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Env Coord (.)     14 July 2022

Limitation period for consumer complaint

If the cause of action arises in first week of June 2020 (when nationwide lockdown was in force) regarding deficiency of services by a company, then what will be limitation period for filing the 'consumer complaint' before District Consumer Commission?

Due to irregular working of courts and tribunals, can 'complaint' be filed by the Consumer before District Forum in August 2022. Can delay be condoned by the District Forum due to Covid-19 Lockdown scenario ?

Can some interpret the implication of the Order passed by Hon'ble Supreme Court of INDIA on this issue. (Reference: 
 MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO. 21 OF 2022 in SUO MOTU WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 3 OF 2020

Best Regards,
Vishal Saha.



Learning

 2 Replies

Yogendra Pratap Singh   15 July 2022

In the above judgment the hon'ble supreme court has directed to exclude the time between 15/03/2020 to 28/02/2022 from the limitation of any legal proceedings and it applies to consumer forums too.

As for you, since your cause of action arises n between the above mentioned time period, the time limitation will start from 28/02.

Since the time period for filing a complain in consumer forums is  years then you can file your complain.

your time limitation will start from 28/02/2022 and it will be till 28/02/2024.

Good Luck

1 Like

Swadha   08 August 2022

 Merchant and held that the consumer fora has no power and/or jurisdiction to accept the written statement beyond the statutory period prescribed under the Act, i.e., 45 days in all.

Facts:

Earlier, the Hon’ble Supreme Court The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Suo Motu Writ Petition (C) No. 3 of 2020 dated March 23, 2020 had extended period limitation for judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings from March 15, 2020 till further order considering the challenges faced by the litigants on account of COVID 19. Further vide order dated March 08, 2021 stated that the extended period limitation shall end on March 14, 2021.

Held:

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Miscellaneous Application No. 21 of 2022 dated January 10, 2022 held as under in view of rising COVID cases: Restored its order dated March 8, 2021, April 27, 2021 and September 23, 2021. Further directed that the period from March 15, 2020 till February 28., 2022 shall stand excluded for the purposes of limitation as may be prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on October 03, 2021, if any, shall become available with effect from March 01, 2022 Held that, in cases where the limitation expiring during the period   between   March 15, 2020   till   February 28, 2022, the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from March 01, 2022. Further, where the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from March 01, 2022 is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply. Clarified that, the period from March 15, 2020 till February 28., 2022 shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed under Sections 23(4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and provisos (b) and (c) of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and any other laws, which prescribe period(s) of limitation for instituting proceedings, outer limits (within which the court or tribunal can condone delay) and termination of proceedings.


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