How To File A Consumer Case? [QUICK GUIDE – 2023]

Consumer Case

Last updated on January 21st, 2023

Consumers in India are facing many issues. Especially – issues on refund, replacement, medical negligence, marks-card and other. But, most of them are ignoring these issues (or) unable to resolve them. Due to lack of awareness of their consumer rights. Hence, they are struggling to file a consumer case.

Even though there are some blogs on the internet about the same topic. None of these provide a simple, easy, to-the-point and consumer-centric approach.

Hence, presents this quick guide to file a consumer case in India.

Well, This easy and quick guide deals with detailed procedure. Which, includes Pro tips, format, fee and legal expenses to file a consumer complaint. Especially, All formats available for free download. Moreover, This guide includes both online and offline procedure. Hence, your problems come to an end.

Consumer Case
Table of Contents


[No Need to focus more on numericals of relevant sections: it’s for reference;]

The aim is to make citizens aware of their CONSUMER RIGHTS.

The Consumer Protection Act 1986 (Amended in 2019) protects the consumers in India.

1. Are you a consumer?

Before filing a consumer case, verify if you are a consumer under the eyes of the law.

 Section 2 (5) of the CP Act 2019, defines ‘Complainant‘ as. –

        1. A consumer ;

        2. one or more consumers,

        3. where there are many consumers having the same interest;

Section 2 (7) of the CP Act 2019, defines “consumer“.

Consumer is any person who buys goods or hires service for consideration. A person who resales or uses goods for commercial purposes is not a Consumer.

2. What are Consumer Rights?

The main cause of increasing consumer issues are due to the lack of consumer awareness. Every consumer in India is entitled to Consumer Rights.

consumer rights

In particular, Section 2 (9) of the CP Act, 2019 defines “consumer rights” includes. –

      1. The right to be protected against hazardous goods or services.
      2. The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, purity and price of goods.
      3. The right to be assured of variety of goods or services at competitive prices.
      4. The right to be heard at appropriate Consumer Forum.
      5. The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practice.
      6. The right to consumer awareness.

3. What Compensation you may seek from Consumer Court?

According to Sec.39 of the CP Act 2019, the District Commission upon its findings may order.-

        1. To remove the defects.
        2. To replace the goods.
        3. To refund the price.
        4. To pay compensation for loss suffered by consumer.
        5. To stop the unfair trade practice.
        6. To withdraw the hazardous goods from selling.
        7. To stop manufacture of hazardous goods.
        8. To neutralize the effect of misleading advertisement.
        9. To provide for adequate costs to parties.
        10. To desist from issuing any misleading advertisement.

4. What is the Punishments for various offences?

Ch. 7 of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, includes various penalties such as. –

Sl. No.OffencesPenaltiesExtent
1. Misleading Advertisement (1) Upto 2 Years and fine upto 10 Lakh
(2) Upto 5 Years and fine upto 50 Lakh
(1) For First Offence
(2) For Subsequent Offences
2. Sale of Adulterated product (1) Upto 6 months and fine upto 1 Lakh
(2) Upto 1 Year and fine upto 3 Lakh
(3) Upto 7 Years and fine upto 5Lakh
(4) Upto 7 Years and fine upto 10 Lakh
(1) No injury to consumer
(2) No grievance hurt to consumer
(3) Grievance hurt to the consumer
(4) death of the consumer
3. Sale of Spurious goods(1) Upto 1 Year and fine upto 3 Lakh
(2) Upto 7 Year and fine upto 5 Lakh (NON BAILABLE).
(3) Imprisonment for Life and fine upto 10 Lakh (NON BAILABLE).
(1) Causing injury to consumer.
(2) Grievance hurt to the consumer
(3) death of the consumer
4. Non compliance to Central Authority Upto 6 months and fine upto 20 Lakh Non-Compliance of direction of central authority.

5. NCH is faster than Consumer Court.

National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a grievance redress mechanism. By the Department of Consumer Affairs. Additionally, As per 2020-21 annual reports –

86% of the valid responses were marked ‘resolved‘ by the Consumers.

