• Time limitation to reply to WV

I am the Complainant under Consumer Protection Act. The District Forum has directed the OP on 26.06.2015  to submit Written Version. But OP has neglected initially  and  later has submitted on 24.06.2016 - almost after one year. Kindly quote Law/Act/Rule whether WV is acceptable after such long gap of time.
Asked 6 months ago in Civil Law from Kalyani, West Bengal
1) Section 13(2) (a) of the Act provides that a consumer forum shall, if the complaint relates to any services , refer a copy of such complaint to the opposite party directing him to give his version of the case within a period of thirty days or such extended period not exceeding fifteen days as may be granted by the District Forum, i.e. within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of the complaint 

2)Supreme Court in the case of Topline Shoes Ltd. Vs. Corporation Bank  held that Section 13(2) (a) is the directory in nature which the consumer forums are ordinarily supposed to apply. In other words, the forum or the commission has to consider all facts and circumstances of each case and then to exercise its discretion whether the delay in filing a reply beyond a period of 45 days can be condoned. Therefore, the right to condone the delay in filing reply by Opposite Party beyond a period of 45 days was given to consumer forums or commissions under the Act.

3)inNew India Assurance Co. Ltd. Vs. Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage Pvt. Ltd 2015   SC has clarified that forums/commission under the Consumer Protection Act “can grant a further period of 15 days to the opposite party for filing his version or reply and not beyond that”. It is therefore now clear that the total time for filing of reply can not exceed beyond 45 days, as per Section 13(2)(a) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.





Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
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Though there is a rule that the written statement or the counter to be submitted within 90 days but owing to various factors the court accepts the submission of statements at a belated stage too.  It is a discretion of court and cannot be termed as legal infirmity.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
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Consumer court will not follow the civil procedure code or any other law very strictly.  The purpose of consumer court is to get relief to the aggrieved persons by application of mind and it is not necessary to follow the law of the land very strictly.  Therefore it is again a discretionary decision which cannot be contested or objected.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
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What are the remedies of above problems.

There is no use of concentrating on such petty issues, instead concentrate on main issue without getting on such petty issues which will again prolong the main case indefinitely resulting into the defeat of purpose of approaching the consumer forum for relief or remedy.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
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The forum can accept the WV even after a year's delay but it normally does so only after imposing costs for delay. If the ex parte proceedings were actually not commenced then it is most likely that consumer forum will permit him to file the statement.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
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1) you show draw attention of district forum to SC judgment cited by me and object to time being grated for filing RP

2) SC has clearly held that delay in filing reply cannot be condoned

3) district forum should proceed with the case exparte against OP 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23294 Answers
1220 Consultations
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