Consumer Forums in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai are the worst in India, while the District Consumer Court in Chandigarh is the best, finds a consumer activist
The basic aim of consumer court is to “help the poor and needy with economical and speedy justice”. But in reality the opposite is true. The consumer courts are out there to find faults with the submissions and reject the complaints at small instances so as to reduce the workload. This is very cleverly done as teamwork of all the staff. This means if you try to complain to higher level in the same office, nothing will happen, as the higher staff hearing you is also the member of their team! A reply received under Right to Information (RTI) revealed that the Thane Additional Consumer Disputed Redressal Forum at Belapur in Navi Mumbai rejects 33.42% complaints at the admission stage.
With my experience of 25 years with the various consumer courts in India, I have come to the conclusion that Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai consumer courts are the worst in India while the District Consumer Court in Chandigarh is the best. Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai consumer courts make different rules that suites themselves, violating the very purpose for which the consumer courts have been established, and also violating all the defined laws set up for accepting the complaints.
Few years ago the district consumer forums in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai wanted the case papers to be written in Marathi with translation in English, just to harass the consumers so that the consumer do not file complaints due to difficulty and expenses and shy away from the court. When this was opposed by the consumer activists new rules were made, which were more foolish….like keep a defined margin, defined spacing, defined format, and making pages in a certain sequence. If any little deviation, the consumer court had a good reason to dismiss the complaint or reject the case papers. Later the activists also opposed this and the consumer courts had to sheepishly withdraw this nuisance.
The Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai consumer courts are run by bunch of corrupt jokers who do not know that there is no prescribed format for filing a consumer complaint in the district consumer disputes redressal forum and a simple application is accepted by all the courts all over India. But these courts in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai do their best to harass and make things difficult for the consumers.
Now do you want to know how efficient the consumer courts of Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai are? Let me give you just one example of the Thane Additional Consumer Disputed Redressal Form at Belapur, Navi Mumbai. In the last 6 years, from the year 2010 till November 2015 the Navi Mumbai Consumer Court received 1,290 complaints out of which it allowed only 859 complaints and decided only 48 complaints. That means the consumer forum is deciding only 8 cases per year.
District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Belapur, Navi Mumbai facts:
Received 1,290 complaints from 2010 till November 2015 (six years).
It allowed only 859 complaints out of 1,290 complaints. That means only 66.58 % of complaints were allowed and 33.42% were not even accepted.
Out of 859 allowed complaints, it dismissed 240 complaints, that is, 27.93 % complaints were rejected.
Out of 859 complaints, it settled 48 complaints, which is only, 5.58% complaints in six years. It shows that only 3.7% complaints are settled per year of the total received.
Out of eight settled cases, how many were in favour of consumer, the court never discloses.
(The data was collected by RTI query)
Looking at the operation cost of the consumer forums with the infrastructure and salaries of the staff you can imagine what will be the cost for settling one complaint. It will run to many lakhs. Is it worth settling one complaint for so many lakh of rupees?
The cost incurred by the court to settle the complaint is many hundred times more than the relief amount claimed by the consumer.
We need to question the President of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission who is responsible for running the consumer forum and is directly liable for causing losses to the government and causing harassment to the consumers. Such people should be arrested and tried in court so that others in the line also learn a good lesson.
It means that Consumer Court is also a scam where the staff is enjoying all government benefits and giving just an output of 8 settlements every year. Now out of these eight settlements how many are in the favour of the consumer and how many against the consumer, the consumer forum has to disclose.