Consumer Case can’t be barred due to Civil Suit in the same matter

 

November 20, 2017

Yashwant Rama Jadhav and Anr. v. Sahukat Hussain & Ors.

In this recent case taken up by the National Commission Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on November 10, the Commission elucidated on the Consumer Court’s jurisdiction in view of Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Background of the case– In the case, the Appellants had earlier approached the State Commission aggrieved by non-completion of their residential flats despite them having paid substantial amount to the respondents. The Appellant sought before the State Commission possession of their respective flats alongwith compensation. The Respondents in the case pleaded that they had already filed civil suits for cancellation of the agreements executed with the Appellants and therefore, the consumer complaints on the basis of the said agreements were not maintainable. The State Commission ruled in favour of the respondents, aggrieved by which the Appellants approached the National Commission in the case.

Also read How to file a Consumer Complaint

Also read Where to file a Consumer Complaint

National Commission’s Ruling

  • The National Commission referred to Section 3 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which provides that the provisions of the Act shall be in addition and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. The Commission in this context observed that any remedy available under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is an additional remedy, which Parliament has made available to a consumer.
  • That even if two remedies, one before the Civil Court and the other before the Consumer Forum are available, it is for the Consumer to decide as to which remedy he wants to avail.
  • That the relationship of consumer and service provider does not come to end on account of one of the parties cancelling the said agreement. If deficiency on the part of the respondents in rendering services to them is proved, the Appellants would be entitled to appropriate relief in terms of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  • That the jurisdiction of the consumer forum is not ousted on account of a Civil suit having been instituted by the Respondents, even if the subject matter of the said suits is the same agreement which is the foundation of the consumer complaint.

In view of the aforesaid observations, the National Commission set aside the State Commission’s order and remitted the matters back to the State Commission.

Know your Rights What are the rights of a Consumer?

About the Author

Shilpi Sharan

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Shilpi Sharan is the Editor at Vakilno1.com – an Advocate with extensive knowledge in myriad fields of Law. She has a flair of writing and has legal publications in national and international law magazines to her credit. She focuses on legal research and aims at raising public awareness of laws in India.