The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted for the protection of the interests of consumers and for the settlement of consumer disputes.
A consumer is any person who buys any goods or services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose.
A person aggrieved under this Act, with a view to obtaining any relief, may present a written complaint before the appropriate Consumer Forum for:
(i) Any unfair trade practice adopted by any trader, the complainant has suffered loss or damage.
(ii) the goods mentioned in the complaint suffer from one or more defects;
(iii) the services mentioned in the complaint suffer from deficiency in any respect;
(iv) a trader has charged for the goods mentioned in the complaint a price in excess of the price fixed by or under any law for the time being in force or displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods,
The pecuniary jurisdiction for the District Consumer Forum is up to Rs. 5 lakhs. The pecuniary jurisdiction for the State Consumer Forum is more than Rs. 5 lakhs and less than Rs. 20 lakhs. The National Consumer Forum has pecuniary jurisdiction beyond Rs. 20 lakhs. All complaints have to be filed within two years from the date and the cause of action took place.
An appeal lies from the order of the District Consumer Forum to the State Consumer Form and from the State Consumer Forum to the National Consumer Forum. An appeal to the Supreme Court lies against the order of the National Consumer Forum.