prescribed. An appeal can be entertained after the expiry of 30 days if there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.


The Author is pursuing BA.LLB at School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir.

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