How does NCH Works?


Hence NCH resolves Consumer disputes much faster than consumer courts. So, I recommend you to lodge your complaint on NCH, before filing a Consumer Case.

How to approach NCH?

  1. Call the TollFree Number 1800 11 4000 (or) simply dial 1915.
    (All Days except National holidays from 8AM to 8PM)
  2. SMS 81300 09809 (or)
  3. Register your complaint on NCH Portal or NCH App.

(1) How to complain against E-Commerce Companies like flipkart, Amazon, etc.,?

Complaint against E Commerce

Generally, The details of the grievance officer (name, contact details and designation) should be displayed on their portal.

Also, the GRO will need to acknowledge the consumer complaint within 48 hours of receipt of the complaint .And redress the complaint within one month from the date complaint.

At Tier 2, simultaneously you can lodge your grievance on NCH.

Click here to read about filing a complaint against flipkart.

(2) How to complain against Loan Companies (NBFCs) like Paysense, Dhani etc.,?

Complain against loan

At Tier 2 : Consumers can approach eitherRBI at – CLICK HERE

Or Approach SEBI at – CLICK HERE

(3) How to complain against Telecom Companies like Airtel, Jio, VI, BSNL and DTH services like Tata Sky, Dish TV etc.,?

Complain against telecom and dth

At Tier 2 : Generally, Appellate authorities contact details can be found on their official websites. If not, Google search “Appellate authority” <space> “company name”.

Simultaneously you can lodge your grievance on NCH.

(4) How to complain against Service Sector Companies (Movie theaters, Matrimonial companies – Shaadi. com, Bharat Matrimony) etc., ?

complain against service sector

At Tier 2 : Simultaneously you can lodge your grievance on NCH.

(5) How to complain about Consumer Durables and Electronics like TV, Refrigerator, Washing machine etc.,?

complain against Consumer durable

(6) How to complain against Automobile companies like HYUNDAI, MARUTI SUZUKI,HERO, HONDA etc.,?

complain against Automobile

(7) How to complain against Insurance Companies like Tata AIG, Max Life etc.,?

complain against Insurance

At Tier 1: Click here to Read about IRDAI Grievance cell.

At Tier 2 : Click here to register complaint at IRDA Ombudsman.

(8) How to complain against Banks like HDFC, ICICI, SBI etc., and Digital Payment Apps like Gpay, Phonepe etc.,?

complain against Banks

At Tier 1: Firstly, Raise your complaint at Bank higher authorities.
In fact, Follow hierarchy as per bank’s Grievance Redressal Policy.
Easily, Google Search “Grievance Redressal” <space> “Bank Name

At Tier 2: In most of the cases, bank will resolve the issues Internally.

If not resolved, CLICK HERE to raise your complaint to RBI.

(9) How to complain about various issues like.-

      1. Overcharging on MRP
      2. Underweight
      3. Absence of Manufacturing month and year
      4. Smudging of MRP
      5. Absence of Customer care details on packet

All the above issues can be resolved by following below steps-

complain to legal metrology

At Tier 1: Firstly, Raise your complaint at Company.
For that, Google Search “Contact Us ” <space> “Company Name

At Tier 2: Secondly, Raise your complaint to Controller – Legal Metrology

In same way, Google Search “Legal Metrology” <space> “District Name”.

(10) How to complain about issues with Food Items?

Various issues like –

        1. Bad in quality/ taste
        2. Sale after expiry date
        3. Foreign matter, dust, insect, fungus etc.,
        4. Health problems – vomiting, headache
        5. Adulteration

Can be resolved by following below steps

complain against food items

At Tier 1: At first, Raise your complaint to Food Safety Inspector.
Similarly, Google Search “Food Inspector ” <space> “District Name

At Tier 2: CLICK HERE to read about Grievance Procedure.

How to file a Consumer Case Online for free?

Consumer Case Online Free

In fact, Sec.35 of the CP Act 2019, empowers consumers to file complaints online. And It is free upto 5Lakh. Further, Department of Consumer Affairs launched eDaakhil portal. In addition, Consumers can file their complaint on

Moreover, A detailed procedure to file online consumer complaint is available on

Also, read this Story of a consumer: who resolved his dispute within 45 days online for free;

Consumer Case Story

Source : Dept of Consumer Affairs, GoI.

