|Says it’s unfortunate that complainants are denied relief because of such practices|
Terms exercise as “erroneous”; says consumer forums need to follow the principles of natural justice
Says complaint alleging defect in goods can be entertained on receipt of letter with sufficient facts
NEW DELHI: In a consumer-friendly move, the National Consumer Commission has cautioned consumer courts against dismissing complaints on technical grounds.
Describing such a practice as “erroneous,” the apex consumer court said the consumer forums need to follow the principles of natural justice and can give a go-by to procedures under other statutes in the interest of consumers.
“It is reiterated that under the Consumer Protection Act, technicalities are not to be encouraged because the only procedure prescribed is to follow the principles of natural justice and to decide the matter after hearing both the parties,” ruled the Commission’s President Justice M.B. Shah.
The Commission observed that lower consumer courts’ refusal to offer relief to complainants due to technicalities was “unfortunate.”
A complaint alleging defects in goods or deficiency in service could be entertained merely on receipt of a letter stating sufficient facts and the cause of action and even after just hearing a party, the Commission said in a recent order, referring to the procedures prescribed under the Act.
The apex consumer commission’s observations came while hearing a revision petition by the Consumer Education and Research Society which alleged that its complaint against an insurance company was dismissed by a district forum and the Gujarat State Commission on the ground that the complainant’s parents or his power of attorney were not entitled to file a case under the Consumer ProtectionAct.
The National Commission, however, found the view as over-technical and allowed the petition with a direction to the New India Assurance Company Limited to pay Rs.10,000 along with 10 per cent interest under the household policy for the damage to the complainant’s insured TV set. — PTI
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