The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is in short known as NCDRC. It is a quasi-judicial commission in India established in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 with its head office in New Delhi.
A Consumer who has purchased products or services for his/her personal use (not for commercial purpose or resale) is covered under provisions of Consumer Protection Act of 1986. The provision of the acts also covers consumers who bought goods or services for self-employment and a person might himself have not purchased the item but who uses the same with the approval of the buyer is also a consumer. The goods may be anything manufactured or produced and sold to consumers through wholesalers and retailers. The services include transport, telephone, electricity, housing, banking, insurance, medical treatment, etc. Nevertheless, no complaint can be filed for alleged deficiency in any service that is rendered free of charge or under a contract of personal service.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) functioning in 3 tiers viz. District Forum, State Commission and National Commission. A written complaint, can be filed before the District Consumer Forum for monetary value of up to Rupees twenty lakh, State Commission for value up to Rupees one crore and the National Commission for value above Rupees one crore, in respect of defects in goods and or deficiency in service. It is an additional facility available to a consumer in addition to regular legal remedies available to him/her. A consumer can argue in person in the commission. In genuine cases where the complainant, appellant or petitioner before the National commission is unable to engage the services of an advocate legal aid is provided by the Commission free of charge. Any person aggrieved by the order of NCDRC may prefer an appeal against such order to Supreme Court within a period of 30 days.
In order to help achieve the objects of the Consumer Protection Act, the National Commission has also been conferred with the powers of administrative control over all the State Commissions by calling for periodical returns regarding the institution, disposal and pendency of cases. The National Commission is empowered to issue instructions regarding:
(1) Adoption of uniform procedure in the hearing of the matters,
(2) Prior service of copies of documents produced by one party to the opposite parties,
(3) Speedy grant of copies of documents, &
(4) Generally over-seeing the functioning of the State Commissions and the District Forums to ensure that the objects and purposes of the Act are best served, without interfering with their quasi-judicial freedom.
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