Mediation and E-filing in Consumer Court cases
I heard that mediation and e-filing of cases was allowed in consumer law cases. But I can't find any such provision in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Is it no longer in force? Why was it repealed?
Yes, the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is no longer in force as it was repealed by the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The new act sought to replace the archaic parts of the former act while also ensuring that various other changes and fresh provisions were introduced. The 2019 Act was introduced with various objectives such as the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority, encouraging mediation by establishing mediation centres, introducing modern methods of filing of cases, video-conferencing and so on. With the aforesaid aims among others, the Act enhanced the pecuniary jurisdiction and also changed where a complaint can be filed from where the opposite party has an office to where the consumer does. Certain other changes included the shifting of the criterion for pecuniary jurisdiction from the maximum retail price to the discounted price, expansion of State Consumer Commissions and more. Thus, the huge amount of changes point to the fact that the repealing of the 1986 Act was a necessary move. With regard to mediation, cases can be resolved in the said manner. But remember that all cases can not be referred to mediation. The Consumer Protection (Mediation) Rules, 2020 prohibit certain matters from being submitted or referred to mediation under Regulation 4. This includes matters of medical negligence which has resulted in grievous injury or death, cases of serious allegations of fraud, fabrication of documents, forgery, impersonation or coercion are involved, cases involving PILs and cases relating to criminal prosecution and non-compoundable offenses.
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