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Consumer Forums in India

Constitution of Bench in the Consumer Forums in India

The constitution of Bench in the three levels Consumer Forums is as Follows:

  • District Forum called District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum:The District Forum consists of 3 members, wherein one member is the President who is or has been or is qualified to be a District Judge. One of the member shall be a woman.
  • State Forum called State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: The State Forum also consists of 3 members, one of whom is the President, who is or has been a judge of a High Court. One of the member shall be a woman.
  • National Commission called National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: The National Commission consists of a President, who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court, and not less than 4 members and not more than such number of members as may be prescribed.
  • One of the member shall be a woman.

Pecuniary Jurisdiction of the Consumer Forums in India

The Pecuniary Jurisdiction of the Consumer Forums is as follows:

  1. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum: Subject to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1999, the District Forum shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed does not exceed Rs. 20 Lac.
  2. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: The State Commission has the jurisdiction to entertain the Complaints where the value of goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds Rs. 20 Lac but does not exceed Rs. 1 crore.
  3. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: The jurisdiction of National Commission extends to Complaints where the value of goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds Rs. 1 cr.

However, as per the Proposed Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the pecuniary jurisdiction is proposed to be revised which is as follows:

  1. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum: The jurisdiction of the District Forum is proposed to increase from Rs. 20 Lac to Rs. 1 cr.
  2. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: As per the proposed amendment, the State Jurisdiction shall be able to entertain Complaints whose value is minimum Rs. 1 cr but does not exceed 10 cr.
  3. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission: The National Commission, under the proposed amendment, shall be able to entertain Complaints valued above Rs. 10 cr.

Powers of Consumer Forums in India

The District Consumer Forum has the same powers as vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 while trying a suit, in the following matters namely:-

  1. Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any defendant or witness and examining the witness on oath.
  2. The discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence.
  3. The reception of evidence on affidavits
  4. The requisitioning of the report of the concerned analysis or test from the appropriate laboratory or from any other relevant source.
  5. Issuing of any commission for the examination of any witness and
  6. Any other matter which may be prescribed

The State and National commission, in addition to the abovementioned powers, have the power to review the decisions of the District Forum as District Forum does not have the power to review its own order.

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To know more about Consumer Laws in India, click on the link below:

Consumer Protection

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