Delay Beyond 30-Day Statutory Period In Filing Written Statement, Review Application Cannot Be Condoned: Delhi State Consumer Commission

Navya Benny

7 Dec 2023 7:23 AM GMT

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    In a bid to ensure strict compliance of statutorily prescribed timelines, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission recently rejected an argument that the limitation period of 30 days for filing a written statement in a consumer complaint commences from the receipt of notice accompanied by the complaint, and not merely the receipt of notice.

    The Bench comprising Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal and Judicial Member Pinki relied on the Apex Court decision in New India Assurance Company Ltd v. Hilii Multipurpose Cold Storage Pvt.Ltd. (2020), which laid down that a Consumer Commission cannot condone delay beyond the statutory limit of 45 days from the date of service of notice.

    The State Commission in the present case was seized with a review petition challenging a District Commission order, which dismissed the review application filed by the Revisionist/Opposite Party on the ground of delay in filing the written statement as well as filing of the review application.

    It was the specific contention of the counsel for Revisionist that the District Commission failed to appreciate the legal compliance under regulation 10(5) of Consumer Protection Regulation, 2020 which mandates that notice issued by the District Commission ought to be accompanied by complete copy of the complaint.

    The counsel drew attention of the State Commission to clauses 38(2)(a) and 38(2)(b) in support, and prayed for setting aside of the order of the District Commission.

    The State Commission, at the outset, ascertained that as per Section 47 (1)(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, it was vested with the jurisdiction to entertain a revision petition in cases where the District Commission had acted extra-judicially, or failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it by law, or acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

    It noted that as per an order of the District Commission, a copy of the complaint was collected by the revisionist's counsel on April 25, 2022. However, the written statement was filed in July, 2022, beyond the prescribed statutory period of 30 days. Accordingly, the District Commission had closed the revisionist's right to file written statement.

    It was further found that the revisionist's review application had also been filed beyond a period of 30 days.

    In this backdrop, the State Commission concluded that there was no reason to interfere with the order of the District Commission closing the revisionist's right to file written statement.

    The revision petition was thus dismissed without costs.

    Counsel for the Revisionist: Advocates Sumit Nandvani and Anchal Jindal

    Counsel for the Respondents: ANG Partners Advocates & Solicitors

    Case Title: M/s Adinath Properties Pvt. Ltd. v. Ms. Kamini Kapoor & Anr.

    Case Number: REVISION PETITION NO.02/2023

    Click Here To Read/Download Judgment

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