What are the powers of State Consumer Redressal Forum?
Section 14 and Section 22 of the Consumer Protection Act explained the reliefs that can be awarded by the Consumer redressal forums to the Complainant. The consumer forums upon doing enquiry into the allegations specified in the Complaint about the goods or services and if such allegations are proved, then the Forums may issue orders directing Opposite party or parties to do one or more of the following:
(a) to remove the defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question;
(b) to replace the goods with new goods of similar description without any defect;
(c) to return to the complainant the price or charges paid by the complainant;
(d) to pay compensation amount awarded to the consumer for any loss or injury sustained due to the negligence of the opposite party.
Provided that the District Forum shall have the power to grant punitive damages if circumstances warranted;
(e) to remove the defects in goods or deficiencies in the services in question;
(f) to discontinue the unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice or not to repeat it;
(g) not to offer the hazardous goods for sale;
(h) to withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale;
(i) to provide adequate costs to the parties
Apart from above mentioned reliefs, National Commission also provides other reliefs such as
Section 22(1) confers power on the National Commission to modify the order of the District Forum if necessary, and also may review any order made by it under Section 22 (2) , when there is an error apparent on the face of record.
Section 22A confers power on the National Commission to set aside ex parte orders made by it upon the application made by the aggrieved party.
Under Section 22B, National Commission, on the application of the complainant or of its own motion, may at any stage of the proceeding, transfer any complaint pending before the District Forum of one State to a District Forum of another State or before one State Commission to another State Commission in the interest of justice.
Powers of State Commission:
Section 17 (1) (a) (i) of the Act provides the powers to State Commission to entertain the Complaints where the value of goods or service and compensation exceeds rupees twenty lakhs but does not exceed rupees one crore.
Under Section 17(1) (a) (ii) State Commission has jurisdiction to deal with the appeals filed against the order of District Forum within the state.
Section 17(1)(b) also given power to call for any records and to pass any orders in consumer dispute pending before District Forum within the State if it finds that the District Forum has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it, or failed to exercise its jurisdiction or exercised its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.
Section 17A of the Act confers powers on State Commission to transfer cases at any stage of the proceeding from one district forum to another within State in the interest of justice. State Commission under Section 17 B, the State Commission by performing ordinary functions in the State, may also perform its functions at other places as per the orders of State Government’s notification in the form of circuit benches
Adv. Anitha Gutti