We cannot read, a word in singular, namely, ‘consumer’, will not include plural.
If vowel ‘a’ and word ‘consumer’ appearing in Section 2(5)(i) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 are to be understood to exclude more than one person, it will result in a disastrous consequence while reading Section 2(5)(vi). A way of interpreting Section 35(1) read with Section 2(5) of 2019 Act would be to say, a complaint may be filed by one or more ‘consumers’ jointly, seeking redressal of their own grievances, without representing other ‘consumers’ who may or may not have ‘same interest’. The complaint filed shall be treated as a ‘joint complaint’ not as a complaint filed in a ‘representative capacity’. A ‘joint complaint’ stands in contrast to a complaint filed in a ‘representative capacity’.
– Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Brigade Enterprises Limited v. Anil Kumar Virmani, [Civil Appeal No. 1779 of 2021].