Procedure to file Consumer Case in India


I strongly recommend you, to issue a notice before filing a complaint. So, it gives an opportunity for the company to resolve. Especially, there are good chances that the company may resolve your issue at this step itself. Indeed, this is a time-saving Step !

Is it mandatory to send notice before filing a Consumer Case?

No, it is not mandatory as per Consumer Protection Act 2019.

Do you need an advocate for issuing notice?

No! Just CLICK HERE to download Notice format for free.

Besides, you can easily edit it as per your case. However, you need not to worry much about the sections of the law. Since, it has less bothered by the Consumer Forum.

Pro Tip

TWO main points to write in the Notice are.-

      1. At first, write Issues faced in detail including order ID, product details, price date, time etc.,
      2. In short, write Details about correspondences with the company. For example email, chat, call recording etc.,

Click here to read in detail about drafting Notice.


The next step is to identify your jurisdiction.

What is a Jurisdiction?

The power given to a court to award the compensation based on facts of the case.

A consumer forum has two types of jurisdiction.

(1) Territorial (Area-Wise) Jurisdiction

(2) Pecuniary (Money-Wise) Jurisdiction.

Territorial (Area-Wise) Jurisdiction:

Territorial Jurisdiction means ‘related to area’. As per Sec.34 of the CP Act 2019, Consumer can file complaints wherever they reside or personally work for gain.

Therefore, you can file a complaint at your resident.

Indeed, District Consumer Courts are available in each and every district of the country.

Pecuniary (Money-Wise) Jurisdiction:

Pecuniary Jurisdiction means ‘related to money’.

As per revised Rules,

  1. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (up to Rs.50 Lakh
  2. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (Rs.50 Lakh – Rs.2 Crore) 
  3. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (up to Rs.2 Crore

How to calculate Pecuniary Jurisdiction?

For example,

If your [product amount + compensation + legal fees] is less than Rs.50 Lakh you must approach the district consumer forum.

Jurisdiction of Online Purchase

You can file a complaint against online purchase wherever you reside or work.

For example :

If a Consumer, who stays in Delhi ordered a TV sitting at her home from www.shopmytv .com. Whose official business address is in Bangalore. In case of issues, the consumer can file complaint either at Delhi or at Bangalore.

Pro Tip

The onus (burden of proof) of establishing all the relevant facts is fully on the consumer. Hence unless you have strong evidence don’t file consumer case.

Limitation Period

The CP Act provides a limitation period of two years from the date of cause of action. It means you can file your complaint within 2 years.

What is cause of action?

For example, you bought a Washing Machine on 30th May 2023 and it stopped working on 05th July 2023. In this case, 05th July 2023 is the date of cause of action. And you will have a time of two years starting from this particular date.

However, if there is delay. Then, the courts may admit them depending on valid reason. So, you can file beyond 2 Years with reasons mentioning for the delay.


As per the study, Karnataka State Commission and District Forum Bengaluru has dismissed 23.9 per cent cases on technical grounds.

Hence you need to file the case as per the format. Regardless, you need not to be an legal expert,

or to be good at English.

Instead, you can file a complaint in regional languages too.

Just download any ONE of the below formats and edit as per your case.



(2) CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Format 2.

(3) CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Format 3.

(4) CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Format 4.


