Online filing of complaints before consumer forums soon

Minister to launch portal of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission tomorrow

April 20, 2022 09:38 pm | Updated April 21, 2022 12:14 am IST - KOCHI

Nearly two years since the roll-out of e-filing of petitions by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and subsequently by 30 State and district commissions, consumers in Kerala will finally get to access eDaakhil, the portal for e-filing of complaints, from this month.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies G.R. Anili will inaugurate the State level launch of the portal at the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on Friday. Transportation Minister Antony Raju will also be present.

Not very long back, the Supreme Court had reprimanded the State for not facilitating e-filing of consumer complaints. Lack of infrastructure was cited as the reason for the delay.

Though the State Commission had been receiving complaints online since May 2020, it was redundant since petitioners were required to submit hard copies of the complaints within a specific time period failing which the notices issued based on them were deemed to be cancelled.

"The e-filing facility is likely to reduce the burden of aggrieved consumers by sparing them from filing petitions in the consumer disputes redressal commissions either within the jurisdiction of her residential area or that of the opposite party as per the Consumer Protection Act, 2019," said D. B. Binu, President, Ernakulam Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

The complaints received online will be vetted immediately and the complainant will be given a number and alerted about the date and time of hearing online. The complaints will be admitted within 21 days of their receipt after hearing the opposite parties. No fee will be collected in the case of complaints regarding products or services valued not more than ₹5 lakh.

Consumers, however, will have the option of choosing either online filing or physical filing of complaints. Complainants should mention in their complaints specifically if they prefer online hearing of their petitions.

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