Appeal to Supreme Court against National Consumer Forum order

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #1867

    Anonymous
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    In what manner an appeal is to be filed against the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)? Someone told me that it is to be filed directly to Supreme Court and not to the high court. Also whether it will be SLP or some other appeal, because I asked 2-3 lawyer friends and they were confused about this format of appeal whether SLP or otherwise.

  • #1881

    There is a specific provision in Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which allows filing of an appeal to the Supreme Court against the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), if the NCDRC had passed such order in its original jurisdiction, i.e., where the complaint was filed directly in the NCDRC on the ground that the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds Rs. one crore.

    However, if the NCDRC has passed an order, not in its original jurisdiction, but in an appeal under Section 21(a)(ii) of the said Act [or a revision under Section 21(b)] against an order of a State Commission, then there is no specific provision for directly filing appeal in the Supreme Court.

    So, where there is a specific provision for appeal in the said Act itself, which is thus a regular appeal to the court as a matter of right, there is no need for filing a Special Leave Petition (SLP) to the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution [which is a discretionary relief] against an order of the NCDRC passed in its original jurisdiction, as mentioned above. In such a situation, a direct appeal can be filed to the Supreme Court under Section 23 of the said Act.

    However, where the NCDRC order was passed in an appeal (or revision) against order of a State Commission, SLP can be filed in the Supreme Court.

    Further, where there is a provision for appeal to the Supreme Court against order of NCDRC in its original jurisdiction, it would not be possible to appeal to the high court even under its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution in view of the fact once there is an alternative remedy available (in this case, in the form of appeal to the Supreme Court, which is a superior court to high courts) such discretionary relief of writ petition under Article 226 will not be allowed.

    On the other hand, where the NCDRC order was passed in an appeal (or revision) against an order of a State Commission, ordinarily, it should have been possible to file a writ petition before the High Court against such NCDRC order. However, there is a vague order from the Supreme Court in the case of Cicily Kallarackal v. Vehicle Factory, (2012) 8 SCC 524, which appears to be barring such writ petition in a high court, though this Supreme Court order should have confined the prohibition only in respect of an NCDRC order which was passed in its original jurisdiction. But, the language of this Supreme Court order appears to be vague and general, barring writ petition before High Court. In view of this, I think it is advisable to file SLP against an NCDRC order instead of approaching the High Court even where the NCDRC order was in an appeal (or revision) against an order of a State Commission. However, since the above Supreme Court order is vague, a different view may also be taken and an effort may be made to get the Supreme Court clarified.

    In view of these reasons, if the NCDRC order was passed in its original jurisdiction, then you will have to file a regular appeal to the Supreme Court against the order of the NCDRC. In fact, Order XXIV [Appeals under Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 Of 1986)] of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, specifically relates to such appeals.

    On the other hand, if the NCDRC order was passed in an appeal (or revision) against an order of a State Commission, then you’ll have to file SLP before the Supreme Court under Article 136 of the Constitution.

    Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act is reproduced below:

    23. Appeal.—Any person, aggrieved by an order made by the National Commission in exercise of its powers conferred by sub-clause (i) of clause (a) of Section 21, may prefer an appeal against such order to the Supreme Court within a period of thirty days from the date of the order:

    Provided that the Supreme Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period:

    Provided further that no appeal by a person who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order of the National Commission shall be entertained by the Supreme Court unless that person has deposited in the prescribed manner fifty per cent of that amount or rupees fifty thousand, whichever is less.”

     

         


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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