with trying to have a faulty Exide battery replaced under warranty,
Hassath and I didn't want to let the matter slide, and decided to
approach the consumer court.
Under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, a number of quasi-judicial
bodies empowered to deal with consumer grievances have been set up at
the district and state level, under an apex body in Delhi called the
National Consumer Dispute Redressal
Commission; in this case, the East Delhi District Consumer Forum
was the most appropriate forum for our complaint.
We spoke to someone at the DCF on the phone, and were told to bring two
copies of our petition to them the next day. We spent a couple of hours
preparing the petition (following an example on the NCDRC web site) and
assembling a paper trail to establish our case (warranty cards, reports
of the inspection, email correspondence). We stopped by the Post Office
to get a blank Postal Order for INR 100 (the filing fee), and submitted
all of this documentation to the (very pleasant) officer at the DCF the
He asked us to pick a date for the initial filing, and we decided on the
tenth of August—which happened to be when the warranty of our batteries
expired. We were told to appear in court at 10:30 on that morning, for
the case to be brought before the Forum and admitted (or thrown out).
We went to court this morning, waited around for a while, and were quite
surprised to hear my name called first (the invoice for the purchase of
the batteries was in my name, so it was my name on the petition). Two of
the Forum's three judges in attendance, and they were handling cases in
parallel. I was called by the (stern-looking, but very kind) lady judge,
and asked to explain the case. She listened to me, reviewed the petition
briefly, and told me to add the battery vendor as an opposing party in
the case (our petition named only Exide). Fortunately, I had a complete
extra set of all the documentation with me, and she allowed me to just
scribble an extra name and address on all three copies.
In the end, she assigned a date one month later, and ordered notices to
be sent to the two opposing parties. Now we have to turn up in court on
the new date, and we'll see what Exide does by way of opposition.