1. Compliance with Licensee's Code of Practice
Any person or organization wishing to submit his grievance to the Commission should in the first instance have submitted his grievance to the Licensee in accordance with the Licensee's approved grievance handling procedure and should have exhausted the Licensee's grievance handling process.
The Commission will take cognizance of the grievance if the consumer is not satisfied with the final response of the Licensee or if the consumer feels that the Licensee has delayed in addressing the consumers grievance beyond three months.
- If the Commission does not take cognizance of the grievance, it shall inform stating reasons for doing so.
2. Grievance Filing
- Every grievance to the Commission must be submitted in writing to the Public Affairs Officer, stating:
- The name of the individual or organization, address and telephone number (if any) of the Complainant;
- The name of the Licensee;
- A full description of the matter which is the source of the grievance, including copies of any relevant & supporting document;
- If known, specific references to any law, licence condition, Regulation, Code, or Standard alleged to have been violated;
- Written proof that the Complainant had submitted the grievance to the Licensee and has exhausted its grievance procedure;
- Relief sought; and
- An authenticated copy of any response from the Licensee.
3. Commission Procedure
Action by the Public Affairs Officer / Commission Secretary
- Within 3 days of receipt of a consumer grievance, the Public Affairs Officer shall send an acknowledgement. Grievances, which fulfill conditions in para 1 above, will be registered and serially numbered, e.g. C.C. No.1/99, 2/99 and so on. A copy of the grievance shall be forwarded under the signature of the Commission Secretary within 5 days of receipt to the Licensee to offer parawise comments and such other information as may be necessary to dispose of the grievance effectively and adequately.
- Within 14 days from the date of receipt, the Licensee shall submit its parawise comments and such other information to the Commission on the grievance, failing which it will be deemed that the Licensee has no comments to offer and a decision shall be taken by the Commission as deemed fit and proper unless the time for such a response is extended in writing by the Commission.
- The period prescribed for submission of the parawise comments shall not be ordinarily extended by the Commission's Secretary unless a specific prayer is made on valid and cogent ground to that effect by the Chief Executive of the Licensee and the Commission approves of the same.
- On receipt of the parawise comments, the Case file shall be processed within 7 days. Views of pisional head such as Engineering, Tariff and Law shall be obtained, if necessary.
- Should a rejoinder from the Complainant be considered absolutely necessary for a just decision of the consumer grievance, the same may be obtained under the order of the Commission.
- The Commission will pass an order as deemed fit and proper taking into consideration the grievance, the parawise report and such other information supplied by the Licensee and documents, if any, filed by the parties. The final decision on the grievance shall not be delayed beyond one and half months in any event.
- In cases where the Commission considers it appropriate to undertake and discharge the matter through hearing of the affected parties, procedures as laid down in Chapter-II of the Regulations, 1996 shall apply.
- The order passed under para 6 shall be implemented by the Licensee within 15 days of the date of receipt of the order.
- The Licensee shall report compliance to the Commission within 3 days of implementation of the order.
- Failure to implement the order of the Commission makes the Licensee liable to action under Sections 30, 31 and 41 of the OER Act, 1995.
- It shall be necessary for the Commission's Secretary to obtain the consent of the party who filed the grievance before initiating a proceeding under Chapter II of the OERC (Conduct of Business) Regulations, 1996.
4. Monitoring of Complaints Brought to the Commission
- The Commission will keep a record of consumer grievances brought to it and the results thereof relating to each Licensee.
- The Commission may arrange for publication of this data.
- The Commission may take notice of its record of consumer grievances in any proceeding including but not limited to proceedings relating to licences and tariffs.
[ N.B. Please note that this practice direction is meant for internal administration of the Commission and is not enforceable in any court or forum]