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Consumer Protection (Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions) Rules, 2020 Amendment

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on December 29, 2022

On 20th December 2022, the Central Government’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution amended the Consumer Protection (Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission) Rules, 2020 (“CPR 2020”) under the powers conferred by Section 101, 101 (2)(q) and 101(2)(zj) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (“CPA 2019”). This confers the powers upon Central Government to make rules under the CPA, 2019 and states that the Central Government may, by notification, create rules for carrying out any of the provisions contained in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. These new rules would be called Consumer Protection (Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions) Amendment Rules, 2022 (“the amendment”).

The Amendment

The amendment has revised the fees payable for making complaints before the District Commission, State Commission, or National Commission, as per The Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The fees payable for making such complaints are enlisted under Rules 7(2) of the CPR 2020.

Previously, to file a complaint with the District Commission, for the value of goods, and services paid as consideration for the amount of Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 1 crore, the applicable fee was Rs. 2000. Under the amendment, to file a complaint for the value of goods, and services paid as consideration for the amount of Rs. 50 lakhs to Rs. 1 crore, a consumer can file such a complaint with the State Commission rather than the District Commission for a fee of Rs. 2000.

Furthermore, previously, to file a complaint with the State Commission, for the value of goods, and services paid as consideration for the amount of Rs. 2 crores to 4 crores, 4 crores to 6 crores, 6 crores to 8 crores, and 8 crores to 10 crores, the applicable fees were Rs. 3000, Rs. 4000, Rs. 5000, and Rs. 6000 respectively. Under the amendment, to file a complaint for the value of goods, and services paid as consideration for the amount of Rs. 2 crores to 4 crores, 4 crores to 6 crores, 6 crores to 8 crores, and 8 crores to 10 crores, a consumer can file such a complaint with the National Commission rather than the State Commission for the aforementioned applicable fees.

Conclusion

The CPA 2019 creates a three-tier quasi-judicial system for dealing with consumer complaints, including district commissioners, state commissions, and a national commission. Furthermore, the Act defines each consumer commission level’s pecuniary jurisdiction. Following the CPA’s implementation, it was discovered that the provisions governing consumer commissions’ pecuniary jurisdiction caused cases previously filed with the National Commission to be filed with State Commissions, and cases previously filed with State Commissions to be filed with District Commissions. Due to the significant increase in caseload, the District Commissions’ ability to quickly settle cases was greatly hampered, undermining the Act’s objective to provide consumers with quick relief. Thus, to provide a faster and more amicable mode of settling consumer dispute, the pecuniary jurisdiction of Consumer forums have been amended.


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