Supreme Court, on Thursday, has reiterated that second complaint to a Consumer District Forum is maintainable, if relevant Consumer Protection Rules do not expressly prohibit it. Apex Court Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and R.K. Agrawal made this observation in Indian Machinery Company vs. M/s. Ansal Housing & Construction Ltd.
National Commission had held that a second complaint to the District Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 would not be maintainable when the first complaint was dismissed for default or non-prosecution.
Second Complaint maintainable if Rules don’t prohibit it
The Court referred to the decision in New India Assurance Co. Ltd. Vs. R. Srinivasan [(2000) 3 SCC 242] wherein it was categorically held that if there is no provision in the Consumer protection rules, parallel to the provision contained in Order 9 Rule 9(1) CPC which contains a prohibition that if a suit is dismissed in default of the plaintiff under Order 9 Rule 8, a second suit on the same cause of action would not lie. That being so, the rule of prohibition contained in Order 9 Rule 9(1) CPC cannot be extended to the proceedings before the District Forum or the State Commission.
The Court said that there is no case that relevant Rules have any provisions like Order 9 Rule 9(1) of Civil Procedure Code. The Court then remitted the matter back to National Forum.
Read the Judgment here.