Consumer Complaint Checklist
  1. Consumer Name and postal address including phone number or email address
  2. Company’s Name and official postal address including phone number or email address. If you have more than one parties, then mention them as Respondent 1, Respondent 2 etc., 
  3. Mention details of the case. Such as order ID, price paid, purchase date, time etc., And Write each in separate paragraphs. Further, all paragraphs should be numbered.
  4. Write details of correspondence with the company.
  5. Mention details of refunds, replacement, litigation cost and compensation sought. Each under different heads. This should be under the heading – PRAYER
  6. Signature by you or authorized person. In case any other person is authorized to file the complaint then the complaint has to be accompanied with an authorization letter. (Click here to Download)
  7. Attach copies of all the documents supporting your allegations. For instance, copy of the bill, warranty documents, written complaint and notice etc.,
  8. File an affidavit to affirm that the facts stated in the Complaint are true and correct.
    • What is an Affidavit?
      • An affidavit is a formal written statement setting out the facts of your case. Wherein, you or authorised person has to sign. Further, it is witnessed by a taker of oaths, such as a Notary Public. It is to be attached with the complaint.
    • Pro Tip: The Notary Public can also be done at the later stages of the case.
  9. Minimum of 5 copies of the complaint is to be filed in the forum. Besides this, you have to file additional copies for each opposite party.
  10. Verify the Index, Pagination, Content, and Annexures.


1.Upto Rs. 5 LakhsFree
2.Above Rs.5 Lakhs – Upto Rs. 10LakhsRs. 500
3. Above Rs.5 Lakhs – Upto Rs. 10LakhsRs. 1,000
4.Above Rs.50 Lakhs – Upto Rs.1 CroreRs. 2,000
5. Above Rs.1 Crore – Upto Rs. 2CroresRs. 4,000
6. Above Rs.2CroresRs. 5,000

However, It may differ.

Please, Verify the fees at Consumer Forum once. Also, you can find it out on state commission websites.

Google Search “State Name” <space> “District Consumer Commission Fees

Method of payment

Payment can be done in any of the two ways.

  1. Crossed Demand Draft drawn on a nationalized bank or
  2. Crossed Indian Postal Order (IPO).

These have to be drawn in favour of the President of the District Forum.

Incase, of State commission address to Registrar of the State Commission.

Similarly, in case of National Commission address to the Registrar of the National Commission.  


Submit Consumer C

Finally, submit your all copies of complaint including all Annexures.
Despite, If you encounter any difficulty:

Don’t hesitate to contact the President of Consumer forum;

Curious 🤨 to know, what happens next?



  1. After your submission of complaint.
  2. The Consumer Forum staff will go through the Complaint. And point out any issues in the complaint.
  3. In case of any issues: correct it;
  4. And resubmit it again.
  5. Then, Consumer Forum will inform a date. (Mostly, As per your convenience).
  6. Admission Stage : On this date, you or your representative has to appear. And brief about your complaint.
    Pro Tip : Be Strong, Don’t Shy away;
    • Speak truth.
      Don’t elaborate too much: Instead, speak in summary!
  7. Notice Stage : After the Complaint is admitted. Generally, The Consumer Forum will direct you, to submit postal stamps, envelopes. (depending on number of opposite parties).
  8. Then, The Consumer Forum issue Notice to the company.
  9. Version Stage : Further, The company may file its objections.
  10. Despite several notices, If the company doesn’t appear before the court. Then, court may listen exparte and decide it.
  11. Of course, you can file your reply (REJOINDER) to the objections filed.
  12. Evidence Stage : Generally evidence of the complainant is considered. Here Consumer, come to witness box to swear in the name of God. Similarly, evidence of the Opposite Party is considered.
  13. Finally, Argument Stage : Mostly, written arguments are considered. However, oral arguments could be made.
  14. Lastly, Final Order Stage: The judgement will be pronounced. Generally, in written format.

Pro Tip

Click here to check the status of your Consumer Case.


In case, If you are not satisfied with the judgment of the lower court. Then, you can appeal to the higher court.

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is an application to a higher court for the reversal of judgment of the lower court.

The hierarchy of filing an Appeal are

  1. District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum
  2. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission 
  3. National Consumer Disputes Redress Commission 
  4. Supreme Court

For example,

If you are not satisfied on the judgment of the State Commission you can approach the National Commission.

Remember: All appeals must be filed within 30 days of the Judgement.


Moreover, if not satisfied by the Judgement of the District Forum.
Then, Appeal to the State Commission.

