Second Complaint maintainable in District Forum: SC

The Supreme Court of India has clarified that a second complaint to the District Forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is maintainable when the first complaint was dismissed for default or non-prosecution.

“….there is no provision parallel to the provision contained in Order 9 Rule 9(1) CPC [Civil Procedure Code] which contains a prohibition that if a suit is dismissed in default of the plaintiff under Order 9 Rule 8, a second suit on the same cause of action would not lie. That being so, the rule of prohibition contained in Order 9 Rule 9(1) CPC cannot be extended to the proceedings before the District Forum or the State Commission”, the Court said referring to its earlier decision.

The Court said “The fact that the case was not decided on merits and was dismissed in default of non-appearance of the complainant cannot be overlooked and, therefore, it would be permissible to file a second complaint explaining why the earlier complaint could not be pursued and was dismissed in default.”

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