skip to Main Content

All about Consumer Complaints in India | Consumer Protection Act

This article has been written by Mr. Ishan Mankotia, a student of CHRIST (deemed to be University).


A customer is the most important visitor to our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” -Mahatma Gandhi 

Laws protecting consumers from unfair business practices and inferior goods and services are essential to maintaining a just marketplace. India’s commitment to protecting consumers’ rights and interests has been evident in the development of consumer laws. This article examines the background of consumer laws in India, the areas covered by consumer protection laws, the requirements for submitting a complaint as a consumer, and the remedies provided by these laws. 


History of Consumer protection laws in India  

India’s history of enacting consumer protection laws demonstrates the country’s dedication to defending the rights and interests of its people in the marketplace. These laws have their roots in the economic reforms of the 1980s, when there was a growing awareness of the need to safeguard consumers from deceit and guarantee the provision of high-quality goods and services. 

The Indian government implemented the Consumer Protection Act in 1986, a critical turning point in the nation’s consumer protection history, to address consumer concerns. This law’s main goal was to give consumers more power and a legal framework within which to file complaints about unfair trade practices, faulty products, or inadequate services. 

A three-tier quasi-judicial system consisting of district consumer forums, state consumer commissions, and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) was established by the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. These forums were given the authority to settle customer complaints and give resentful customers quick access to justice. 

Over time, the Consumer Protection Act has undergone modifications to improve its effectiveness and relevance, considering the changing nature of the marketplace and the dynamic nature of consumer issues. These changes attempted to improve the legal foundation for consumer protection, streamline procedures, and address new issues. 

The passage of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 marked one of the biggest advancements in the field of consumer protection laws. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was repealed and a more contemporary and all-encompassing approach to consumer rights was implemented by this legislation. The goal of the new act, which went into effect on July 20, 2020, was to address the complexity of the modern marketplace and bring it into compliance with international standards. 

To strengthen consumer protection in India, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 added several significant features, including: 

 Digitalization: The new act specifically included provisions to address online consumer grievances, acknowledging the growing influence of e-commerce and digital transactions. The measure expanded the purview of consumer forums to encompass electronic commerce transactions and incorporated clauses concerning digital advertising, product liability, and direct selling. 

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) was established by the act. It is a comprehensive regulatory body that has the authority to investigate, recall, reimburse, and penalize unfair trade practices. The CCPA is a proactive organization that protects the rights of consumers. 

 Product Liability: As a result of the act, sellers, manufacturers, and service providers are now liable for any defective goods or inadequate services. In addition to strengthening consumer rights, this clause pushes companies to put an emphasis on the caliber and security of their products. 

 Mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism: The act established mediation as a substitute method to hasten the resolution of disputes. This clause seeks to expedite consumer resolution by lessening the load on consumer forums and promoting amicable dispute resolution. 


Jurisdiction of Consumer Protection Laws 

India’s consumer protection laws are made to encompass a broad range of products and services, from tangible goods to intangible services like healthcare and education. Regardless of whether the transactions take place in the public or private sector, these laws apply to any transaction where goods or services are exchanged for payment. 

Importantly, consumer forums have been set up at various levels to give customers a reachable forum for complaints. Claims up to ₹1 crore are handled by district consumer forums, claims between ₹1 crore and ₹10 crore are handled by state consumer commissions, and claims over ₹10 crore are handled by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). 

Territorial Jurisdiction: It is possible to file a complaint where:

The opposite party ordinarily resides, carries on business, maintains a branch office, or works for personal gain; the complainant resides or works for personal gain; the cause of action, in whole or in part, arises; or any of the opposite parties normally resides, carries on business, maintains a branch office, or works for personal gain, but only with the Commission’s approval. 


When can a person file a consumer complaint? 

Under consumer protection laws, customers may file complaints in a number of situations, such as: 

 Deficiency in Service or Defective Goods: When customers encounter a deficiency in services or receive defective goods, they are entitled to lodge complaints. This could involve problems like subpar construction, disregard for quality requirements, or deceptive marketing. 

 Unfair or Restrictive Trade Practices: Consumers who are duped or manipulated by unfair or restrictive trade practices may file complaints against them. This includes deceptive packaging, false advertising, and other tactics used to obtain an unfair advantage. 

 Digital Transactions: To address the issues raised by online shopping, the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 specifically addresses e-commerce transactions. Customers have the option to report issues about deceptive online ads, other digital transactions, and online purchases. 


Reliefs in Consumer Protection Laws in India 

India’s consumer protection laws provide several remedies for disgruntled customers. Among the major reliefs are: 

 Compensation: Consumer forums have the power to reimburse customers for losses brought on by faulty products or inadequate services. This compensation might cover harassment, emotional distress, and financial losses. 

 Replacement or Repair: Customers may be entitled to a replacement or repair in situations where the goods are defective. The consumer forums have the authority to instruct sellers or manufacturers on how to address any flaws in their products. 

 Refund of Price: Customers are entitled to reimbursement of the purchase price if the goods or services do not live up to predetermined standards. This guarantees that poor quality goods or services won’t put a strain on customers’ wallets. 

Cease and Desist Order: To stop companies from using unfair trade practices, consumer forums have the authority to issue orders to cease and desist. This is a preventative step to stop dishonest business practices and safeguard customers’ interests. 

Product Liability: Created by the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, product liability holds producers, retailers, and service providers liable for subpar goods and services. 



India’s history and development of consumer laws show a dedication to empowering customers and fostering a just market. These laws’ jurisdictional structure and relief provisions are essential to guaranteeing that customers have easily accessible channels for pursuing justice. Consumer protection laws continue to be essential in helping India navigate the complexities of the modern economy and establish fairness and trust in business dealings. 

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top