In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court has taken a strong stance against the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) for the lengthy delay in passing an order on a consumer complaint. The court observed that the delay had its own impact on the decision taken by the NCDRC and expressed dissatisfaction with the reasoning used by the commission. The Supreme Court has now directed the NCDRC to resolve the consumer complaint as soon as possible, preferably within a year, and to take a fresh look into the matter. This ruling serves as a wake-up call to the NCDRC to take its responsibility of protecting consumer rights seriously and to take swift action on consumer complaints.
As a law student and consumer movement volunteer, I am excited to share the recent ruling by the Supreme Court regarding a consumer complaint. The Court has directed the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) to decide on a consumer complaint within one year, considering the effect of long delay in passing an order.
The case was brought by flat owners who had filed a complaint against the developers of a housing complex in Kolkata for failing to provide promised services and a completion certificate, despite paying the full consideration amount. The NCDRC had dismissed the complaint, stating that the owners ought to have known what they were purchasing.However, the Supreme Court stated that if complaints were to be dismissed based on this reasoning, it would defeat the purpose of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Court also noted that the NCDRC may have missed appreciating the realities of life and that the reasoning was indefensible.
The Court emphasized that it is the obligation of the person intending to build a structure to apply for a completion certificate, and not the flat owner’s duty. The Court also declared that the respondents have been let off by the NCDRC contrary to law. The Supreme Court ordered the NCDRC to secure adherence to the promises made by the respondents in the brochure/advertisement and directed them to decide the matter as early as possible.
This ruling serves as a victory for consumers and reinforces the importance of the Consumer Protection Act in ensuring that the rights of consumers are protected. As a law student and consumer movement volunteer, I believe that this decision will encourage more individuals to approach the NCDRC for justice and protection of their rights.