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IS RTI applicant a consumer as defined under Consumer Protection Act - See the details in this post.


munirathnam
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Courts and tribunals [like consumer forums, railways claim, land compensation, MACT, income tax, telecom, DRTs-courts for bank loans above 10 lacs etc etc ] are on different footings as to jurisdiction, scope, existence etc. Hence to say if courts are barred, tribunals are also barred would be wrong. I will try to locate judgements of HC/SC/NCDRC where in it is decided that consumer forums are not courts. Some tribunals like DRTs have wider powers than a civil court in the matter of bank loan recovery.

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It appears to be that if consumer courts accept the RTI applicant as consumer then no need to approach Information Commission for any relief withrespect to RTI Aplication considering that entire relief that is available from Information Commission is availbale in CP Act and also additional benifits can be achieved from CP Act.

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Mohali Consumer Forum imposed penalty of Rs. 45000/- on PIO for providing incomplete information under RTI to a 75 year old information seeker. News published in THE TRIBUNE CHANDIGARH DATED 14-2-2012 enclosed in thread - List of successfull consumer complaints at RTIIndia Forum. Please must see it.

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After telecom dispute bared in Consumer Forum by Apex Court on 1-9-2009, Consumer Forum Ferozpur admitted complaints and award compensation just after 10 days of the judgement of Hon'ble supreme Court. Almost all consumer forum stoped accepting telecom disputes as well as NCDRC too. But another side NCDRC has directed to Vodafone in 2011 to give compensation to harassed consumer. So I am also confused whether on the judgement of NCDRC to be a consumer or not either in telecom matter or in RTI matter.

 

New judgement of NCDRC in 2011 reg. telecom consumer under CPA is given below :-

 

The National Commission held Vodafone Essar liable for deficiency in service for charging Rs. 500/- per minute for ISD calls, as the company’s tariff card did not mention that the said rate would be charged for calls made to satellite telephones.

In May 2006, Mr. Arvind Reddy received a hefty bill of Rs. 21,736/- where charges Rs. 500/- per minute for ISD calls were also included. He alleged that the charges were not included in the tariff card. The District Forum held the company guilty of unfair trade practice as the charges were for calls made to satellite telephones and not for making normal ISD calls. The District Commission directed Vodafone to revise the bill in accordance with the tariff for ISD calls. The National Commission upheld the decision of State Commission which had affirmed the District Commission’s order. Compensation of Rs.6000 was awarded.

You can read the full judgement here

 

http://164.100.72.12/ncdrcrep/judgement/00110926160223684RP27752007.htm

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It appears to be that if consumer courts accept the RTI applicant as consumer then no need to approach Information Commission for any relief withrespect to RTI Aplication considering that entire relief that is available from Information Commission is availbale in CP Act and also additional benifits can be achieved from CP Act.

 

CPA can be used for effective implementation of RTI Act . Procedure under CPA is not a short-cut remedy . Going to Consumer forum , you have to be prepared for a long journey ahead .

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Hi All,

 

I agree with the D.S Malhotra that the battle through CP Act is long and is same as with RTI Act because the decision of the Information Commission would come to High Court Court and supreme court if applicable.

 

The problem with information commission is as follows:

 

1. Only one commissioner would decide the matter hence lot of uncertinity,

2. Disposal of the appeal/complaint takes long time,

3. Compensation for the victim is rare and small amount,

4. Difficult to reach information commission because it is sitting at State head quarters.

5. Powers of the Information Commission are less compared to Consumer foram.

 

If the battle takes much time then it is difficult to even the PIO or PA.

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Hi All,

 

If any RTI applicant is facing criminal case trial (in the cases state is filed the chagre sheet) then the reasons with supporting documents may be asked from the public authority to effectively counter the criminal case.

 

If the PA faisl to give information the same may be used to quash the case by the High Court through petition U/s 482 of CrPC or through Writ Petition.

 

Especially in fasle dowry (498A) cases, the husband may seek the detaisl of the dowry given and the documents that show that the property was with the in-laws befroe marriage etc....

