Consumer Protection Act,1986 Notes

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CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT—1986

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT—1986

Consumer is at the core of business world in the present day economy. Quantity and Consumer is at the core of business world in the present day economy. Quantity and quality of goods are produced as per the needs of the consumer. Advancement of any quality of goods are produced as per the needs of the consumer. Advancement of any  business unit depends on the satisfaction of the consumer. That product will be in great  business unit depends on the satisfaction of the consumer. That product will be in great demand which gives maximum satisfaction to the consumer and so will be produced on demand which gives maximum satisfaction to the consumer and so will be produced on large scale. As a result, the concerned production unit will develop and earn large profit. large scale. As a result, the concerned production unit will develop and earn large profit. Despite the Fact that Importance of the consumer is widely recognized, he is deprived of  Despite the Fact that Importance of the consumer is widely recognized, he is deprived of  his rights and privilege and is subjected to diverse kinds of exploitation. For instance his rights and privilege and is subjected to diverse kinds of exploitation. For instance expl

exploitoitatiation on in in the form the form of of shoshort rt weiweight and ght and meameasursure e poopoor r qualquality of ity of the producthe produc adulte

adulteratioration, n, supplsupply of y of fake goods, boarding and fake goods, boarding and black marketiblack marketing ng of the of the goods, delivergoods, deliver of goods not on schedule. Not only that, even doubtful and false advertisements are of goods not on schedule. Not only that, even doubtful and false advertisements are indulged into by the producers

indulged into by the producers to attract consumers.to attract consumers.

With a view to protecting the consumers from such exploitation and making them aware With a view to protecting the consumers from such exploitation and making them aware of their rights, a method of consumer protection has been launched. Need for protection of their rights, a method of consumer protection has been launched. Need for protection arid satisfaction of the consumer is now being widely recognized across the world. India arid satisfaction of the consumer is now being widely recognized across the world. India has also adopted the

has also adopted the concept of consumer protection more seriously and vigoursly.concept of consumer protection more seriously and vigoursly. Meaning of Consumer Protection:

Meaning of Consumer Protection:

Consumer protection means the protection of the consumers from their exploitation by Consumer protection means the protection of the consumers from their exploitation by the unfair trade practices of the producers/sellers. In fact, providing proper protection of  the unfair trade practices of the producers/sellers. In fact, providing proper protection of  the fundamental rights and Interests of the consumers, freeing them from exploitation, the fundamental rights and Interests of the consumers, freeing them from exploitation, cr

creaeatiting ng coconsnsumumer er awawarareneenessss, , conconsusumemer r prproviovididing ng ththe e ririghght t to to clclean ean bubusisinene environment to the consumers by means of Legal amendments Is all that protection environment to the consumers by means of Legal amendments Is all that protection means,

means,

Consumer Protection Act In India: Consumer Protection Act In India: In

In India, Central and India, Central and StatState e GovernGovernments have ments have passpassed ed variovarious us legislegislatilative ve enactmenactmentsents regarding Consumer Protection. Among them, main Acts are:

regarding Consumer Protection. Among them, main Acts are: •

• Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940,Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940, •

• Industries Development and Regulation Act 1951Industries Development and Regulation Act 1951 •

• Indian Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Act 1952Indian Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Act 1952 •

• Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954 •

• Essential Commodities (Supply) Act 1955Essential Commodities (Supply) Act 1955 •

• The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958The Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 •

• Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1969Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1969 •

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In spite of above Acts Interests of the consumers were not being properly safeguarded. There are many reasons for it, but main among them are two,

 First , consumer in general had no knowledge about the authority to whom complaints under these acts were to be addressed.

Second , to seek remedy under these various acts consumer had to take legal action Involving lot of time and money.

 Need was therefore felt to enact such a legislative measure as provide quick and less expensive remedy to the aggrieved consumer. Consequently, to protect properly the interest of the consumers and to settle quickly their disputes, in December 1986 Consumer Protection Act was passed in India. It was enforced with effect from April 15, 1987. Last amendment In the Act was made in. 2002.

SCOPE AND EXTENT OF THE ACT:

1. Except Jammu and Kashmir state, this Act extends to whole of India.

2. Provisions of this Act are In addition to the provisions made previously in the context of the consumers.

3. This Act shall apply to all goods and services that come under the scope of this Act. Main Elements/Features of Consumer Protection Act, 1986:

Consumer Protection Act is the most progressive Act of Social well are and is referred to as Magna Carta of consumer protection. It is a land mark event In the history of Acts In India.

Main features of the Act are as under 

• It applies to all kinds of goods and services.

• Provisions of this Act are in addition to the provisions of any other Act in force In the country. Thus, this Act does not limit or reduce the scope of any other Act • Under this Act, there Is a provision for the Centre and State Governments to set

up Consumer Protection Councils composing of both official and non-official members. The objectives of the council are:

- to promote the rights and Interests of the consumers, - to educate and protect them.

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• This Act provides for the following rights to the consumer: o Right to safety,

o Right to be heard,

o Right to consumer education, o Right to seek redressal

o Right to Choose o Right to be Informed

• This Act is based on the principle of compensation wherein fair compensation to the aggrieved party is provided for. To redress the grievance, there Is provision for three-tier judicial machinery

o District level o State level and o  National Level

• This Act provides affective protection to the consumer from different types of  exploitations, such as defective goods, adulteration, under-weight, excessive  price, unsatisfactory or deficient services and unfair trade practices.

• This Act redresses in a simple, cheap and dynamic manner the grievance of the consumer in limited time.

• All suppliers of goods and services belonging to private, public and co-operative sectors come under the purview of this Act.

Right to Consumer:

In a free market economy, consumer is sovereign. He has the right to buy or not to buy a  product offered for sale, to expect the product to be safe; to expect the product sale, to be what it is claimed to be; to be adequately informed about the most salient aspect of the  product. He has a right to receive proper and efficient service and satisfaction. Under 

section 6 of Consumer Protection Act, consumer ha s following rights:

(I) Right to Safety: Consumer has the right to be protected against marketing of such goods and services as are hazardous to health, life and property. There are several fake, adulterated, inferior, defective, ineffective and dangerous goods available in market They are injurious to body and health. Consumer therefore, has the right to safety from all such goods as well as are likely to cause harm to his body and health, besides causing loss of money.

(II) Right to Choose: Under this right, consumer can choose any from among the variety of goods and services available in the market. One finds in the market goods of different  brand, quality, shape, colour, size, design and price produced by different manufacturers.

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 preference, in an unfair or unnecessary manner, it will be treated as intervention in his right to choose.

(III) Right to be Informed: Consumer has the right to get all necessary information on the basis of which he may decide to buy the good or service. He has therefore the right to  be Informed about the quality, quantity, purity, potency, standard, price of goods, etc.

(IV) Right to be heard : Consumer has the right to present before the appropriate forum or  authorities all those matters which effect his interests. This right Includes the right to make protest and file complaints. This right implies that matters of interest to the consumer will receive due consideration at appropriate forums, so that he is encouraged to express his problems, complaints and unjust treatment meted out to him.

(V) Right to seek redressal: Consumer has the right to get his claims and complaints settled against the manufacturers and sellers. This right provides the consumer freedom from unfair trade practice or unscrupulous exploitation by the trader. Besides, it helps him secure compensation.

(VI) Right to Consumer Education: Under this right, consumer is entitled to get Information or educated about those things which are necessary for him. Such an education creates awareness about his rights and he comes to know when to approach for  the redressal of his grievance and exploitation. This helps a consumer protect himself  against fraudulent, deceptive and misleading advertisement and poor or neglige services.

Machinery for Redressal of Consumer Grievances:

To provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal of consumer grievances, the act envisages three- tier quasi-judicial machinery at the national, state and district levels.

* National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission - known as 'National Commission'. * Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions known as 'State Commission”.

* Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums- known as 'District Forum”.

(I) The District Consumer Protection Council :

The State Government shall establish for every district, by notification a council to be known as the District Consumer Protection Council with effect from such date as it may specify in such notification.

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• A person who is, or who has been or is qualified to be, a District Judge, who shall  be its President;

• There will be 2 other members who shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing and have adequate knowledge or experience or have shown capacity In dealing with problems rebating to economics, law, commerce, accounting industry, public affairs or administration, one of whom shall be a women.

• Every appointment shall be made by the State Government on th recommendation of Selection Committee consisting of the following namely:

o The President of the State Commission- Chairman, o Secretary, Law Department of the State- Member,

o Secretary, incharge, of the Department dealing with Consumer affairs in

the State- Member.

 Terms and age:

Provided that a member shall be eligible for re-appointment for another term of 5 years or  up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.

Jurisdiction of the district forum:

(1) Subject to other provisions of this Act, the District Forum shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and the compensation if  any, claimed does not exceed rupees twenty lakhs.

(2) A complaint shall be instituted in a District Forum within the local limits of whose  jurisdiction,

-(a) The opposite party or each of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain; or  (b) Any of the opposite parties where there are more then one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on

 business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the permission of the District Forum is given, or the opposite  parties who do not reside, or carry on business or have a branch office, or   personally works for gain, as the case may be, acquiesce in such institution; or 

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(II) The State Commission:

Regarding State Commission following provision have been made In Consum Protection Act 1986.

Establishment: In every state, the state government, by issuing a notification can establish consumer Grievance Redressal Commission to be called ‘State Commission’.

Composition: Each State Commission shall consist of:

• A person (member) who is or has been a judge of a High Court, appointed by the State Government. who shall be its President. But his appointment shall be made only after consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court.

• There will be 2 other members who shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing and have adequate knowledge or experience or have shown capacity In dealing with problems rebating to economics, law, commerce, accounting industry, public affairs or administration, one of whom shall be a women.

• Every appointment shall be made by the State Government on th recommendation of the selection committee. The Selection committee shall be composed of:

o President of the State Commission — Chairman

o Secretary of the Law Department of the State — Member 

o Secretary incharge of the Department dealing with Consumer Affairs in

the State — Member  Terms and Age:

Every member of the State Commission shall hold office for a term 5 years, or up to the age of 67 years, whichever is earlier, and shall not be eligible for re-appointment.

Jurisdiction of State Commission:

Subject to the other provision of this Act., the State Commission Shall have Jurisdiction: (a) to entertain:

(i) complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any claimed exceeds rupees 20lakhs but does not exceed rupees one crore.

(ii) appeals against the orders of any District Forum within the Stale; and

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III. The National Commission:

Following are the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act in respect of the National Commission:

Establishment:

By issuing a notification Central Government can set up a National Commission This Commission has been established at New Delhi.

Composition:

The National Commission shall compose of:

• A person (member) who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court, shall be appointed by the Central Government. He shall be its President. Provided that no appointment under this clause shall be made except after consultation with the Chief justice of India.

• There shall be 4 other members including one woman. They shall be persons of  ability integrity, experience of, or have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to economics, law, commerce, accountancy, industry, public affairs or  Administration.

Every appointment shall be made by the Central Government on the recommendation of  a Selection Committee consisting of the following namely:

• A person who is a judge of the Supreme Court, to be nominated by the chief   justice shall be its Chairman.

• The secretary Department of Legal Affairs In the government of India shall be Hs member.

• Secretary of the Department dealing with consumer affairs in the government of  India shall be its other members.

Term of Members:

Every member of the National Commission shall hold office for a term of 5 years or up to the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.

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• to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services an compensation, if any, claimed exceeds rupees 1crore.

• to entertain appeals against the orders of any State Commission;

• to call for the records and pass appropriate orders In any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any state commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised   jurisdiction not vested in it by Law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so

vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

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