So far he Government has not prescribed any statutory form in which an appeal is to be filed under the Consumer Protection Act, (CPA) 1986. However, it is necessary to keep the following points in view while drafting an appeal.
Other relevant information such as the full name and complete address of the appellant and the respondent should also be included.
(1) An appeal ca be preferred against the order of the district forum to the state commission; from the sate commission to he national commission and from the national commission to the Supreme Court.
The CPA mentions that the appeals should be filed within 30 days of the date of the order. In my view, the correct interpretation of this is within 30 days of the communication of the order because several days may pass between the passing of the order and the actual receipt.
For every order to be effective, it has to be communicated. The date on which the order of the district forum / state commission / national commission has been communicated should be noted by the person who receives it.
(2) An appeal may be entertained after the expiry of the said period of 30 days if the appellant shows that there was sufficient cause for the delay in the filing of he appeal. In such cases, an application for the condonation of delay must be made along with the appeal and supported by an affidavit setting out adequate reasons for the delay and accompanied by necessary evidence.
(3) If the applicant has to pay any compensation as per the order of the District Forum, then the State Commission will entertain the appeal only if the appellant deposits 50 percent of that amount or Rs. 25,000/- whichever is less with it.
If a person wants to appeal against the order of the State Commission to the National Commission and he is the party who has to pay the compensation, then the appellant will have to deposit 50 percent of the amount or Rs. 35,000/-, whichever is less with the National Commission.
If the appellant wants to appeal against the order of the National Commission to the Supreme Court of India and he is the party who had to pay compensation as per the National Commission’s order, then his appeal will be entertained by the Supreme Court only if he deposits in the prescribed manner 50 percent of that amount or Rs. 50,000/-, whichever is less.
(4) The appellant must enclose the original copy of the order against which an appeal is made along with the main set of the appeal. In the additional copies of the appeal. The petition of appeal should also be accompanied by such other documents which an appellant would require to support his grounds of objection mentioned in the appeal.
(5) While filing an appeal, a memorandum of grounds has to be set out. The appeal petition should be presented in a paper-book form typed on one side of the paper with double spacing. The grounds of appeal should be set forth concisely under distinct heads which should be numbered consecutively. Give an index of the documents attached to the petition on the first page and paging should be done to all papers filed.
(6) The appeal can be sent in English, Hindi or in the regional language of the State. However, if the appeal is made to the National Commission or to the Supreme Court, then it is better to make it in English. Also, if the address of the opposite party falls in another state of union territory, then it is better to make the appeal in English.
(7) The appeal should be signed by the appellant. In case somebody else has been authorised to appeal on the behalf of the appellant, then he shall enclose the authority of the appeal in this behalf. The person having an authority in this behalf may sign it and indicate the reasons as to why the appellant himself is not able to sign the appeal. As for example when the appellant is out of India.
(8) Send four sets of the appeal petition and the accompanying papers when making an appeal to the State commission; six sets of the appeal papers including the additional documents when appealing to the National Commission and seven sets of the appeal papers along with the documents if the appeal is to be filed in the Supreme Court. The number of copies should be increased correspondingly in case there is more than one opposite party.
(9) Is there any stipulated period within which an appeal should be decided under the CPA? The CPA does not stipulate a time limit for the disposal of an appeal by a consumer court. However, the rules framed under the CPA mention the time within which an appeal should be decided. Rules framed by different State Governments lay down different time limits it is generally 90 days from he date of the first hearing.
Note :- (i) No court fee is payable for filing an appeal in the State Commission or the National Commission. However, while filing an appeal from the National Commission to the Supreme Court, there is a court fee of Rs. 250/-.
(ii) Appeal papers can be sent by Registered A.D. Post.
(iii) One can oneself represent the case at the time of haring or if he so chooses he can authorize another person either an advocate or any other person by giving such a person the necessary authority.
(iv) In maters where the jurisdiction is not properly exercised by the District Forum or the State Commission or in the event of one not being able to file an appeal within the limitation period or with a request for condonation of delay, then one can file a revision petition under the CPA against the order of the District Forum to the State Commission to the National Commission. There is not limitation period for filing a revision petition under the CPA but it appears that such a revision petition can be filed within 90 days.