Chhattisgarh High Court: A consumer cannot be prohibited from seeking relief under the consumer protection act, in spite of the availability of alternative reliefs under different legislations

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The bench of Justice Sanjay K Agarwal of the Chattisgarh High Court observed that the availability of alternative reliefs under different statutes does not prohibit a consumer, from seeking relief under the Consumer Protection Act. As the relief provided under this act is ‘additional’ in nature.

The petitioner had filed a case before the High Court for setting aside the order of the district and state forums on the contention that they had wrongly rejected  his complaint on the contention that he had an alternative relief available to him under section 7-B of the Telegraph Act. The petitioner had filed a complaint before the district forum alleging that his telecom service provider had used unethical  ‘trade practice’ and deducted his call account balance without his permission.

The district court relied upon the judgment of the apex court in ‘General Manager, Telecom, v. M Krishnan and another’ while dismissing the complaint of the petitioner on the grounds that, since the petitioner had a ‘special remedy of arbitration’ available to him, he was prohibited from seeking relief under the consumer protection act.

The high court referred to the decision of the apex court in ‘Trans Mediterranean Airways v. Universal Exports’, wherein the court had held that a consumer cannot be prohibited from seeking relief under the consumer protection act, despite alternative reliefs available to him under different legislation's.

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