State Commission

How to Appeal?
1. Firstly, apply for copy of the order of the district forum.
2. Remember, The appeal must be filed within 30 days.
3.Don’t worry, time required for obtaining the free copy of judgment is excluded.
For example:- In case, If A judgment is delivered on 01 May 2023. And you received the free Certified Order Copy on 15 May 2023. Then, you can appeal within 30days from 15 May 2023.

What if the appeal is not filed within the stipulated time?

In such case, The State commission may entertain it. However, there must be a sufficient cause for the delay. Moreover, it should be attached to the Appeal. To clarify, it must be in writing about delay.


Eventually, No court fee is required.
But, you have to deposit fifty percent of the compensation amount (or Fine) or Rs.25,000/-, whichever is less. Generally, this should be in the form of crossed Demand Draft. Nonetheless, It can be from any nationalized bank. Meanwhile, It should be in favor of the Registrar of the State Commission. Undoubtedly, this amount is refundable by the State Commission.


Significantly, If you are aggrieved by an order of the State Commission. Nevertheless, you can approach the National Commission. However, it should be within a period of thirty days.

Similarly, The appeal can be preferred after the expiry of 30 days. For the same reason mentioned earlier in Supra Para (State Commission). However, an application for condonation of delay is required. As usual, a certified copy of the order of the State Commission is mandatory.


Likewise, No court fee is required.
But you have to deposit Rs. 35,000 or 50% of the total compensation (or Fine) whichever is less. Meanwhile, It should be in the form of a crossed Demand Draft drawn. Whereas, this can be from any nationalized bank. Particularly, in favour of the Registrar, National Commission, payable at Delhi. Undoubtedly, This amount is refundable.   


Subsequently, If you are not satisfied with the decision of the National Commission.

Straightaway, you can approach the Supreme Court of India. Nonetheless, the time period of 30 days remains same.

Supreme Court

In complex situation, The Supreme Court may entertain the appeal even after expiry of 30 days. But, it must satisfy that there was a sufficient cause for such delay. Besides, Certified Order Copy of the National Commission is required. In addition, application for condonation of delay is required.


Eventually, you have to pay a fixed court fee of Rs. 250. In addition, you have to deposit Rs. 50,000 or 50% of the compensation whichever is less. Generally, In the form of a crossed Demand Draft. Likewise, drawn on a any bank in favor of the Registrar, Supreme Court, payable at Delhi. Obviously, This amount is refundable.


Earlier, I provided Free Downloadable Link to Notice (in Step1).
In detail,

Here are PRO TIPS on writing a notice:

  1. Firstly, State all the facts clearly and in chronological order.
  2. In case, If there is some lapse from your side: expressly state it;
  3. Further, give the details of all the correspondence. For example – screenshots, email, phone call recording etc.,
  4. Remember : Be gentle and firm in your language while drafting the notice. Never use abusive language.
  5. Particularly, mention the date and time of every correspondence.
  6. Thereafter, provide 15 – 30 days for them to resolve your complaint. (Depending on the sector)
  7. Don’t forget to mention:- that if the company fails to resolve the issue, you would file a consumer complaint.
  8. Thereafter, send this notice by registered post acknowledgement due. 
  9. Further, Make sure to keep the Proof of Delivery (POD). Indeed, It usually takes 15-20 days after sending the letter.

 Pro Tip

Write the facts of your complaint very carefully. Because it must be repeated in your complaint as it is.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Do you need an advocate to file a consumer case?

A simple answer, No!
A consumer can file his/her case ‘Party in Person‘. Regardless of his / her legal knowledge. Hence, a consumer need not to worry about defense advocate. Generally, Most of the consumer courts are friendly. Even more, the Judge Panel dont’t expect an extraordinary arguments. In fact, Strong Evidence is required.

2. How long does it take to resolve the complaint at consumer court?

The Consumer Protection Act says –

“Every complaint shall be heard as expeditiously as possible. And endeavour shall be made to decide the complaint within three months from the date of receipt of notice by opposite party where the complaint does not require analysis or testing of commodities. And within five months if it requires analysis or testing of commodities”

However, according to the study by Vidhi Legal Policy

“Out of all the cases disposed since establishment of Consumer Commissions till July 2019. 66.4 per cent of complaints and appeals filed in the State Commission (KARNATAKA) and 65.3 per cent of the complaints filed in District Commissions Bengaluru took more than five months for their disposal.”

