Can a consumer court forum refused to hear the consumer complaint on summary trial basis that the damages claimed are not justifiable and quantifiable, if all the supporting evidences of the consumer are in order and the opponent is not accepting consumer court’s summons and does not attend the hearing at all.

Basically if all the documents and evidences are properly submitted with the complaint and address of the opponent party is evidently correct and proper summons are issued and if he fails to attend the hearing, the consumer court can be appealed to hear the say of the complainant and decide the case summarily by passing ex-parte judgment. While deciding the appeal under Section 23 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 it was directed against an order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in the case of Charan Singh vs Healing Touch Hospital & Ors on 20 September, 2000 by the bench of Supreme court judges K.G.Balakrishnan, M.B.Shah after hearing learned counsel for the parties and perusing the record, the Hon Judges said in their judgment that:

“we are constrained to say that we are not happy with the manner in which the complaint of the appellant has been disposed of. Consumer Protection Act is one of the benevolent pieces of legislation intended to protect a large body of consumers from exploitation. The Act provides for an alternative system of consumer justice by summary trial. The authorities under the Act quasi judicial powers for redressal of consumer disputes and it is one of the postulates of such a body that it arrive at a conclusion on reason.”

Ibrahim Deshmukh
Legal Consultant
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