Consumer Dispute Resolution
As India moves towards the creation of a true arbitration mechanism, it is imperative to assess the ability of consumers to resolve consumer disputes by arbitration. Apex Building at Emaar MGF Land Limited v. Aftab Singh ("The Emaar Case") discussed at length the issue of adjustability in consumer disputes. The dispute arose as a result of a home buyer's complaint against the builder's failure to hand over the ownership of the apartment on the date agreed in the Apartment Sale Contract ("Contract"). When homebuyers approached the National Consumer Disputes Complaints Commission ("NCDRC"), the builder, in response, filed a complaint under Section 8 of the A&C Act, bringing the matter up. arbitration because the agreement contains an arbitration clause. The NCDRC has confirmed that consumer disputes are non-arbitrable because the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 ("CPA") is a special law intended to protect the interests of consumers and has a mechanism for separate dispute resolution. In addition, the NCDRC emphasizes the fact that Article 2(3) of the A&C Law excludes certain types of disputes affecting the general public interest (real rights) and therefore cannot be submitted to arbitration.
On appeal, the Supreme Court upheld the NCDRC's decision. He reiterated the rationale for classifying the dispute as to rights in rem and rights in personam, as explained in the Booz Allen case, and then ruled that remedy was provided for by special law, in this case, and it is the CPA, supplementing the provisions of the statute laws. Therefore, if a person chooses to make a complaint to a consumer forum in the first place, the complaint cannot be barred simply for submitting a claim under section 8 of the A&C Act.
At this stage of discussion, it is imperative to emphasize the position of the courts regarding the deciphering of the subject's ability to arbitrate as governed by social and social law. For example, in Premier Automobiles Ltd. against Kamlekar Shantaram Wake of Bombay and Ors, the Supreme Court confirmed that labor courts and tribunals established under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 ("ID Act") were empowers to resolve labor disputes involving workers' rights and thus the Identity Act completely excludes the jurisdiction of civil courts to adjudicate labor disputes.
The above position was also discussed by the Supreme Court in the Vidya Drolia case. Therefore, the intention of the courts is clear that the purpose of social laws, i.e. the CPA and the Identification Act, is to protect the interests of consumers and workers by granting them special rights. There is no way to force consumers or workers to waive their right of access to statutory courts by choosing arbitration.
(This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, or Religion, Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. Further, despite all efforts made to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, White Code VIA Mediation and Arbitration Centre Foundation shall not be responsible for any errors caused due to human error or otherwise.)