 

The reply that one can get from law witnesses and the police during the cross examination may be recived through the RTI by framing the quiry properly and by invoking the section 4(1)(d) of RTI Act this would result in early disposal of case.

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If any RTI applicant is facing criminal case trial (in the cases state is filed the chagre sheet) then the reasons with supporting documents may be asked from the public authority to effectively counter the criminal case.

plz post only matter relevant to the thread . You may start a new thread for fresh matter .

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As per the recent SUpreme Court judgement, even though remeddy is available in RTI Act, the consumer can approach the CP Act for remedy.... hence the National Commisssion dcision against the RTI applicant is not maintainable.

 

The only one point to be decided by the Supreme Court or High Court is that whether the RTI applicant is a consumer or not? if Supreme Court or any state High Court rules that the RTI applicant is consumer then I believe that people can approach the Consumer Courts without any single doubt in mind.... else a devil advocate may take the refernece of the NCDRC decision to fight to some extent of course finally that argument wont stand because there is not explanation given by the NCDRC for why RTI applicant is not a consumer.

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Very interesting, manirathnam Ji, we can give reference of the latest judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court, but we have to wait for final outcome from HC or SC on the matter - whether RTI Applicant is a Consumer or Not ? as per the judgements available till now from HC, SC or NCDRC, it is clear that after payment of fee under any law (RTI), applicant become a Consumer.

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Dear members

 

The Information Commission and the Consumer forum jurisdiction over RTI orders is under litigation before Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana as reported in Indian Express, recently. Read the attachment for more details and update futher as you learn more about the case, for the benefit of the members.

pujab_IC vs consumer forum.doc

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Hi All,

 

Recently two complaints made by the RTI applicants before the R.R District, A.P DCDRF are dismissed. And the dismissal order says that as per NCDRC decision RTI applicant is not a consumer hence CP act is not applicable.

 

Consumer Complaint nos: 163/2011, 164/2011 are dismissed in Jan-2011.

 

Currently Consumer Complaint no: 170/2011 is in pending for disposal and I met the complianant and gave the arguments that I have posted in this topic. The complainant will argue the matter and I will update you on the status.

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INDIAN EXPRESS

Info panel, consumer forum in tug-of-war over jurisdiction - Indian Express

Info panel, consumer forum in tug-of-war over jurisdiction

Rajni Shaleen Chopra : Chandigarh, Wed Jan 11 2012, 00:18 hrs

 

Punjab Information Commission has locked horns with Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum over the issue of jurisdiction. The Commission has taken the stand that consumer dispute redressal courts do not have jurisdiction to entertain cases which have been decided under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Over the last couple of years, there have been cases where the consumer courts, empowered by the Consumer Protection Act, have taken up cases filed by people against the Public Information Officers (PIOs) appointed under the RTI Act. In various cases, the consumer courts have also directed the PIOs or the department concerned to compensate the consumer.

In one such case filed by RTI activist Sanjay Kumar Mishra in August last year, the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum issued notice to the Chief Information Commissioner Punjab and the PIO of the Commission.

Following the notice, the Chief Information Commissioner and the PIO moved an application in the Forum, questioning whether it had jurisdiction to adjudicate a case decided earlier under the RTI Act.

In an order passed on November 24, the Forum stated that the main case would be disposed of soon, and the issue of jurisdiction would be taken up in the same order.

Aggrieved by this, the Punjab Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Commission’s PIO filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against Sanjay Kumar Mishra and others. Disposing of the writ petition last month, Justice Surya Kant directed the UT Consumer Forum that the issue of jurisdiction raised by the petitioners “shall be specifically decided in the final order”.

Justice Surya Kant added that in case the objection raised by the petitioners regarding jurisdiction was not accepted, the direction issued by the Consumer Forum “shall be kept in abeyance for four weeks”. The HC order stated that this would be done to enable the CIC and the Commission’s PIO to take up the issue of jurisdiction before an appropriate forum.

In a meeting held regarding the issue before filing the writ petition, the Chief Information Commissioner Punjab and other Information Commissioners had decided: “Such orders of the Consumer Forum will be challenged by the Commission in the higher constitutional courts, as the Consumer Forums have no jurisdiction over issues arising out of the RTI Act.”

