Consumer Court And Consumer Forum

Difference Between Consumer Court And Consumer Forum

Consumer Court And Consumer Forum

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Consumer Courts and Consumer Forum were established to protect the consumers and ensure fair practices in the marketplace. Consumer Courts are special Judicial bodies established to resolve the consumer matter of disputes. They were set up under the Consumer Protection Act 1986. The primary aim of these courts is to provide speedy and cost efficient solutions for the consumer complaints whereas Consumer forum is a platform where consumers can lodge their complaint and seek advice and support regarding their consumer rights. Their organisation can be government and can be run by non-government organisations such as NGOs.

Is Consumer Forum the same as Consumer Court?

Consumer forums and consumer courts are related entities but serve slightly different purposes within the realm of consumer protection.

Consumer forums are quasi-judicial bodies created under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, to resolve consumer disputes at the district, state, and national levels. Unlike these forums, consumer courts or the competent judicial authorities which determine those disputes.

Consumer forums operate primarily as alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms that offer a simpler and faster process than regular courts; aiming at delivering quick justice to consumers.

These forums work in a hierarchical manner with District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums located at district level, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions located at state level and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission controlled by national authority. By contrast when referring to judiciary system including district courts high courts and supreme court have jurisdiction over cases involving consumers among other things

Both forum and court deals with consumers’ disputes however while consumer forums have limited quasi-judicial powers like ability to do only certain things such as interpretation of laws and issuing legal orders restricting scope to binding settlement decisions on subject matters relating to facts of cases involved, consumer courts carry out full judicial functions including enforcement of judgments issued by them and giving suitable orders in the course thereof.

Consumer forums and consumer courts involve the institutions that were established to protect the rights of consumers and resolve their disputes. 

What is Consumer Forum and Consumer Court?

Consumer Forum: Consumer forums, which are also known as Consumer Dispute Redressal Forums, are quasi-judicial bodies instituted under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. They serve as platforms for consumers to seek relief for grievances arising from defective products or deficient services. These forums function at three levels: District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. Their major roles include mediation in disputes, ensuring expeditious disposal and awarding appropriate compensation to aggrieved consumers. The objective of consumer forums is to provide a mechanism that is accessible and efficient for settling consumer complaints.

Consumer Court: By consumer court it usually means a judicial system that settles consumer related issues. This encompasses various levels of the judiciary including the district courts, high courts and Supreme Court. Consumer courts enjoy complete judicial power and handle numerous legal subjects like matters pertaining to consumer disputes. They can implement judgments as well as issue legal decrees other than retaining the rights vested in customers by laws and regulations which apply to them. Courts play an important role in fairness, justice and accountability in consumer transactions.

What are the differences between Consumer Court and Consumer Forum?

Jurisdiction:Consumer courts are normal judicial bodies within the judiciary such as district courts, high courts, and the Supreme Court.consumer forums are quasi-judicial bodies that were established under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Functions:Consumer cases are handled by a range of consumer courts covering both civil and criminal cases among other legal issues involving people’s lives.consumer forums mainly resolve disputes between consumers on defective products and deficient services.
Legal Authority:The powers of a court of law are vested in consumer courts to enforce judgments and issue orders.On the other hand, they have limited jurisdiction on some matters since their authority is considered to be quasi-judicial in nature like the orders of enforcement issued by the court.
Hierarchy:there are three types of consumer forums which include District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.In contrast to this structure is that while it has many levels starting with district at local level followed by state then national where we find supreme court as its highest tier; consumer courts form part of existing hierarchy of India’s judiciary system.
Scope:Consumer Courts deal broadly with various kinds of litigation beyond just consumer disputes over goods or services.Consumer forums focus on consumer-related grievances, aiming for reasonable resolution and fair compensation.

You can read our blog about the difference between a court notice and a legal notice before challenging the opposite Party.

Is the Consumer Forum a Judicial Body?

The consumer forum is not a conventional court. It is a quasi-judicial body mandated by the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Although it possesses quasi-judicial powers, it does not have the same legal authority as courts. Under these powers, it can settle consumer complaints and make orders similar to those of a court.

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum; State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission; National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission are the three levels at which they function. To impartially solve matters related to defective products or poor services provision and ensure equitable compensation for such, its major purpose.

If you are unhappy with a product or service and the product/service provider is not resolving your issue, you can checkout out Consumer Complaint Service. Our experienced advocate will help you get the compensation from the other party by filling a consumer complaint.


Both protect consumers but consumer courts belong in the conventional judiciary with full jurisdiction to hear diverse cases as outlined above. On the other hand, consumer forums are quasi-judicial agencies created under specific laws on consumer protection and concerned only with resolving consumer disputes through limited enforcement mechanisms. The significance of this differentiation cannot be overemphasized as it enables consumers to know how best or where to seek redress or justice depending on the nature and scope of their grievances.

Author Name

Vanshi Singhal – Legal Intern & Content Writer

Vanshi Singhal is a dedicated legal intern with a passion for providing insightful and thorough legal research and support. In addition to her legal expertise, She is an accomplished content writer, skilled in crafting engaging and informative articles, blog posts, and other written content. She combined experience in law and writing allows her to communicate complex legal concepts clearly and effectively, making valuable contributions to both legal projects and content development.