Consumer court is an embodiment of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and stands as part of the 3 tier quasi-judicial establishment. The Consumer Court Kolkata serves the purpose of protecting consumer disputes and grievances at the district level. Under any abuse of the buyer-seller preposition the court makes sure that both the sides are given a patient hearing and a judgement is made on the merit of the case. The court stands to provide litigation on consumer grievances on goods and services. The goods are the tangible forms of production such as furniture, appliances, vehicle or property. The services are the intangible benefits that come as outcome to a function such as banking, telephone, electricity, housing, insurance and all.
The Consumer Court Kolkata was first established in the year 1999 to prevent the unfair trade practices and any violation on consumer rights. The forum gets its directions from the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Bhavani Bhavan, Alipore, Kolkata – 700 027. The forum is headed by a president and 4 other members that come from distinguished walks of life such as politics, arts, administration and management.
For an aggrieved consumer the litigation process starts with submission of a written complaint at the forum or through online portal. The attending clerk will issue a reference number on the complaint and will also allocate a near date on the admission hearing. The admission hearing is significant because the bench gives a review to the present complaint to make decision on its validity. The complainant is therefore advised to suffice the complainant with all the legitimate substantiation and evidential support. Once the court qualifies the complaint for further hearing a notice is issued to the opposite party (also referred as the respondent) to reveal his or her stand in the next 30 days time. The court will inform the two parties about the due date on final hearing. Both, the complainant and the respondent are required to be present on the hearing date and have their say on the judicial proceedings. Post the hearing phase, the forum will issue the order in the next 15 days time as liability on either ends.
The follow-up on judgment may ask the manufacturer or the producer to:-
1. Make compensation in-lieu of the defection in the product or services
2. Make replacement to the defected product
3. Make compensation for the financial loss / injuries occurred due to defection
4. Make compensation for the cost on litigation and mental agony
5. Make order on call-back for the available stocks of the defected product in the market
6. Make amendments to the marketing communication as per the facts
7. Make amendments to the existing services as per the order
The District Consumer Forum charges a fees of just Rs 100/- for grievances that mention a compensation of Rs 100,000/- and are empowered to make judgements on grievances that demand a maximum compensation of Rs 20 Lakhs for a court fee of just Rs 500/-.
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