This is in contradiction of a ruling of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in 2009. The National Consumer Commission had ruled that applicants who seek information under the RTI Act are ‘consumers’. Hence, non-submission of information by a public authority amounted to deficiency in service under the Consumer Protection Act.

In June 2010, the Faridkot Consumer Disputes

Redressal Forum had ordered the District Transport Department to pay

Rs 10,000 as compensation to a local resident for delay in providing information under the RTI Act.

And in April 2009, the Karnal Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum had issued a notice to the State Principal Information Officer (SPIO) of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission under the RTI Act.

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Hi All,

 

Updated arguments to invoke jurisdiction of Consumer Court are below:

 

WRITTEN ARGUMENTS FOR ADMISSION OF COMPLAINT

 

The complainant humbly submits the below:

 

1. Humbly submits that the section 2(1)(o) of The Consumer Protection Act, clearly covers the process of purveying information. The relevant part is reproduced here - "service" means service of any description which is made available to potential (users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both, 2[housing construction] entertainment, amusement or the PURVEYING OF NEWS OR OTHER INFORMATION, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service; Meaning of the word PURVEYING - TO PROVIDE. Hence, based on the above mentioned clause, the complainant, who has paid RTI application fee, is a consumer under the CPA.

 

2. Humbly submits that as per section 2(1)(o) of Consumer Protection Act, in short CP Act, the complainant is consumer and the complainant relies on the citations:

 

a. Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in revision petition No. 1975 of 2005 [in appeal No. 244/04 relating to complaint of Dr. S.P Thirumala Rao v/s Municipal Commissioner, Mysore] decided on 28-05-2009. In this decision, it has been decided, interalia that applicant under RTI Act is a consumer under The Consumer Protection Act 1986. It has been decided, interalia that applicant under RTI Act is a consumer under The Consumer Protection Act 1986.

 

b. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in “State of U.P. & Others Versus Jeet S. Bisht & Anr., 2007 (3) CLT 10”, wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court has specifically held that court cannot add or substitute word in a statute. By judicial verdict the court cannot amend the law made by the Parliament or State Legislature.

 

c. Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in revision petition No. Revision Petition No. 2774 of 2004 (in Appeal No. 931 of 2003 of the State Commission, Uttranchal) decided on 03.09.2004.

 

d. The recent decision of II Addl. DCDRF, Seshadripuram, Bangalore decision dated: 30th day of November 2011 in the case of Complaint No: 1714/2011.

 

3. Humbly submit that the Opposite Party failed to serve the complainant as per the RTI Act provision by supplying the appropriate information with the appropriate reasoning by invoking the appropriate sections of RTI Act, that amounts to deficiency of the service and the point wise details are described in the complaint.

 

4. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Neeraj Munjal and Others Versus Atul Grover (Minor) and another, 2005 (3) CLT 30”, in para 10 and 11 of the judgment has held that the courts could not deprive the parties from a remedy, which is otherwise available to them in law. It has been further held that a court of law has no jurisdiction to direct a matter to be governed by one statute when provisions of another statute are available.

 

5. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Spring Meadows Hospital v. Harjol Ahluwalia (1998) 4 SCC 39, State of Karnataka v. Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society (supra), Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (supra) observed as:

 

“The trend of the decisions of this Court is that the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum should not and would not be curtailed unless there is an express provision prohibiting the Consumer Forum to take up the matter which falls within the jurisdiction of civil court or any other forum as established under some enactment. The Court had gone to the extent of saying that if two different fora have jurisdiction to entertain the dispute in regard to the same subject, the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum would not be barred and the power of the Consumer Forum to adjudicate upon the dispute could not be negated.”

 

6. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports (supra), where it was observed:

 

“In our view, the protection provided under the CP Act to consumers is in addition to the remedies available under any other statute. It does not extinguish the remedies under another statute but provides an additional or alternative remedy.”

 

7. Further submit that the remedy available to the complainant in the RTI Act is limited and there is no remedy for the deficiency of service of OP in RTI Act.

