As per Section 13(2)(a) of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 the period of limitation for filing a written statement before a District Forum is 45 days. In J.J. Merchant, (2002) 6 SCC 635 the question arose whether the Forum can grant time beyond 45 days to the opposite party for filing its version. The Three-Judge Bench answered in negative.
In New India Assurance Company Ltd. v. Hilli Multipurpose Cold Storage Pvt. Ltd., [Civil Appeal Nos. 10941-10942 of 2013] it has been held that J.J. Merchant still “holds the field“.
An uncomfortable decision.