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India’s apex consumer forum, NCDRC, has ruled that trusts, unregistered consumer forums, residents’ welfare associations, cooperative societies / associations of flat or plot buyers cannot file a case for one or more consumers or on behalf of a group.

The order which was passed on May 19 ends the ambiguity on who can approach the consumer forum under the category of “Voluntary Consumer Association (VCA)”.

“A trust cannot be said to be a VCA within the meaning of section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act,” the forum’s order said. The three-member bench ruled that while hearing more than a dozen cases filed by different organisations, RWAs in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Kolkata and Chennai.

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