Supreme Court: Complaints filed by a ‘Trust’ before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is ‘not maintainable’

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In ‘Pratibha Pratisthan vs Manager, Canara Bank’ a division bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Prafulla C Pant ruled that a grievance or complaints filed by a trust under the consumer protection act before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is ‘not maintainable’.

The bench referred to clause 2 (m) of the consumer protection act clearly outlines that a hindu undivided family, firm, association of persons and a cooperative society are included within the definition of ‘persons’, who are entitled to file a complaint with the commission for a redressal of their grievance. The bench further observed that even the definitions of  ‘complaint’, ‘complainant’ and ‘consumer’ clearly outline that a trust is not legally authorized under the act to file a grievance before the commission.

The court observed “It is clear that a Trust is not a person and therefore not a consumer. Consequently, it cannot be a complainant and cannot file a consumer dispute under the provisions of the Act,”

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