Consumer Forum Has Jurisdiction To Adjudicate Dispute Concerning Validity Of Statutory

 

Apex Court has held that determination of the dispute concerning the validity of the imposition of a statutory due arising out of a “deficiency in service”, can be undertaken by the consumer fora as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

A three judge bench comprising of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Mohan M. Shanthanagoudar and Justice Ajay Rastogi was answering a reference from a two judge bench which had doubted the correctness of the judgment in HUDA vs. Sunita, (2005) 2 SCC 479.

The Court referred to the SC decision in Lucknow Development Authority v M K Gupta (1994) 1 SCC 243 which held that statutory authorities are amenable to jurisdiction of consumer courts if there is deficiency in services.

If the statutory authority, other than the core sovereign duties, is providing service, which is encompassed under the Act, then, unless any Statute exempts, or provides for immunity, for deficiency in service, or specifically provides for an alternative forum, the Consumer Forums would continue to have the jurisdiction to deal with the same.