The Uttar Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has held that consumer forums must decide the application for condonation of delay in filing of a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 first, before adjudication on merits.
noted that Section 69(2) of the Act clearly provides that no complaint will be entertained unless the Commission, whether at district, state or national level, records its reasons for condoning the delay.
The instant complaint alleging negligence in medical treatment was filed with a delay of 9 years. The treatment was administered in 2011-12 whereas the complaint was filed in 2021.
The State Commission thus allowed a revision application and remanded the matter back to the District Commission to decide the preliminary objection on the maintainability of the complaint.
The opposite parties had filed objection to the delay condonation application and prayed for its disposal at the stage of admission itself. The District Consumer Commission fixed a date for admission of the complaint and also for hearing on the point of limitation and merits.
The opposite parties came up in revision with the prayer that the order be set aside and a direction be issued to the District Consumer Commission to decide the issue of limitation first. They alleged that the District Consumer Commission had arbitrarily not considered the preliminary objections about the complaint being grossly time barred, leaving the matter to be decided at the final stage.
It was argued that the impugned order was totally against the settled mandate of law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of State Bank of India vs. M/S PS Agricultural Industries.
The State Commission agreed with the aforesaid and set aside the order by the District Consumer Commission.