Can a consumer court award punitive damages in India?

Answer By law4u team

Yes, a consumer court can award punitive damages in India. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, empowers the consumer court to award punitive damages to a consumer in addition to the compensation amount. Punitive damages are awarded as a form of punishment to the opposite party for their unfair or unethical practices. The award of punitive damages is discretionary, and the consumer court can award it only when it is satisfied that the opposite party has acted with a malicious intent to deceive or harm the consumer. The amount of punitive damages is generally much higher than the compensation awarded to the consumer, and it is intended to deter the opposite party from engaging in similar unfair practices in the future. It is important to note that the award of punitive damages is not automatic and depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. The consumer court will consider various factors such as the nature of the unfair practice, the degree of harm caused to the consumer, and the financial capacity of the opposite party before awarding punitive damages.

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