Consumer Forums and Right to Information Act

Judicial Injustice …should be immediately corrected

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s view

There are a number of decisions of different Consumer Forums, that an aggrieved applicant, who has paid the prescribed fees for obtaining information under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, is a consumer.

This view was upheld by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in

REVISION  PETITION No. 1975 OF 2005

(Against the order dated 1.10.05 in Appeal No.244/04 of the State Commission, Karnataka)

                  Dr. S.P. Thirumala Rao

                               Vs.

                 Municipal Commissioner
                 Mysore City Municipal Corporation

No appeal was preferred against this order.  Therefore, this decision remains final and binding, on all the consumer forums in the country.                           

You can see the full decision at the following site:

http://164.100.72.12/ncdrcrep/judgement/00RP197505.html

 National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission does not follow its own order

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had occasion to consider the same issue again in the following case:

Revision Petition  No. RP/4061/2010

                  T. PUNDALIKA
                            vs.

                   REVENUE DEPARTMENT (SERVICE DIVISION),
                   GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dismissed the petition by its order dated 13.03.2012. The order is reproduced below:

“ Petitioner had sent a letter on 10.1.2001 to the effect that he is not physically fit to appear before this Commission and also not in a position to engage an advocate due to financial difficulties.  Prayer was made to dispose of the Revision Petition on the basis of the decision of this Commission in Dr. S.P. Thirumala Rao vs. Municipal Commission, Mysore – R.P. No.1975/2005 decided on 28.5.2009.  We appointed Mr.R.K. Dikshit, Advocate as amicus curiae to appear in this case on behalf of the petitioner.

Petitioner, in order to sort out the controversy with respect to his pensionary benefits, filed an application under Right to Information Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the RTI Act, 2005’) in the office of Opposite party No.4.  Opposite party No. 4 failed to provide the information.  Petitioner then filed the complaint before the District Forum, which was allowed and a direction was issued to opposite party No.4 to furnish the required information.

Respondent, being aggrieved, filed an appeal before the State Commission, which has been allowed by observing thus :

“At the outset it is not in dispute that complainant had filed an application u/s 6 & 7 of the Right to Information Act to the OP No.4.  But complainant cannot be considered as a consumer as defined under the C.P. Act since there is a remedy available for the complainant to approach the appellate authority u/s 19 of the RTI Act, 2005.”

 We agree with the view taken by the fora below.  Petitioner cannot be claimed to be a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act.  There is a remedy available for him to approach the Appellate Authority under Section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005.  Dismissed. “

 This is judicially a very bad order. It has referred to the decision in  Dr. S.P. Thirumala Rao vs. Municipal Commission, Mysore – R.P. No.1975/2005 …..but has not given a single reason why it is not following that decision. This is bad jurisprudence.

I suppose the Supreme Court of India itself should cancel this order dated 13.03.2012 and direct the National Commission to decide the issue afresh.

Karnataka State Consumer Redressal Commission

Toeing the error committed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, the Karnataka State Consumer Redressal Commission has forgotten its high status and gone one step further in committing judicial impropriety.

In brief, J S Virupakshaiah, Karnataka Information Commissioner, passed an order dated July 17, 2012 on a petition, K Venugopal vs Tahsildar and PIO, Bellary Taluk, Bellary district (KIC 12026 PTN 2011).

In this order, he has directed the Information Commission’s under secretary as follows :
A copy of this order may be sent to the Chairman, Karnataka Consumers Redressal Forum, Basava Bhavan, Palace Road, Bangalore, with a request to direct all the Consumers Forums in the state not to entertain Appeals/Complaints filed under the RTI Act.”

Instead of taking objection to this kind of letter, and acting against all the norms of judicial independence, the Registrar, Karnataka State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (KSCDRC), Bangalore, (presumably under the orders of his Chairman) has sent a circular on August 29, 2012 to all the District Forums in the State not to entertain any complaints or appeals against public information officers (PIOs) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Naturally, almost all the District Forums will obey this written, but illegal, order.

Request

I suppose the Supreme Court of India should rectify these glaring errors and should suo moto cancel the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dated 13.03.2012 in Case No. RP/4061/2010 and direct it to decide the issue afresh.

The Chairman, Karnataka State Consumer Redressal Commission should immediately recall his bad and illegal Circular dated August 29, 2012 to all the District Forums in the state and let them function in accordance with law.

Mistakes can and do occur. But they should be immediately corrected…….
This will only enhance the faith of the common man in the higher judiciary .

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13 thoughts on “Consumer Forums and Right to Information Act

  1. I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thank you, Iˇll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your web site?

