National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

THE 1986 ACT OR THE 2019 ACT - THE SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES APPLICABILITY 

Introduction:

Recently, in Neena Aneja & Anr. v. Jai Prakash Associates Ltd.[1], the Supreme Court of India analysed and clarified the impact of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (“2019 Act”), upon pending cases that were filed under the consumer fora, constituted under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“1986 Act”). In this regard, the Court has inter alia discussed and analysed (i) a wide range of judicial precedents, which have interpreted the impact of a change in forum on pending proceedings; (ii) the objects, intent, legislative scheme, and procedural history behind the consumer laws in India, particularly in terms of jurisdictional provision contained in the 2019 Act; and (iii) the relevant portions of the 2019 Act in so far as they pertain to the pecuniary jurisdiction vis-a-vis the erstwhile 1986 Act.
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The Age of the Indian Consumer

In a recent decision[1] passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, developers were directed to pay compensation in excess of the contractually stipulated amount to flat purchasers, on account of delay in handing over possession and non-fulfilment of certain representations made to them. It was also held that consumer forums established under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (CP Act, 1986), are empowered to award just and reasonable compensation (even beyond the contractually stipulated amount, wherever necessary) to alleviate the harassment and agony caused to a consumer.
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