 

8. Further submit the remedy that the complainant seeking in this complaint is for the deficiency of the service of the Public Authority/Public Information Officer which is not available under the RTI Act and the remedy that is available in the RTI Act is limited whereas the under the CP Act the consumer is liable to get more and additional remedy and/or benefits.

 

9. Humbly submit that the complainant invokes the section 3 of CP Act and approached this Hon’ble Forum and the complainant relies on the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India judgments cited below:

 

a. In “State of U.P. & Others Versus Jeet S. Bisht & Anr., 2007 (3) CLT 10” (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that

 

i. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted for better protection of the interest of the consumers. The said Act is in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of the any other law for the time being in force. Also the Hon’ble Supreme Court has specifically held that court cannot add or substitute word in a statute. By judicial verdict the court cannot amend the law made by the Parliament or State Legislature.

 

ii. Also held that that mere a direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court without laying down any principle of law is not a precedent. It is only where the Hon’ble Supreme Court lays down a principle of law that will amount to a precedent. The courts are subordinate to law and not above the law.

 

iii. It was further held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that if parties approach both the Forums created under any other Act and the 1986 Act (Consumer Protection Act, 1986), it is for the Forum under the 1986 Act to leave the parties either to proceed or avail the remedies before the other Forums depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. [mostly in Chairman, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation Versus Consumer Protection Council, (1995) 2 SCC 479].

 

b. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in “Fair Air Engineers Pvt. Ltd. & ANR. Versus N.K. Modi, III (1996) CPJ 1 (SC)” has held that

 

“Accordingly, it must be held that the provisions of the Act are to be construed widely to give effect to the object and purpose of the Act. It is seen that Section 3 envisages that the provisions of the Act are in addition to and are not in derogation of any other law in force.

 

c. Humbly submit that the scope and reach of the Consumer Act has been considered in large number of judgments the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in cases of Lucknow Development Authority v. M.K. Gupta (1994) 1 SCC 243, Fair Air Engineers (P) Ltd. v. N. K. Modi (supra), Skypay Couriers Limited v. Tata Chemicals Limited (2000) 5 SCC 294, State of Karnataka v. Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society (supra), CCI Chambers Cooperative Housing Society Limited v. Development Credit Bank Limited (supra), Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (2004) 1 SCC 305, H.N. Shankara Shastry v. Assistant Director of Agriculture, Karnataka (2004) 6 SCC 230 and Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports and another (2011) 10 SCC 316 and Hon’ble Supreme Court of India held in Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (supra) that, the 2-Judge Bench noticed the background, the objects and reasons, and the purpose for which the Consumer Act was enacted, referred to the judgments in Lucknow Development Authority v. M. K. Gupta (supra), Fair Air Engineers Private Limited v. N. K. Modi (supra) and proceeded to observe as under:

 

“The preamble of the Act declares that it is an Act to provide for better protection of the interest of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of Consumer Councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer disputes and matters connected therewith. In Section 3 of 50 the Act in clear and unambiguous terms it is stated that the provisions of the 1986 Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. From the Statement of Objects and Reasons and the scheme of the 1986 Act, it is apparent that the main objective of the Act is to provide for better protection of the interest of the consumer and for that purpose to provide for better redressal, mechanism through which cheaper, easier, expeditious and effective redressal is made available to consumers. To serve the purpose of the Act, various quasijudicial forums are set up at the district, State and national level with wide range of powers vested in them. These quasi-judicial forums, observing the principles of natural justice, are empowered to give relief of a specific nature and to award, wherever appropriate, compensation to the consumers and to impose penalties for non-compliance with their orders.”

 

10. Humbly submit that the complainant also humbly invites kind attention of this Hon’ble Forum to important judgement dated 05-11-1993 of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Lucknow Development Authority V/s. M.K. Gupta [1994 AIR 787, 1994 SCC (1) 243, JT 1993 (6) 307, 1993 SCALE (4)370].

