This post talks about the procedure to be followed in order to file a complaint in consumer court in India. The Consumer court is the best chance to get your voice heard and get you an appropriate compensation in case any service or product provide has not delivered whatever was promised. Yes even though the complaint is going to a court in front of judges, it is not mandatory to hire the services of a lawyer. There are different government office depending on the money involved. In case the amount is less than 20 Lakhs, you would need to find District forum office in your city, for amount greater than 20 Lakhs and less than 1 crore you would need to look for State Comission office and for amount greater than 1 crore, you would need the help of National comission office.
The author of this post had a grievance against Sulekha New Media Pvt Ltd run Sulekha.com website and hence , the help of District forum was sought. The author lives in Goa of India where there is no office of Sulekha.com and even then the author was able to successfully file a complaint in consumer court office. Yes there was no need to go to any other state to file a complaint against sulekha classifieds, sulekha yellowpages or any other service by sulekha.com who has offices in Mumbai, Pune, and at other states of India.
In order to file a complaint in consumer court, you would need evidence. In case you do not have enough evidence that you were not provided the agreed services / products, probably your complaint would not be even registered in the consumer court. Collect all the documents you have and make sure that all documentary evidences do depict what was promised to you and be able to show that to the judges in the consumer court. The first document you must collect is the document provided by the company promising you the agreed products / services. The second proof must be the payment receipt. In case the company against which you wish to file the complaint in consumer court has not issued you a payment receipt, do mention that in documents. In case you deposited cash in the company’s bank account, get the cash payment receipt. The last document you would need is a documentary proof showing that the agreed products / services were not delivered to you or partially delivered to you.
Once you have collected all the documents for the consumer court complaint, arrange them in order, number the pages appropriately and then take a paper and tell the story. The story should tell what all products / services were offered by the company, what was not delivered and what compensation you seek from the company at fault. This consumer complaint is often referred to as a grievance in legal terms. Once you have all the documents proving that you were not delivered the products or services by the company against which you file consumer court, do visit the local office of district forum or consumer court office. Typically you will have to pay a fee of Rs 100/- by a demand draft and you would be asked to make multiple copies of your total complaint along with the evidence documents.
Once you submit the required fees, documents to the consumer court, you would be invited on an agreed date to appear before the judges and tell in brief about the problem / issue with the company. Once judges are satisfied with the documentary proofs and the complaint, they will send notice to the faulty company and would give you another date on which you are supposed to appear before the consumer court judges. From then onwards, it all depends on who is actually right, who appears in the court room and says what. In a nutshell, documentary evidences are required to submit the consumer complaint, it is not mandatory to hire the services of a lawyer and yes people in consumer court offices are helpful to get the matter resolved.