CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986 Enacted to provide for the better protection of the interest of consumer Act applies to whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir The act was amended in 2002 and the amendments came into force w.e.f. 15th March 2003. 2
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986An Act to provide for the better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provisions for the establishment of the consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers disputes and for matters connected therewith.
Consumer : (Sec2(1)d) means any person who-(I) Buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or
(ii) hires or avails any services for consideration which has been paid or promised or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires or avails of the services or consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payments, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first- mentioned person but does not include a person who avails of such services of any commercial purpose
Legal heir of consumer in case death of consumer Does not include any person who buys goods for resale or commercial purpose and services for commercial purpose However any person who buys goods for commercial use but exclusively for his livelihood by means of self employment is a consumer. 6
Who are not consumers….?1. Persons not identified as consumers.2. Person purchasing goods for commercial purpose is not a consumer.3. An association not registered under any law is not a consumer.
WHAT IS A COMPLAINT?“Complaint” means any allegation in writing made by a complainant that :I. An unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provider;II. The goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him suffer from one or more defectsIII. The services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed off by him suffer from deficiency in any respect; 8
IV. A trader or service provider as the case may be has charged for the goods or for the services mentioned in the complaint, a price in excess of the price a) fixed by or under any law for the time being in force; b) displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods; c) displayed on the price list exhibited by him by or under any law for the time being in force; d) agreed between the parties . 9
V. Goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used are being offered for sale to the public – a) In contravention of any standards relating to safety of such goods as required to be compiled with, by or under any law for the time being in force; b) If the trader could have known with due diligence that the goods so offered are unsafe to the public; 10
VI. Service which are hazardous or likely t be hazardous to the life and safety of the public when used, are being offered by the service provider which such person could have known with due diligence to be injurious to life and safety. 11
Meaning of Defect Section 2(1) (g) of the Act provides that, “deficiency” means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service.
What is a service?“Service” means service of any description, which ismade available to potential users and includes, but notlimited to the provisions of the facilities in connectionwith1) banking 2) financing 3) insurance 4) transport5) processing 6) supply of electrical or other energy7) boarding or lodging or both 8) house construction9) entertainment 10) amusement or11) the purveying or new or other informationBut does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service 13
Examples Bank of Maharashtra v/s Mrs. Jyothi Satya When the locker facility is provided by the bank, the relationship b/w the bank and hirer of a locker is not that of a landlord and tenant. In event of loss of contents of lockers as a result of robbery, the bank will be liable for deficiency of service.
Failure of the housing board to give possession of the flat after receiving the price and registering it in favour of the allottee. Non-delivery of consignment by the courier. Failure of railways to provide cushioned seats in the first class compartment as per specifications laid down by the board.
The removal of ladder of an aircraft while the passenger was disembarking and thereby causing 10% permanent disability. The fall of the passenger from a running train while passing through the vestibule passage.
Examples Delay caused in returning of baggage or tampering with baggage. Failure in informing the unavailability of a connecting flight.
Goods (sec 2(i)) means goods as defined in the sale of goods Act, 1930. In the sale of goods Act, the term “goods” has been defined as follows:-”goods” means every kind of movable property and money; and includes stock and shares, growing crops, grass and things attached to or forming part of land which are agreed to be served before sale and under the contract of sale. 18
Rights of consumers under CPA,19861.Right to safety: - A consumer is entitled to get protected from the products and commodities which are dangerous to life or health. 2.Right to choose:- consumers are entitled to free access to goods in order to choose and pick for themselves which they deem best for their use.
3.Right to informed: - consumers are entitled to be informed about the goods and products and adulteration therein.4. Right to be heard: - the consumers are entitled to be heard by an appropriate authority or court if they are defrauded or bluffed by some trader they are entitled to make a complaint and to be heard thereon 20
5.Right to redress or relief:- consumers are entitled to get relief from the appropriate authority or courts after hearing and disposal of their complaints.6.To obtain goods and services of good quality: - the consumers are entitled to get goods and services of good quality for which they pay or promise to pay, or partly pay and partly promise to pay in future.