 

11. Further submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Ghaziabad Development Authority Versus Balbir Singh, 2004 (2) CLT 628”, has held that the Consumer Protection Act has a wide reach and the Commission has jurisdiction in case of services referred by the statutory and public authorities. The provisions of the Consumer Protection Act enable a consumer to claim and empower the Commission to redress any injustice done. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the said authority further held that matters, which require immediate attention, should not be allowed to linger on. The consumer must not be made to run from pillar to post. Where there has been capricious or arbitrary or negligent exercise or non-exercise of power by an officer of the authority, the Commission/Forum has a statutory obligation to award compensation.

 

12. Further submit that in Kishore Lal Versus Chairman, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, 2007 (4) SCC 579, the Hon’ble Apex Court has observed:-

“It has been held in numerous cases of this Court that jurisdiction of the Consumer Fora has to be construed liberally so as to bring many cases under it for their speedy disposal. The Act being a beneficial legislation, it should receive a liberal construction.”

 

13. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Lucknow Development Authority Versus M.K. Gupta, 1994 (1) CLT 1” has observed that a legislation which is enacted to protect public interest from undesirable activities cannot be construed in such narrow manner as to frustrate its objective. It has been further observed in the said authority that any attempt to exclude services offered by statutory or official bodies to the common man would be against the provisions of the Act and spirit behind it. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has further observed that truly speaking it would be a service to the society if such bodies instead of claiming exclusion subject themselves to the Act and let their acts and omissions scrutinized, as public accountability is necessary for healthy growth of society.

 

14. Humbly submit that in “General Manager, Telecom Versus M. Krishnan & Others” (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the special law prevails over the general law. But the point whether the Consumer Protection Act is a special enactment or a general law has not been discussed. On the other hand, in view of the other judgments, reference of which has been given above, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has declared the Consumer Protection Act as a special legislation.

 

15. I submit that the below decisions of various District Forums are in support of my claim:

 

a. The decision dated: 30.11.2011 of IInd ADDL. DCDRF, Bangalore in case of Complaint Case No. CC/1714/2011, dated: 30.11.2011.

b. The decision dated: 19/05/2011 of the DCDRF, FARIDKOT in case of Complaint No: 102/2011.

c. The decision dated: 09/11/2011 of the DCDRF, LUDHIANA in case of Complaint No: 662/2011.

d. The decision dated: 25/03/2011 of the DCDRF, TUTICORAN in case of Complaint No: 59/2010.

e. The decision dated: 29/04/2011 of the DCDRF, VIZIANAGARAM in case of Complaint No: 116/2010.

f. The decision dated: 21/01/2011 of the SCDRC, CHENNAI in case of F.A.NO.493/2006.

g. The decision dated: 28.05.2009 of IInd ADDL. DCDRF, Bangalore in case of consumer case(CC) No. CC/162/2009.

h. The decision dated: 20/04/2010 of the DCDRF, MANDI, H.P in case of Complaint No: 14/2009.

i. The decision dated: 21/05/2009 of the DCDRF, SOUTH MUMBAI DISTRICT in case of Complaint No: SMF/MUM/301/2009.

 

16. I submit that the other arguments will be placed before the Hon’ble Commission at the time of hearing.

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Above decision will not stand before Hon'ble Supreme Court on below grounds:

 

9. Humbly submit that the complainant invokes the section 3 of CP Act and approached this Hon’ble Forum and the complainant relies on the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India judgments cited below:

 

a. In “State of U.P. & Others Versus Jeet S. Bisht & Anr., 2007 (3) CLT 10” (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that

 

i. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted for better protection of the interest of the consumers. The said Act is in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of the any other law for the time being in force. Also the Hon’ble Supreme Court has specifically held that court cannot add or substitute word in a statute. By judicial verdict the court cannot amend the law made by the Parliament or State Legislature.

 

ii. Also held that that mere a direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court without laying down any principle of law is not a precedent. It is only where the Hon’ble Supreme Court lays down a principle of law that will amount to a precedent. The courts are subordinate to law and not above the law.

 

iii. It was further held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that if parties approach both the Forums created under any other Act and the 1986 Act (Consumer Protection Act, 1986), it is for the Forum under the 1986 Act to leave the parties either to proceed or avail the remedies before the other Forums depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. [mostly in Chairman, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation Versus Consumer Protection Council, (1995) 2 SCC 479].

