THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986 In a free enterprise economy, consumeris said to be sovereign as the businessproduces what consumers want. But inreality consumers are often exploited bysome dishonest businessmen.
CONTINUED…….The Govt. of India had enacted several laws to protect the consumers. Those are:- The Essential Commodities Act, 1955 The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 Black Marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 Trade Marks & Merchandise Marks Act, 1958 The Standards of Weight & Measures Act,1956 Agricultural Products Grading & Marketing Act,1937 Indian standards Institution Certification Act,1952
OBJECTIVES Providing better protection of interest of customers. Providing for the establishment of consumer council & other authorities. Settling consumer disputes.
RIGHTS OF THE CONSUMERS Right to safety Right to be Informed Right to choose Right to be Heard Right to Seek Redressal Right to Consumer Education.
CONSUMER REDRESSAL AGENCIES:--The act provides for setting up of the three tier redressal machinery. Those are:-1.District forum:-- The State Govt. shall set up a District Forum in each district of the State. It shall consist of: A person who is or has been, or is qualified to be a District judge nominated by the State Govt. who shall be its president; A person of eminence in the field of education, trade of commerce A lady social worker. An appeal against the order of District Forum can be filed before the State Commission within a period of 30 days from the order.
CONTINUE--2. State Commission:-A commission shall be established in each State by the respective State Govt. Each State Commission shall be consist of:- A person who is or has been judge of a high court appointed by the State Govt. who shall be its President. Two other members who shall be persons of ability, integrity & have adequate knowledge or the capacity in dealing with the problems relating to economics, law, commerce, accountancy, industry etc. One of them shall be an woman. An appeal against the order of a State Commission can be filed before the National Commission within 30 days from the date of the order.
CONTINUE--3. National commission:-The Central Govt. shall establish a National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission which shall consist of:- A person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court who shall be the President & Two other members who shall be persons of ability, integrity & have adequate knowledge or the capacity in dealing with the problems relating to economics, law, commerce, accountancy, industry etc. One of them shall be an woman. An appeal against the orders of the National Commission can be filed in the Supreme Court within 30 days from the date of order.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLINTThe complainant or his authorised agent can present the complaint in person. The complaint can also be send by post to the appropriate Forum/Commission. The complaint should be addressed to the President of the Forum/Commission. It should containt the following information:- The name, description & address of the complainant. The name, description & address of the opposite party or parties. The facts relating to complaints & when & where it arose. Documents, if any, in support of the allegations contained in the complaints. The relief the complaint is seeking. The complaint should be signed by the complainant or his authorised agent. Minimum four copies of the complaint should be filed. The district forum/commission is required to decide the complaint as far as possible within a period of 3 months.
REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS If the District Forum/commission is satisfied that the goods complained against suffer from any of the defects specified in the complaint or that any of the allegations contained in the complaint about the services are proved, it shall issue an order to the opposite party directing him to do one or more of the following things:-1) To remove the defect.2) To replace the goods with new goods.3) To return to the complainant the price.4) To pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation to the consumer.5) To remove the defects & deficiencies in the services.6) To discontinue the unfair trade practice.7) Not to offer the hazardous goods for sale.8) To cease manufacture of hazardous goods.9) To provide the adequate costs to parties.