I have always advocated that the Consumer Protection Act is the best option in appropriate cases.
It is faster than other remedies like civil courts.
The fees are nominal.
The consumer himself can file and argue his case.
I attended a talk by Ms. Rajyalakshmi Rao, ex member of the National Consumer Commission on the 28 March 2015.
There are problems which should be sorted out.
Matters can and should be simplified. I am giving a few simple suggestions.
1 The format of the Complaint varies from State to State and Forum to Forum in the same State. This practically forces a complainant to engage a lawyer.
The National Commission can formulate rules specifying the basic format of all the required documents.
So long as these are complied with, the individual Forums and Commissions need not be hyper technical.
2 Far too many adjournments are given.
I do realize that adjournments do have to be given in genuine cases, like the parties’ or advocate’s illnes, but too many adjournments are given, even when there are no grounds indicated or mentioned. There is a lot of waste of time of all concerned, which could be minimized.
3. There are far too many similar cases …for instance cases against builders, insurance companies. There are any number of decisions on these issues.
Much of these litigation can be curtailed by imposing heavy costs or damages, where rulings on similar issues are not followed.
For example, builders seem to ignore the law with impunity.. And by the time the issue, say of car parking, forming of housing society, conveyance, handing over of common areas, is decided against them, they would have enjoyed the benefit for years and decades. Heavy damages should be imposed so that such practice is curtailed. The damages may be given to the Consumer Protection Fund.
4. There are some Forums which have a huge pendency …may be because of vacancies, or because the particular jurisdiction has more litigants.
In such cases, the State Commission can easily transfer some of the pending cases to other Forums or change the territorial jurisdiction so that the workload is better and more evenly distributed.