A recent consumer forum decision by a Jodhpur district court, lays down another great principle as to jurisdiction in case of online e-commerce transactions. The complainant ‘Shumbham Modi‘ had purchased a tablet ZYNC Z 1000 from the INDIATIMES SHOPPING (RES-3) for a consideration of Rs. 9,330 vide invoice bill no. ZYNC/retail/2012-13/10087.
The payment was made through online payment from Karnatka Bank, Transaction Description 7/11/2012 paid at Jodhpur. Thereafter due to the dispute, the Complainant filed the Petition under Sec. 2 (1)(b)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 at Jodhpur only and not where the office of IndianTimes Shopping was situated at Delhi.
Basically Section 11 of Consumer protection Act, 1986 provides for jurisdiction of the District Forum as follows:
(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the District Forum shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed ”does not exceed rupees twenty lakhs.
(2) A complaint shall be instituted in a District Forum within the local limits of whose jurisdiction,—
(a) the opposite party or each of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain, or
(b) any of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the permission of the District Forum is given, or the opposite parties who do not reside, or carry on business or have a branch office, or personally work for gain, as the case may be, acquiesce in such institution; or
(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
Now, as the consideration was paid to IndiaTimes Shopping at jodhpur through Karnatka Bank’s local branch, therefore the Cause of Action was assumed to have arisen within the Jurisdiction of Jodhpur consumer forum. And the complainant was able to convince the hon’ble members of the Forum that the jurisdiction in the matter lied with them only and complaint was accordingly accepted.
The judgment was delivered on 6th January 2014, despite the fact that respondents office was situated outside the city of Jodhpur. Copy of order can be downloaded here, whereby the court ordered refund of Rs 9330 (price of Tablet) and further sum of Rs 5,000 was ordered. And such action on behalf of individual consumer is commendable !
Complainant: Mr Shubham Modi, BBA LLB 4th Year, Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.