 

b. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in “Fair Air Engineers Pvt. Ltd. & ANR. Versus N.K. Modi, III (1996) CPJ 1 (SC)” has held that

 

“Accordingly, it must be held that the provisions of the Act are to be construed widely to give effect to the object and purpose of the Act. It is seen that Section 3 envisages that the provisions of the Act are in addition to and are not in derogation of any other law in force.

 

c. Humbly submit that the scope and reach of the Consumer Act has been considered in large number of judgments the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in cases of Lucknow Development Authority v. M.K. Gupta (1994) 1 SCC 243, Fair Air Engineers (P) Ltd. v. N. K. Modi (supra), Skypay Couriers Limited v. Tata Chemicals Limited (2000) 5 SCC 294, State of Karnataka v. Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society (supra), CCI Chambers Cooperative Housing Society Limited v. Development Credit Bank Limited (supra), Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (2004) 1 SCC 305, H.N. Shankara Shastry v. Assistant Director of Agriculture, Karnataka (2004) 6 SCC 230 and Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports and another (2011) 10 SCC 316 and Hon’ble Supreme Court of India held in Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (supra) that, the 2-Judge Bench noticed the background, the objects and reasons, and the purpose for which the Consumer Act was enacted, referred to the judgments in Lucknow Development Authority v. M. K. Gupta (supra), Fair Air Engineers Private Limited v. N. K. Modi (supra) and proceeded to observe as under:

 

“The preamble of the Act declares that it is an Act to provide for better protection of the interest of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of Consumer Councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer disputes and matters connected therewith. In Section 3 of 50 the Act in clear and unambiguous terms it is stated that the provisions of the 1986 Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. From the Statement of Objects and Reasons and the scheme of the 1986 Act, it is apparent that the main objective of the Act is to provide for better protection of the interest of the consumer and for that purpose to provide for better redressal, mechanism through which cheaper, easier, expeditious and effective redressal is made available to consumers. To serve the purpose of the Act, various quasijudicial forums are set up at the district, State and national level with wide range of powers vested in them. These quasi-judicial forums, observing the principles of natural justice, are empowered to give relief of a specific nature and to award, wherever appropriate, compensation to the consumers and to impose penalties for non-compliance with their orders.”

 

4. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Neeraj Munjal and Others Versus Atul Grover (Minor) and another, 2005 (3) CLT 30”, in para 10 and 11 of the judgment has held that the courts could not deprive the parties from a remedy, which is otherwise available to them in law. It has been further held that a court of law has no jurisdiction to direct a matter to be governed by one statute when provisions of another statute are available.

 

5. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Spring Meadows Hospital v. Harjol Ahluwalia (1998) 4 SCC 39, State of Karnataka v. Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society (supra), Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (supra) observed as:

 

“The trend of the decisions of this Court is that the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum should not and would not be curtailed unless there is an express provision prohibiting the Consumer Forum to take up the matter which falls within the jurisdiction of civil court or any other forum as established under some enactment. The Court had gone to the extent of saying that if two different fora have jurisdiction to entertain the dispute in regard to the same subject, the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum would not be barred and the power of the Consumer Forum to adjudicate upon the dispute could not be negated.”

 

6. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports (supra), where it was observed:

 

“In our view, the protection provided under the CP Act to consumers is in addition to the remedies available under any other statute. It does not extinguish the remedies under another statute but provides an additional or alternative remedy.”

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IC argument won't stand in Supreme Court on below grounds:

 

 

4. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Neeraj Munjal and Others Versus Atul Grover (Minor) and another, 2005 (3) CLT 30”, in para 10 and 11 of the judgment has held that the courts could not deprive the parties from a remedy, which is otherwise available to them in law. It has been further held that a court of law has no jurisdiction to direct a matter to be governed by one statute when provisions of another statute are available.

