Consumer forum case against fraudulent online seller

There is a fraudulent online seller "" who cheated many customers (including me), by selling us duplicate and used smartphones by the name and cost of brand new phones through his offer listings on I have been trying to drop a complaint to him, to rectify the imistakes, for almost two months but he didn't respond at all. Later I sent him a formal letter almost one month back for which I got a response through mail but he failed to solve my problem yet. The online seller is from New Delhi. How to file a case in Chennai consumer court? Is it possible to do so?

Answers (1)

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consumer complaints have to be filed where the company has its main or branch office; if this is not possible, the complaint may be filed where the events took place (i.e. in legal language, where the cause of action arose).

However, things may become very complicated or impractical in case of online transactions as the website can be accessed from anywhere in the country.

In a similar situation the State Consumer commission, Gujarat in a decided case held that a complaint is maintainable at the place from where online purchases were made.

If the online company’s office in another city, the District Forum may even reject the complaint outright seeing that the company’s office does not lie within its jurisdiction. Therefore, one must clearly state the basis on which the jurisdiction is being established. There are no strict rules for establishing that the cause of action wholly or partly arose in the place where the complainant lives is not any strict rule. The following things may be relevant in deciding this –

where the order was booked,
where the server is,
where the goods were delivered or supposed to be delivered,
what other interactions happened between the complainant and the company from a place within jurisdiction of the forum.
In the end, there are no strict criteria for establishing this. The onus of establishing all the relevant facts is fully on the complainant.


As e-commerce in India grows to another level, the legislature may have to relook how jurisdiction is decided in such consumer complaints.

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