The whole issue centers round the period within which the Opponent has to give his version to the District Forum in pursuance of a complaint, which is admitted under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act.
Upon receipt of a complaint by the District Forum, if the complaint is admitted under Section 12 of the Act, a copy of the complaint is to be served upon the opposite party and as per provisions of Section 13 of the Act, the opposite party has to give his version of the case within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the copy of the complaint. There is a further provision in Section 13(2)(a) that the District Forum may extend the period, not exceeding 15 days, to the opposite party for giving his version.
The Consumer Forums have been liberally extending the period far beyond 45 days. In its decision dated 4 December 2015, the Supreme Court has held that the Forums have no power to extend the period beyond 45 days.
This will cut down the delays to a great extent.
The full decision is available at the following link: