A trust is not a person according to the Consumer Protection Act and therefore it cannot file a complaint before consumer forums, the Supreme Court ruled in the case, Pratibha Pratisthan vs Canara Bank. The charitable trust registered under the Bombay Charitable Trust Act had appealed against the order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Upholding the view of the national body, the Supreme Court explained the trust did not fall in the definition of “complainant”, “consumer” or “person”. A person, for purposes of consumer law means
(i) a firm whether registered or not;
(ii) a Hindu undivided family;
(iii) a cooperative society; and
(iv) every other association of persons whether registered or not.