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CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT – LIMITATION TO TAKE COMPLAINT- CAUSE OF ACTION EXPLAINED BY SUPREME COURT

KANDIMALLA RAGHAVAIAH & CO. VS NATIONAL INSURANCE CO. & ANR. JUSTICE D.K. JAIN, JUSTICE R.M. LODHA Consumer Protection Act, 1986 - Section 24-A of the Act bars any fora set up under the Act, from admitting a complaint, unless the complaint is filed within two years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen. The provision expressly casts a duty on the Commission, admitting a complaint, to dismiss a complaint unless the complainant satisfies the District Forum, the State Commission or National Commission, as the case may be, that the complainant had sufficient cause for not filing the complaint within the period of two years from the date on which the cause of action had arisen. The term "cause of action" is neither defined in the Act nor in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 but is of wide import. It has different meanings in different contexts, that is when used in the context of territorial jurisdiction or limitation or the accrual of right to sue. Generally, it is described as "bundle of facts", which if proved or admitted entitle the plaintiff to the relief prayed for. Pithily stated, "cause of action" means the cause of action for which the suit is brought. "Cause of action" is cause of action which gives occasion for and forms the foundation of the suit. In the context of limitation with reference to a fire insurance policy, undoubtedly, the date of accrual of cause of action has to be the date on which the fire breaks out.

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