Chapter V Trial etc.
- —(1) Offences under this Act shall be tried by a Magistrate of the first class or a Metropolitan Magistrate.
- The limitation regarding the power of imposing fine by any Magistrate of the first class under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 shall not restrict the power of any Magistrate of the first class to impose any amount of fine prescribed under this Act.
- Summary Trial.—Without prejudice to the provisions of section 57, the Court shall, mutatis mutandis, follow the summary procedure prescribed in Chapter XXII of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 where applicable in the trial of offences under this Act.
- Bailability, cognizability and compoundability of offences.—All
offences under this Act shall be bailable, cognizable and compoundable.
- —No complaint shall be accepted if such complaint is not made by any person to the Director General or any officer of the Directorate empowered in this behalf within 30 (thirty) days of arising the cause of action of any anti-consumer right practice under this Act.
- —Notwithstanding anything contained in the Limitation Act, 1908 (Act of IX of 1908), the Magistrate shall not take cognizance of any offence, if no charge sheet is submitted within 90 (ninety) days of complaint made under section 60.
- Examination of defect of goods.—(1) In determining the truth of a complaint about any defect of any goods, if the Magistrate thinks that it is not possible to determine the truth of the complaint without proper analysis or examination of that goods, he shall,—
- collect a sample of that goods from the complainant and attest that sample with seal in the prevailing process; and
- send that sample to any appropriate laboratory with necessary directions to examine the presence of the defect raised against, or any other defect of, the goods sealed under clause (a).
- The examination report about any goods, sent to any laboratory for examination under sub-section (1), shall be submitted to the Magistrate Court within 2 (two) months from the date of sending :
Provided that such time may be extended on the requirement of the laboratory.
- The Magistrate shall, before sending any sample of that goods to laboratory, make an order to the complainant to deposit the money or fees specified for the expenditure of necessary examination to verify the truth of the complaint made against any goods.
- Power of Magistrates.—A Magistrate may, in a trial held under this Chapter, impose any punishment approved by this Act for the relevant offence upon the person convicted.
- Prohibition on second trial.—If any person is convicted or acquitted in a trial conducted according to the provisions of this Act for an offence punishable under this Act, he shall not be tried again for the same offence under any other law.
- —Any party aggrieved by any judgment or order passed by the Magistrate, may prefer an appeal to the Sessions Judge having local jurisdiction within 60 (sixty) days of the judgment or order.
Civil Proceedings and Remedies
- Civil Remedies.—(1) In appropriate cases, nothing shall debar any affected consumer from filing a civil suit in a competent Civil Court for claiming civil remedies against a person on the ground that any criminal proceeding has been initiated against the person for any anticonsumer right practice or the person has been convicted of a criminal offence for such act.
- Under this Act “a competent Civil Court” shall mean the Court of Joint District Judge having local jurisdiction.
- If any consumer is affected by a seller for his anti-consumer right practice, and if such damage is assessable in consideration of money, the consumer may file a civil suit in any competent Civil Court claiming compensation not exceeding five times of the amount assessed for the damage.
- The Court may, after considering the plaint, defence, evidences and all other circumstances, allow any amount of compensation within the limit not exceeding five times of the actual amount assessed for the damage which the Court may think fit for the end of justice.
- Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil procedure, 1908, the Contract Act, 1872 and the Civil Courts Act, 1887, the provisions of this section shall have effect.
- Power of Civil Court.—The Civil Court may allow all or any of the following remedies, namely :—
- to order the defendant to replace the defective goods by appropriate goods;
- to order the defendant to take back the defective goods and pay back the price to the buyer;
- to order the defendant to give the complainant appropriate compensation not exceeding five times of the amount assessed for the damage proved; and to pay cost of the suit.
- Civil Appeal.—Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and the Civil Courts Act, 1887, an appeal may be preferred only to the High Court Division against the judgment and decree passed by a Court under section 67 within 90 (ninety) days of such judgment and decree.