Should You Go to Consumer Court?

Last Updated at: Oct 30, 2020
Deciding on a consumer complaint, NCDRC has recently asked LIC to pay a fine of Rs 2.5 lakhs to the father of a girl with special needs. The person in Maharashtra had taken Jeevan Aadhaar policy of LIC for his daughter suffering from Down’s syndrome. The LIC had earlier refused to pay the assured amount to him even years after he made full payment of premiums.


Consumer court and its procedures were created to empower the consumer. The processes for filing and having a case heard were intended to be relatively simple so that the layman would be able to get justice on his own, without much working knowledge of the intricacies of the law. But consumer courts are not without their own set of drawbacks. While you may be confident about your case and feel justified in going down the legal path, there are a few things to pause and ponder over.

Legal Counsel
Appearing in consumer court does not require a lawyer, and you can represent yourself or have a relative do it for you. Alternatively, what you could do is have a lawyer help you out with the initial paperwork and then take control of the matter yourself. There is a checklist to be followed when filing a case in consumer court. It requires a lot effort for a consumer litigant to compose the complaint and see the case through. Although it is not compulsory to appoint a lawyer, it definitely helps to get a lawyer’s assistance. Seeing a case through may be manageable for a person who can compose a legal document coherently and articulate his case.

Ask a Free Legal advice

Filing a case isn’t expensive and consumer court cases are supposed to be concluded comparatively quicker than other types of cases. These courts do, however, have authority that’s just as binding as any other court in the country and any case can be dragged on for years leaving you with substantial costs to bear. If you choose to hire a lawyer, you’ll be paying litigation fees. Getting your documents in order will also add to your cost. And depending on how far the court is from your home or place of work, you will have to factor in travelling costs as well.

Be cautious
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to go to court. If your dispute is over a small matter, it would probably serve you better to try to solve the problem as cordially as possible with a higher authority at the company with which you have the issue.

Whether or not you chose to fight the case yourself, you will have to keep your head about you. You can’t leave everything up to a lawyer. A conscious effort on your part will be necessary to see your case through.

Fighting a case in consumer court will take up a good deal of your time. You may need to clear appointments or skip other responsibilities to appear in court. It could cause more monetary loss in the long run than the actual grievance.

Proving a Case
The civil judicial system in the country is based on the Code of Civil Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act. As per the legal procedure, the consumer has to take the onus to prove his case. The judge or court staff will not do this for you. They may assist you in filing the case, but when it comes to proving it, the responsibility lies with you.