Week's Person

Wake Up Consumer, Wake Up

By Siddharth Sehgal

This article is to familiarize you with an agency you already know about but like most simple things in life its take for granted the Consumer Forum of India. You might have come across “jago grahak jago” commercials while flipping the TV channels but hardly anyone knocks the doors consumer forum with their complaints, at least I don’t know anyone personally who went there. Reason, issues are resolved outside the court or as it happens most of the time, people just live with the problem. We Indians tend to stay away from courts, from all kinds of courts even the divorce ones. We assume the system to drag the case in its unending whirlpool of delayed hearings and late verdicts. I knew a guy who uses to work as an electrician on construction projects; it took more than fifteen years to settle his case where he was accused of accepting a bribe of fifty rupees. 15 years for 50 Rs., makes a lot of sense isn’t it.

But things are slightly different with consumer courts; they were made to settle cases in a quick manner. Of course, one can still appeal to higher courts if they don’t like the judgment but still this agency is faring far better than other government law agencies in India. In fact, you don’t even need a lawyer for your case. You can stand up for your own but usually people prefer to take legal help considering the intricacies of courts in India. But all things aside, we looked at some of the stuff that’s online on this subject matter and found out that some pretty good information is out there to help you out. First one on our list is NCDRC (National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission) which is more sort of an information website about the commission, its history, the consumer protection law, members of the panel and other related information. It’s not very dynamic or neat but kind of gives you a background because they don’t really handle the consumer complaints. The second and most well known body of this agency is one we know as jago grahak jago, it’s just a name the websites is actually of department of consumer affairs. Now as the name suggest there is a lot of information on this portal but we managed to find something that can be applicable to you.

  1. Consumer advice center lists consumer helplines of different states. Same can be find out in this different page that lists only state helpline numbers.
  2. Another important and useful tool we found is Confonet it’s a project to computerize and network different consumer forums across the country. This portal provides case studies, cause list and judgments search that can be relevant to your issue. Other important information is also covered.
  3. Perhaps the most important one is of the core center where you can register and lodge your complaints.
  4. Another important tab is of the contact information of the ministry. It also has a link to its officers telephone directory.

Another website that we came across is of the CORE Center, the online consumer redressal system in the country, the same one listed above. This is the entity that will handle your case and it is the one that’s most relevant to your problem. It’s a bit better developed and looks user friendly but how effective is it we don’t know because we don’t have a grievance that needs redressing, yet.

We are no experts in consumer affairs, we don’t have answer to every problem but our goal is to motivate you so that you can resolve your issue on your own. It might not be easy considering how much of red tape is wrapped around this office of Indian government but if you have the will there will be a way. Please do write to us what you think about these articles, if you can compile some information on consumer affairs, feel free to send it in we will publish it. We can definitely use some expert help in this one.

One Comment

  1. Will undoubtedly be back for more.