7. Truthfulness of the advertisement :- the consumers are entitled to get true information from the advertisements as to the goods and services. 22
CONSUMER DISPUTE REDRESSAL AGENCIES1) A Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum at the District level.2) A Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission at the State level.3) A National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission at national level. 23
JURISDICTIONForum / Commission Where the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any claimed,District Forum Does not exceed Rs. 20 lakhsState Commission Rs. 20 lakhs and above but not exceeding One CroreNational Commission Above One CroreBesides, State and National Commission have appellatejurisdiction also. 24
FILING OF COMPLAINTS A complaint may be filed bya) The consumer to whom the goods are sold or services are providedb) Any recognised consumer associationc) One or more consumers with same interestd) The central government or state government 25
FILING OF COMPLAINTSThe Fee for filing the Complaint for the district forum is as under Sl. Value of Goods / Service and Compensation Amount No. of Fees 1) Upto Rs. 1 lakh rupees Rs. 100 2) Rs. 1 Lakh and above but less than Rs.5 lakhs Rs. 200 3) Rs. 5 Lakhs and above but less than Rs. 10 lakhs Rs. 400 4) Rs. 10 lakhs and above but less than Rs. 20 Rs.500 lakhsThe fees shall be paid by Cross demand Draft drawn on a nationalizedbank or through crossed Indian postal order drawn in favour of theRegistrar of the Sate Commission and payable at the place of the StateCommission (w.e.f. 5.3.2004.) 26
Central Consumer Protection Council The Central Government may, by notification, establish with effect from such date as it may specify in such notification, a council to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Council
Consists of….. the Minister in charge of consumer affairs in the Central Government, who shall be its Chairman such number of other official or non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed
Procedure for meetings of the Central Council The Central Council shall meet as and when necessary, but at least one meeting of the council shall be held every year The Central Council shall meet at such time and place as the Chairman may think fit and shall observe such procedure in regard to the transaction of its business as may be prescribed
Objects of the central council a) The right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. b) The right to be assured ,where ever possible ,access to a variety of goods and services at competitive price
c) The right to consumer education. d) The right to be heard and to be assured that consumer interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. e) The right to be informed about the quality ,quantity,potency,purity,standard and price of goods or services so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.
The state consumer protection councils Members :- Chairman:-The minister in charge of consumer affairs of the state government. Such number of other official or non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed by the state government.
Meetings:-Number of meetings:-Not less then 2 meetings every yearTime and place:- Depends on the chairman Objective:-To promote and protect within the statesThe rights of the consumer as laid down inSec(6)
The district consumer protection council Members:-District collector is the ChairmanOther official and non-official members are appointed by the state government
Meetings:-Number of meetings:- not less then 2 meetingsTime and place:- as decided by the chairmanObjective:-To protect and preserve the right of theconsumer within the district.
Nature and scope of remedies Underthe Act In case the goods complained against suffer from any of the allegations contained in the complaint about the services are proved, the district forum/the state commission may pass one or more of the following orders;
To remove the defects pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from all the goods in question. To replace the goods of similar description which shall be free from defect. To discontinue the unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice or not to remove them. To withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale. In the case of misleading advertisements the other party has to pay the cost of the corrective advertisements.
State commission Composition The state commission should consist the following; A. President; He shall be a person who is or was a judge of the high court. His appointment can be made only after consultation with the chief justice of high court B. Members; there shall not be less than two or not more than the number specified, one of them should be a woman.
The members should have the following qualifications; 1.Not less than the age of 35. 2.the person should possess a bachelor degree from any recognized university.
The consumer to whom the goods are sold or delivered, or agreed to be sold or delivered , or the service has been provided, or agreed to be provided’Any recognized consumer association, regardless of whether the consumer is a member of such association or not.
