The Supreme Court held in the case of SGS India Ltd. v. Dolphin International that the onus of proof of complaints filed under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 that there was a deficiency in service would be on the complainant. The bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian stated that if the complainant is able to carry out its commencing onus, the burden would then move to the respondent.
The bench stated that the rule of evidence before the civil proceedings is that the onus would be on the person who would fail if the other side gives no evidence. Hence, the order of the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which had asked the appellant, SGS India Ltd., to pay an amount of Rs 65.7 lakh with 9% interest to the respondent, Dolphin International, was set aside.
The Court agreed upon the argument stating that the NCDRC order is not maintainable since it proceeds on the wrong comprehension of law and facts. Thus the Court underscored that the onus of proof of deficiency in service would be on the complainant in complaints under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
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