Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 India is a crucial provision that allows consumers, including Non Resident Indians (NRIs), to file complaints against unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements, and defective goods or services. This provision ensures that consumers have the right to seek compensation or replacement for any harm caused by such practices.
Under Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, consumers are empowered to approach the appropriate consumer forum to file a complaint. The Act provides for the establishment of three-tier consumer dispute redressal commissions at the district, state, and national levels. These commissions have the authority to hear and resolve consumer complaints.
To understand the significance of Section 18, let us delve into some relevant case laws that highlight its application:
1. Ambrish Kumar Shukla vs Ferrous Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.: In this case, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) held that a consumer complaint can be filed against a company even if the complainant is an NRI. The commission emphasized that NRIs are also entitled to protection under the Consumer Protection Act.
2. Vinod Kumar Gupta vs M/s Puma India Marketing Pvt. Ltd.: The NCDRC ruled in favor of an NRI complainant who had purchased defective shoes from Puma India. The commission directed the company to refund the purchase price along with compensation for mental agony and litigation expenses.
3. Suresh Kumar vs M/s Reliance Industries Ltd.: In this case, the NCDRC held that misleading advertisements can lead to unfair trade practices and cause harm to consumers, including NRIs. The commission ordered Reliance Industries Ltd. to pay compensation to an NRI complainant who had been misled by their advertisement.
4. Rakesh Agarwal vs M/s DLF Universal Ltd.: The NCDRC, in this case, highlighted that NRIs are also covered under the definition of consumers as per the Consumer Protection Act. The commission awarded compensation to an NRI complainant who had suffered due to the unfair trade practices of DLF Universal Ltd.
These case laws demonstrate that NRIs can avail themselves of the provisions of Section 18 to seek redressal for unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements, and defective goods or services. The Consumer Protection Act 2019 ensures that NRIs have the right to file complaints and seek compensation or replacement for any harm caused by such practices.
Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 India is particularly relevant to NRIs as it provides them with a legal framework to address consumer grievances. It empowers NRIs to approach the consumer forums in India and seek justice for any unfair treatment they may have faced in their consumer transactions. This provision ensures that NRIs are not left helpless in cases of fraudulent practices or defective products/services and can seek appropriate remedies through the established consumer dispute redressal commissions.
In conclusion, Section 18 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 India plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of consumers, including NRIs. It allows them to file complaints against unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements, and defective goods or services, seeking compensation or replacement as per the provisions of the Act. This provision ensures that NRIs have a legal recourse to address their consumer grievances and promotes a fair and transparent consumer market in India.