One or more consumer , where there are numerous consumer having the same interest with permission of the district forum on behalf of or for the benefit of all consumer so interested.The state or central govt. either its individual capacity or as a representative of the interest of the consumer in general.
PROCEDURE ON RECEIPT OF COMPLAINTSComplaint where laboratory testing is possible or required.Complaint related to service, i.e, where laboratory testing is not possible.
ESSENTIAL INFORMATION IN THE APPLICATION Name and full address of complainant Name and full address of opposite party Description of goods and services Quality and quantity Price Date & proof of purchase Nature of deception Type of redressal prayed for
BENEFITS & RELIEFS Benefit Disposal within 90 days No adjournment shall ordinarily be granted - Speedy trial Relief Removal of defects in goods or deficiency in services. Replacement of defective goods. Refund against defective goods or deficient services. Compensation. Prohibition on sale of hazardous goods.
POWER OF CIVIL COURT TO DISTRICT FORUM The District Forum shall have the powers of Civil Court while trying a suit in respect of the following matters ;a) The summoning and enforcing attendance of any defendant or witness and examining the witness on oath.b) The discovery and production of any document or other material object producible as evidence.c) The reception of evidence on affidavitd) The requisition of the report of the concerned analysis or test from the appropriate laboratory of from any other relevant source.e) Any other matter which may be prescribed. 45
RELIEF TO THE COMPLAINANT ? IF THE COMPLAINT IS PROVED THE FORUM SHALL ORDERa) to remove defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question;b) to replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from any defect;c) to return to the complainant the price, or , as the case may be, the charges paid by the complainant;d) to pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to negligence of the opposite party;e) To remove the defect in goods or deficiency in the services in question. 46
RELIEF TO THE COMPLAINANT ?f) to discontinue the unfair trade practice or the restrictive trade practice or not to repeat them;g) not to offer hazardous goods for sale;h) to withdraw the hazardous goods from being offered for sale;ha) to cease manufacture of hazardous goods and to desist from offering services which are hazardous in nature;hb) to pay such sum as may be determined by it, if it is of the opinion that loss or injury has been suffered by a large number of consumers who are not identifiable conveniently.hc) to issue corrective advertisements to neutralize the effect of misleading advertisement at the cost of the opposite party responsible for issuing such misleading advertisement;i) To provide for adequate cost to parties. 47
APPEAL shall be filed within thirty days. Delay in filing appeal may be condoned if there is sufficient cause. 48
LIMITATION PERIODWithin two years from the date onwhich the cause of action has arisen. 49
DISMISSAL OF FRIVOLOUS OR VEXATIOUS COMPLAINTS Where a complaint instituted before the District Forum, the State Commission or the National Commission, is found to be frivolous or vexatious, it shall, for reasons to be recorded in writing, dismiss the complaint and make an order that the complainant shall pay to the opposite party such Cost, not exceeding ten thousand rupees, as may specified in the order. 50
PENALTIESWhere a trader or a person against whom acomplaint is made (or the complainant) fails oromits to comply with any order made by theDistrict Forum, the State Commission or theNational Commission, such trader or person (orcomplainant) shall be punishable withimprisonment for a term which shall not be lessthan one month but which may extend tothree years or with fine which shall not beless than two thousand rupees but which mayextend to ten thousand rupees, or with both. 51
NOTE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986• A person may be consumer of goods, or services. When I purchase a fan, a gas stove or a refrigerator, I could be the consumer of goods.• When I open a bank account, take an insurance policy, get my car repaired, I could be the consumer of services.• The consumer protection Act, 1986 tries to help a consumer when for example, the goods purchased are defective or the services rendered to him are subject to so deficiency. 52
• Prior to the consumer Protection Act, 1986 for any consumer complaint one had to go to an ordinary Civil Court. He had to engage a lawyer, pay the necessary fee, and be harassed for years or decades before any outcome, positive or negative, was there in that litigation.• Under the Consumer Protection Act, no Court fee has to be paid and the decision on the complaint is much quicker, as the Court can evolve a summary procedure in disposing off the complaint