NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

                                                                                                NEW DELHI

 

 

ORIGINAL  PETITION  NO.  379  OF  2002

 

 

Smt. Babita Aggarwal  & Ors.                                                                         …                Complainants

                Vs.

Dr. S.K. Goel                                                                                                                 …                Opposite Party

 

BEFORE:

 

                                HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA,

                                                                                        PRESIDENT

                                MRS. RAJYALAKSHMI RAO,  MEMBER.

                                MR. B.K. TAIMNI, MEMBER.

                                HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE K.S.  GUPTA, MEMBER.

 

Amendment to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – amendment by the Amending Act, 2002  coming into force on 15th march, 2003 – question if National Commission has jurisdiction to try complaints where  value  of the complaint filed earlier to 15.3.20003 is less than Rs.1.00 crore – held  Amending Act is prospective in nature – cases  filed before 15th March, 2003 would be amenable to jurisdiction  of the  National Commission.

 

For the complainants                                :  Mr. Anil Karnwal,  Advocate

 

 

Amicus Curiae                                                   Dr. Rajeev Dhavan, Senior Advocate

                                                                   Mrs. Pankaj Balaa Varma, and

                                                                   Ms. Ashta Tyagi, Advocates .

                                                                  

                                                                                                                                  

26.3.2003

 

                                                                O R D E R

 

 

           During the course of  hearing of this complaint wherein there is a claim for an amount of about Rs.25.00 lakhs  a question was raised whether National Commission would continue  to entertain such a complaint where the  value is less than Rs.1.00 crore.   This question arise in view of the amendment to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as amended by the  Amendment Act of 2002.  Since the question  raised  is of importance   and as divergent views have been expressed by the Presidents of the  State Commissions in a meeting held on 16.3.2003, it was thought appropriate  to give authoritative opinion  by the National Commission.

                        We requested Dr. Rajiv Dhavan to assist us in the matter.  Ms.. Astha Tyagi, Advocate and consultant of this Commission was asked to provide necessary assistance to Dr. Dhavan, from the records of this Commission.   Similar request was also made to Mrs. Pankaj Bala Varma, Advocate.  Ms. Astha Tyagi and Ms. Pankaj Bala Varma shall be  paid Rs.2,500/- each  as out of pocket expenses by the President, NCDRC Bar Association.

                        Today we have heard detailed arguments.  Views have been expressed by both sides.  After examining  the various authorities  and earlier decision of this Commission in the case of  Premier Automobiles Ltd. vs. Dr. Manoj Ramachandran and Others, decided on 21st December, 1993, we are of the opinion that the Amendment Act  has to be construed prospectively.  Due to urgency of the matter we are passing short order.   Detailed reasons will follow.   It is thus made clear that the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act, 2002  is prospective in nature.  Complaints which have already been filed before the  State  Commissions  and the National Commission shall continue to be heard and disposed of by  respective State Commissions and the  National Commission in accordance with Law.

                        A copy of this order shall be transmitted by the Registry to all the State Commissions immediately by Fax.

                        Further hearing in this complaint stands adjourned to  4.4.2002.           

                                                                                                                       

………………………………………J

( D.P. WADHWA)

                          PRESIDENT

                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                               

……………………………………….

(RAJYALAKSHMI RAO)

                       MEMBER

 

 

                                                                                                                                               

………………………………………

(B.K. TAIMNI)

                       MEMBER

 

 

 

……………………………………J.

(K.S. GUPTA)

                                                  MEMBER