  2. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing
    the other person’s web site link on your page at suitable
    place and other person will also do similar for you.

  3. sanjay singh on

    maine ludhiana se deoghar jharkhand ke liye ek pety woolen cloth book karaya. jise maine 30 november 2015 ko apni shop par paya. jise kholne par kuch mal kam paya.iski jimewari transport nahi le rahi hai. kaya iski complain consumer court main kar sakta hoon

  4. Bharathi on

    Sir,
    Can I file a complaint in consumer forum against a travel agent for the following reasons,

    He booked a Europe tour from 25/05/2015 to 1/06/2015 ,with detailed itinerary ,group tour from Germany ,hotel bookings, air tickets and promising to get a schengen visa ,which would be applied in Bangalore office of German consulate.
    We were made to understand that he was arranging for group tour ,while in the application for visa it was not mentioned and it was made to appear that we were applying for visa ourselves. We were not appraised of this fact when we were called for interview by German consulate. When we mentioned that this was arranged by the travel agent at the interview, they denied visa as the application details did not match with our statements.

    As ther was not much time we reapplied the next day with all the documents again provided by him.
    Due to documentation errors ( false hotel bookings submitted by him) we were denied visa again.
    We had paid him upto 5 lakhs of INR for the above bookings in advance.
    When the visa was denied , we lost all the money as there was no time to reapply as scheduled departure time passed.
    Can we claim our money from him and if he refuses file a complaint in consumer court?

    Thank you,

  5. Betty on

    Hello,

    Can i give complaint against a boutique which i saw through facebook, ordered dress for 11500 rs , took all money in advance before even showing the dress, later made a dress which is no close to the dress ordered. They gave fake address so couldnt proceed legally. Gave notice via Akosha 3 times it got returned.

    Kindly advise what can be dine in this regard. Can the court send legal notice to the companys mail ID. Pls reply

  6. Ashwini Vemula on

    Hi sir,

    I have bought a mobile from online website with one year warranty,after 4 months of purchase date mobile camera was not working properly,i raised a request about the mobile to seller so he said me to send the mobile to him(to chennai) and he will do the servicing,when i received the mobile after servicing i faced the same problem with camera immediately after switch on the mobile which i faced before sending to servicing,actually i was not the original mobile which i got ,i came to know that the mobile is not original in service center.I have raised request again to the seller that the mobile is in the same condition after servicing also ,so the seller is asking me to send the mobile for servicing again which i refused to do .
    Not even 24 hours completed that i receive my mobile i am facing the same problem .
    Can i file a complain on the seller ?

    Awaiting for your reply.

  7. Bijoy Behera on

    Sir, my mother is admitted in a private hospital at Bhubaneswar and I feel I am being cheated with enormous bill. Can I get consumer protection?

  8. Sir,

    I purchase flat in 2011, we got all required documents, possession letter and other things. but he did not gave basic facilities mention in agreement like Club House, Oil Bond Painintg, Rain Water Harvesting.
    And now he is asking for Service Tax and VAT which I did not paid, even this is mention in Agreement.
    Kindly guide how I can reply to his notice. I am ready to go to consumer court.
    All society memeber formed society on own and done Deeded Convince also.

    Thanks
    Vijay Zade
    9987037228

  9. eswar on

    Sir,
    I purchased a new bike replacing my old bike in hero showroom on 13-9-16. at the time of purchase, they told to wait for 15 days to get transfer of ownership of old bike and get registered for new one. It has been more than one month and old bike ownership not changed. now showroom person speaking irresponsibly and they are not doing the same.Kindly tell me how to proceed.

  10. What shd be the format and language to file a case in the Consumer Court?

    can it be typed as a letter in common english?

    Or shd it be in stylised Advocate jargon and format? This is difficult for common ppl.

    pl let me know the position.
    thanks
    30/10/16

  11. Anil Kumar on

    Although it is not essential that the Complaint should be typed, it is always better to get it typed, double spaced, with at least 1½ inches of margin space on the left, top and bottom.
    On the Home tab, in the Styles group, right-click Normal, and then click Modify.

    How to double space in MS word:

    Click home, then right click normal in styles section.
    Click modify from drop down menu then click a button under italic and underline for double space.

  12. I purchased one credit card from citi bank E.M.I. was paid and no defult in payment exists. But credit card was blocked by bank. Complaint filed at NCDRC Forum but it was dismissed on the ground that I am not a consumer u/s 2 (1) d C.P.Act 1986 and a debtor / creditor relationship exists. Is there any chance to file an appeal at state commission ? please help.

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