Consumer Protection Act was enacted to provide for the protection of the interests of consumers. It provides a framework for redressal of grievances of consumers in respect of goods and services procured by them. The Act provides for three-tier authorities i.e. Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, and National Commission to hear consumer complaints(cases) and pass necessary orders after allowing Complainant and the respondent.
The Consumer Protection Act does not mandate the issuance of Legal notice by the consumer as a pre-condition for filing a consumer complaint with the commission with pecuniary jurisdiction. However, it is equally important to bring the grievance of consumers with respect to product or service to the notice of the product manufacturer / the service provider, whichever may be the case. This is required to bring the grievance to the notice of the manufacturer/service provider and giving it an opportunity to redress the same. In the absence of notice, it becomes difficult for the consumer to mention in the complaint that the defect in goods /deficiency in the service was brought to the notice of the manufacturer/service provider and it failed to redress the grievances of the consumer. District Commission /State Commission/National commission can inter-alia order to remove the defect /replace the goods/return the price while deciding any complaint before it, which can be achieved by issuing legal notice if the manufacturer /service provider is willing to redress the grievance of the consumer.
What is the time limit to issue a legal notice by the consumer?
The consumer complaint can be filed within 2 years from the date the cause of action arose. Hence Legal notice shall be issued well before 2 years’ time so that the Consumer complaint, if required can be filed within the time stipulated under the Consumer Protection Act.
How should one send the notice?
The notice should be sent through Registered A/D, Courier as well as E-mail. Courts are now accepting notice sent through WhatsApp as a proper mode of delivery.
What if notice is not received by the addressee?
Keep the undelivered envelopes with remarks. The courts are nowadays accepting dispatch with sufficient proof as Delivered.
Do I need to sign the legal notice?
No, the only Lawyer needs to sign the legal notice. The lawyer should mention his/her Bar counsel registration number under his/her name.