 

5. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Spring Meadows Hospital v. Harjol Ahluwalia (1998) 4 SCC 39, State of Karnataka v. Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society (supra), Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (supra) observed as:

 

“The trend of the decisions of this Court is that the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum should not and would not be curtailed unless there is an express provision prohibiting the Consumer Forum to take up the matter which falls within the jurisdiction of civil court or any other forum as established under some enactment. The Court had gone to the extent of saying that if two different fora have jurisdiction to entertain the dispute in regard to the same subject, the jurisdiction of the Consumer Forum would not be barred and the power of the Consumer Forum to adjudicate upon the dispute could not be negated.”

 

6. Humbly submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports (supra), where it was observed:

 

“In our view, the protection provided under the CP Act to consumers is in addition to the remedies available under any other statute. It does not extinguish the remedies under another statute but provides an additional or alternative remedy.”

 

 

9. Humbly submit that the complainant invokes the section 3 of CP Act and approached this Hon’ble Forum and the complainant relies on the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India judgments cited below:

 

a. In “State of U.P. & Others Versus Jeet S. Bisht & Anr., 2007 (3) CLT 10” (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that

 

i. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted for better protection of the interest of the consumers. The said Act is in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of the any other law for the time being in force. Also the Hon’ble Supreme Court has specifically held that court cannot add or substitute word in a statute. By judicial verdict the court cannot amend the law made by the Parliament or State Legislature.

 

ii. Also held that that mere a direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court without laying down any principle of law is not a precedent. It is only where the Hon’ble Supreme Court lays down a principle of law that will amount to a precedent. The courts are subordinate to law and not above the law.

 

iii. It was further held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that if parties approach both the Forums created under any other Act and the 1986 Act (Consumer Protection Act, 1986), it is for the Forum under the 1986 Act to leave the parties either to proceed or avail the remedies before the other Forums depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. [mostly in Chairman, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation Versus Consumer Protection Council, (1995) 2 SCC 479].

 

b. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in “Fair Air Engineers Pvt. Ltd. & ANR. Versus N.K. Modi, III (1996) CPJ 1 (SC)” has held that

 

“Accordingly, it must be held that the provisions of the Act are to be construed widely to give effect to the object and purpose of the Act. It is seen that Section 3 envisages that the provisions of the Act are in addition to and are not in derogation of any other law in force.

 

c. Humbly submit that the scope and reach of the Consumer Act has been considered in large number of judgments the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in cases of Lucknow Development Authority v. M.K. Gupta (1994) 1 SCC 243, Fair Air Engineers (P) Ltd. v. N. K. Modi (supra), Skypay Couriers Limited v. Tata Chemicals Limited (2000) 5 SCC 294, State of Karnataka v. Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society (supra), CCI Chambers Cooperative Housing Society Limited v. Development Credit Bank Limited (supra), Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (2004) 1 SCC 305, H.N. Shankara Shastry v. Assistant Director of Agriculture, Karnataka (2004) 6 SCC 230 and Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports and another (2011) 10 SCC 316 and Hon’ble Supreme Court of India held in Secretary, Thirumurugan Cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M. Lalitha (supra) that, the 2-Judge Bench noticed the background, the objects and reasons, and the purpose for which the Consumer Act was enacted, referred to the judgments in Lucknow Development Authority v. M. K. Gupta (supra), Fair Air Engineers Private Limited v. N. K. Modi (supra) and proceeded to observe as under:

 

“The preamble of the Act declares that it is an Act to provide for better protection of the interest of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of Consumer Councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer disputes and matters connected therewith. In Section 3 of 50 the Act in clear and unambiguous terms it is stated that the provisions of the 1986 Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. From the Statement of Objects and Reasons and the scheme of the 1986 Act, it is apparent that the main objective of the Act is to provide for better protection of the interest of the consumer and for that purpose to provide for better redressal, mechanism through which cheaper, easier, expeditious and effective redressal is made available to consumers. To serve the purpose of the Act, various quasijudicial forums are set up at the district, State and national level with wide range of powers vested in them. These quasi-judicial forums, observing the principles of natural justice, are empowered to give relief of a specific nature and to award, wherever appropriate, compensation to the consumers and to impose penalties for non-compliance with their orders.”

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Better to call up the Consumer Forum and give the arguments that we shared in this forum to win the case in Supreme Court ... also request the Consumer Foram to go to only Supreme Court instead of HC.

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