Surprisingly, 70 to 85 per cent of the total number of disposals in the five-year analysis period (2013 to 2017) happened in the first two years of filing.

3. What types of cases are admitted in the Consumer Forums?

Generally, Cases such as –

  1. an unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice.
  2. defective goods.
  3. deficiency in service.
  4. Overcharging on MRP
  5. Sale of hazardous goods
  6. Sale of unsafe goods
  7. Any Such other cases.

4. Can a complaint be filed on behalf of some other person?

Yes, it can be filed on behalf of the actual consumer. But, that person (actual consumer) must mark his presence at least once in the consumer court. In worse case, consumer forum may allow to get evidence from Consumer’s House. For instance, in cases of senior citizens, sick or any major injuries.

Click here to download free format of Authorisation.

Absolutely Yes! Any consumer can approach Consumer Forums for any legal assistance.
Google Search “Contact” <space> “District Name” <space> “Consumer Forum

6. Is there a Mediation Process in the Consumer Forum?

Definitely, section 37 of the CP Act 2019 provides provisions for settlement through meditation. However you need to confirm with the district forum, if there is any mediation cell attached to it.

7. How does Mediation works?

  1. At the first hearing of the complaint or at any later stage. – District commission may direct parties to give their consent, to settle by mediation within 5 days.

8. What if mediation fails to resolve your dispute?

In case of failure by mediation, you can approach consumer forum.

9. What are the chances of Consumers receiving compensation if they have a genuine complaint?

Especially, in cases where consumers have strong evidences. Then, there is a major chance of them winning the case. According to the Study, Overall winning rate in Karnataka State Commission is 51.8 per cent. While, the decisions against the consumers are at 24.3 per cent.

10. In case the orders are not implemented, what is the remedy available to the aggrieved person?

In such a case, the consumer can file an Execution Petition.

 Click here to download format of Execution Petition.

 11. Can several consumers file a joint complaint?

Yes, several consumers can file a joint complaint.

Just add,

Complainant 1, Complainant 2 and so on.,

12. Are students a Consumer under Consumer Protection Act 2019?

In a landmark case, Bhupesh Khurana and others vs Vishwa Buddha Parishad and others,

It was held that fees are paid for the services to be rendered by way of education by the educational institutions.

Thus, students hire services of the institutions for attaining education. Hence students are consumers within the meaning of this Act.

In case of, Girish.N.P vs Sree Kongadiyappa Degree College, Bengaluru Consumer Forum ordered to “return markscard and total compensation of Rs.10,000.”

13. Are patients a Consumer under Consumer Protection Act 2019 ?

Yes, the services of doctors are covered within the meaning of this Act. Once, you pay a doctor’s fee, you become a ‘consumer’ of his services.
In case, when a patient who cannot afford to pay is given free services by a doctor, he is a ‘beneficiary’. And will be covered under the definition of consumer. Thus, a patient can file a consumer case against a doctor.
Evidently, there are many medical negligence cases filed across the country.

14. What are different sectors under which Consumer Complaints are filed

Consumer complaints are filed under various sectors such as

Agriculture, Airline, Automobile, Banking, Contract, Domestic Fuel, eCommerce, Education, Electronic goods, electricity, Finance, Food and Beverages, Government Corporation, Housing, Immigration, Industries, Insurance, Medical, Postal, Railway, Telecom, Textile, Transport, Tourism, Trust, Water etc.,

15. What are the new changes made in Consumer Protection Act 2019?

  1. Provisions for seeking compensation for injury caused due to defective product or service.
  2. Punishment to the manufacturer or seller as per Supra Para.
  3. Provisions for hearing though Video Conferencing
  4. Mandatory acknowledgement of consumer complaints by eCommerce entities within 48 hours. 
  5. eCommerce entities to redress the Complaints within 30 days.

16. Which is the best site for Consumer Case Stories in India?

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