Who can complain?

Last updated on Jun 7, 2022

A complaint (( Section 2(6), Consumer Protection Act, 2019.)) about a product or service can be filed by (( Section 2(5), Consumer Protection Act, 2019.)) a number of persons under the law, such as:

  • People who buy goods or use services for themselves or for their own work in exchange for a payment. (( Section 2(7),The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (Act 35 of 2019)) For example, if a person takes an Uber cab to work, they are a consumer of a service. If a person buys a car to use it as a taxi and drives it themselves for earning their livelihood, they are a consumer of goods.
  • People who use the goods and services with the permission of the buyer who bought such goods for self-consumption or self-employment in exchange of a payment. For example, if a person buys a soap and that soap is used by their family members. All these people are consumers of the soap and can file a complaint in case of any defect in the soap.
  • A person who buys goods for commercial purposes can file a complaint during the warranty period of the goods (( Super Computer Centre vs Globiz Investment Pvt. Ltd., 3 (2006) CPJ 256 NC)). For example, if a person buys a computer system for their company and finds any defect in the system within the warranty period of the system, they will be a consumer.
  • Multiple consumers (( Section 2(7), Consumer Protection Act, 2019.)) who share similar grievances or issues. For example, if multiple people wish to complain about the service standards at a restaurant.
  • A registered or recognized voluntary association of consumers (( Section 35(1)(b), Consumer Protection Act, 2019.)) can also file a complaint.
  • Legal guardian of a consumer who is a minor. Legal guardian includes a parent or a relative or a person lawfully bestowed with parental obligations.
  • Legal representative of a consumer in case the consumer has passed away.
  • The Central or State Government can file a complaint.
  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority can take notice of a consumer grievance under the direction of the Central Government(( Section 18(2)(a), Consumer Protection Act, 2019.)). Under the law, this is known as the power to take a case suo motu (on its own) 8(( Section 18(2)(a), Consumer Protection Act, 2019.)).

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