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National Consumer Commission's Appellate Order Can Be Challenged Before High Court Under Article 227 : Supreme Court

Manu Sebastian
13 May 2022 12:18 PM GMT
National Consumer Commissions Appellate Order Can Be Challenged Before High Court Under Article 227 : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court has held that an order passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in appeal under Section 58(1)(a)(iii) of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 can be challenged in a writ petition filed before a High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution.

A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna held that NCRDC is a "tribunal" falling under Article 227 . The legality of the order passed by the Delhi High Court by which it held as maintainable the Article 227 petition filed against the NCDRC order was in question before the Supreme Court(Ibrat Faizan versus Omaxe Buildhome Private Limited)

"Whether, against the order passed by the National Commission in an appeal under Section 58 (1)(a)(iii) of the 2019 Act, a writ petition before the concerned High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India would be maintainable?", the bench said about the issue.

As per Section 67 of the 2019 Act, the appeal remedy to the Supreme Court is available only with respect to orders passed by the NCDRC in exercise of its powers conferred by sub-clause (i) or (ii) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 58. In other words, the appeal remedy t the Supreme Court is only with respect to the original orders passed by the NCDRC. No further appeal remedy is given with respect to the appellate orders passed by the NCDRC.

"No further appeal to this Court is provided against the order passed by the National Commission in exercise of its powers conferred under Section 58(1)(a)(iii) or under Section 58(1)(a)(iv) of the 2019 Act. In that view of the matter, the remedy which may be available to the aggrieved party against the order passed by the National Commission in an appeal under Section 58(1)(a)(iii) or Section 58(1)(a) (iv) would be to approach the concerned High Court having jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India", the bench observed in this regard.

Relying on the precedent in Associated Cement Companies Limited v. P.N. Sharma, AIR 1965 SC 1595, the bench said that "the National Commission can be said to be a 'Tribunal' which is vested by Statute the powers to determine conclusively the rights of two or more contending parties with regard to any matter in controversy between them."

The bench next referred to the Constitution Bench judgment in L Chandrakumar which observed that parties aggrieved with orders of Tribunals can approach the concerned High Courts under Article 227. The bench also observed that the remedy of approaching the Supreme Court may not be affordable for everyone.

"..so far as the remedy which may be available under Article 136 of the Constitution of India is concerned, it cannot be disputed that the remedy by way of an appeal by special leave under Article 136 of the Constitution of India may be too expensive and as observed and held by this Court in the case of L. Chandra Kumar (supra), the said remedy can be said to be inaccessible for it to be real and effective. Therefore, when the remedy under Article 227 of the Constitution of India before the concerned High Court is provided, in that case, it would be in furtherance of the right of access to justice of the aggrieved party, may be a complainant, to approach the concerned High Court at a lower cost, rather than a Special Leave to Appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution".

In view of the above, the Court held that the High Court was not in error in entertaining the writ petition. At the same time, while considering the grant of interim stay/relief in a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, the High Court has to bear in mind the limited jurisdiction of superintendence under Article 227 of the Constitution.

"In view of the above discussion and for the reasons stated above and subject to the observations made hereinabove, it cannot be said that a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India before the concerned High Court against the order passed by the National Commission in an appeal under Section 58(1)(a)(iii) of the 2019 Act was not maintainable. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the High Court", the judgment authored by Justice Shah stated.

Case Title : Ibrat Faizan versus Omaxe Buildhome Private Limited

Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 481

Appearances : Mr. Sudeepta Kumar Pal, Advocate for appellant;Mr. Karanjot Singh Mainee, Advocate for respondent.

Head Notes

Constitution of India - Article 227-Appellate order passed by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum can be challenged under Article 227 before the High Court- it cannot be said that a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India before the concerned High Court against the order passed by the National Commission in an appeal under Section 58(1)(a)(iii) of the Consumer Protection 2019 Act was not maintainable (Para 16)

Constitution of India - Article 227- when the remedy under Article 227 of the Constitution of India before the concerned High Court is provided, in that case, it would be in furtherance of the right of access to justice of the aggrieved party, may be a complainant, to approach the concerned High Court at a lower cost, rather than a Special Leave to Appeal under Article 136 of the Constitution (Para 13)

Consumer Protection Act 2019 - the National Commission can be said to be a 'Tribunal' falling under Article 227 of the Constitution (Para 12)

Click here to read/download the judgment



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