Dismissal of frivolous or vexatious complaints.-Where a complaint instituted before the District Forum, the State Commission or, as the case may be, the National Commission is found to be frivolous or vexatious, it shall, for reasons to be recorded in writing, dismiss the complaint and make an order that the complainant shall pay to the opposite party such cost, not exceeding ten thousand rupees, as may be specified in the order.]

COMMENTS

(i) Where the complaint is mala fide, vexatious and frivolous and the opposite party has to incur expenses for contesting the complaint, the Redressal Fora should saddle the complainant with costs; K.Jayaraman v. The Poona Hospital & Research Centre, ~994 (1) CPR 23.

(ii) Merely because no court fee is payable for lodging a complaint before the consumer forums, parties have a tendency to misuse the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act in respect of matters not falling within its purview. This tendency must be discouraged; Orissa Vegetable Oil Complex Ltd. v. State of Orissa, 1994 (1) CPR 32. (i) Where the issue involved is a legal issue, the complain~ cannot said to be frivolous; Rasikalal Mohanjpl v.

Apollo Tyres Ltd., 1992 (II) CPR 327.

(iii) Cost can be saddled with only in case of fraudulent or vexatious complaints; Vihol Jaswant Singh Shivaji v. The Asstt. Branch Manager, New India Insurance Co. Ltd., 1994 (I) CPR417.

(iv) Where the issue involved is a legal issue, the complaint cannot said to be frivolous; Rasikalal Mahonlal v.Apollo Tyres Ltd., 1992 (II) CPR 327

27. Penalties.- Where a trader or a person against whom a complaint is made l[ or the complainant] fails or omits to comply with any order made by the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, such trader or person ([or complainant] shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one month but which may extend to three years, or with fine which shall not be less than two thousands rupees but which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both:

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), the District Forum or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, shall have the power of a Judicial Magistrate of the first class for the trial of offences under this Act, and on such conferment of powers, the District Forum or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be, on whom the powers are so conferred, shall be deemed to be a Judicial Magistrate of the first class for the purpose of the Code of Criminal Prodedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).

(3) All offences under this Act may be tried summarily by the District Forum or the State Commission or the National Commission, as the case may be.)

27A. Appeal against order passed under section 27 – (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974), an appeal under section 27, both on facts and on law, shall lie from –

(a) the order made by the District Forum to the State Commission;

(b) the order made by the State Commission to the National Commission; and

(c) the order made by the National Commission to the supreme Court.

(2) Except as aforesaid, no appeal shall lie to any court from any order of a District Forum or a State Commission or the National Commission.

(3) Every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of thirty days from the date of an order of a District Forum or a Sate Commission or, as the case may be, the National Commission:

Provided that the State Commission or the National Commission or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days, if, it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the period

of thirty days.

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