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How Does Public Interest Litigation Work?

In circumstances where your legal rights or liabilities are disregarded, the court has given you the power to file for a Public Interest Litigation

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  Public Interest Litigation

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is directly filed by an individual or group of people in a court of law for the enforcement of public interest in which the public or class of the community have pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected. A PIL is a power given to the public by the court. A PIL can be filed in any High Court or directly in the Supreme Court. A PIL can be filed in the courts for any matters of public interest like polluted environments, road safety or constructional hazards. Any matter where the interest of the public at large is affected can be redressed by filing an FIR

  Procedure for filing a Public Interest Litigation

Any individual who claims to hold the right of appearing before the court can file a caveat petition in these situations: A PIL is filed in the same manner as a writ petition is filed either in the Supreme Court (Article 32) or in the High Court (Article 226). Once you decide to file a PIL, collect all relevant information and documents to back your case. An advocate will be fighting the case for you. A court fee has to be affixed to the petition.

  Checklist For Who Can File A Consumer Complaint In India

According to the Consumer Protection Act, you can file a Consumer Complaint if you are:-

A consumer - i.e. an individual who purchases goods or avails services for his/her personal use (but not for resale or commercial purposes).

Any registered volunteer organization that acts on behalf of consumers (e.g. The Consumer Guidance Society of India).

A group of consumers having a common interest.

Legal heirs of a deceased consumer.

  What are your Rights as a Consumer?

According to the Consumer Protection Act, you can file a Consumer Complaint if you are:-

A consumer - i.e. an individual who purchases goods or avails services for his/her personal use (but not for resale or commercial purposes).

Any registered volunteer organization that acts on behalf of consumers (e.g. The Consumer Guidance Society of India).

A group of consumers having a common interest.

  How to File a Consumer Complaint?

STEP 1: SEND A WRITTEN NOTICE

The first step is to send a written notice to the Seller or Manufacturer explaining the problem and the reason why you are unhappy with the product or service.

What your notice should contain:

All the facts with relevant details like dates, times and amounts -

Any complaint or reference numbers.

Names of the representatives of the Seller that you have been interacting with.

Maintain courtesy and politeness at all times.

State the amount of your claim clearly.

Provide at least 15 days for the other party to reply to your notice.

  Where Do You file Consumer Complaints?

The Forum you have to approach is decided based on the value of the goods & services purchased and the compensation you are claiming. If the total amount is:

Less than 20 Lakh Rupees - you should approach the District Forum.

Between 20 Lakh - 1 crore Rupees - you should approach the State Commission.

More than 1 crore Rupees - you should approach the National Commission.

The complaint can be filed in the District/State, where the seller resides or conducts his/her business, or in the place where the purchase was made or the service was rendered.

If the sale or purchase was made online, then the place mentioned in the terms of service for dealing with disputes, on the seller’s website, shall be chosen for filing the complaint.

FAQs on Consumer Compliants

It is good to hire a lawyer in cases where the value is high or where the complaint is of a very serious nature, such as medical negligence. Consumer lawyers are experienced in handling these cases and know how to file complaints in court, so they can help you put together a tight case against the offender.

It generally takes between 8 to 18 months to complete a Consumer Complaint case. In matters that are contentious, it could take a bit longer. Sometimes an out of court settlement is also possible, in which case issues can be resolved much faster.

There are no such metrics as defined by the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. However, a reasonable amount is always expected to be claimed as compensation, along with the justification as to why such an amount is being claimed.

Once the notice is sent to the vendor and there is no response within the time prescribed or if the vendor rejects the notice, then an online complaint can be filed athttps://consumerhelpline.gov.in/

The court expects you to try and resolve the dispute before approaching them. Hence, the legal notice serves as proof of this. The notice is given to the concerned party and then there is a waiting period of 15 days before filing a complaint with the Consumer Forum.

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