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Buyback entered upon by the farmer would not preclude from filing consumer complaint; SC.

Supreme Court of India


The SC {M/S NANDAN BIOMATRIX LTD. v. S. AMBIKA DEVI & ORS.} holds that entering into a buyback transaction would not preclude a farmer from taking benefit as a “consumer” under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It was held that the summary redressal available to the farmer under the 1986 Act may go a small but crucial way to provide instant relief in a sector which is already facing stress on several counts. It was further held that farmers faced with grievances against seed companies, may, in suitable cases, opt for other remedies such as a civil suit, relief under the Seeds Act, 1966 (the reform of which has been under process for some time), and so on. But excluding such farmers from the purview of the 1986 Act would be a complete mockery of the object and purpose of the statute. 

In the present case, the District Forum dismissed the complaint, and held that the same was not maintainable since the Respondent was not a “consumer” within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“the 1986 Act”). On appeal by the Respondent, the State Commission set aside the order passed by the District Forum, holding that the Respondent was a “consumer” under the 1986 Act, and remanded the matter to the District Forum for disposal on merits. It is this order which was impugned before the National Commission by way of a revision petition filed by the Appellant. The National Commission also dismissed the revision. The SC maintained the order(s) of the National Commission and the State Commission, while dismissing the present appeal.

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