SC: lawyer not must to fight consumer case | delhi | Hindustan Times
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SC: lawyer not must to fight consumer case

Upholding the rights of a consumer, the Supreme Court has ruled that it isn’t mandatory for a complainant to hire an advocate to fight their case before a consumer forum.

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2011 22:58 IST
Bhadra Sinha

Upholding the rights of a consumer, the Supreme Court has ruled that it isn’t mandatory for a complainant to hire an advocate to fight their case before a consumer forum.

The court said a consumer can either appear personally or be represented by a duly authorised agent, not necessarily an advocate before the district, state or national consumer forum.

A three-judges bench headed by justice Dalveer Bhandari dismissed the appeals filed by a Mumbai based advocate and the Bar Council of India contending that only lawyers could be the authorised agents of a complainant before the forum.

Rejecting the appellants’ arguments, SC held engagement of advocates in such matters may not be economically viable. “…most of the cases before the consumer forums are small cases of relatively poor people where legal intricacies are not involved and great legal skills are not required...,” the bench said.

The court also directed National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to frame comprehensive rules regarding the appearance of agents.