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Consumer protection law


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Consumer protection law

  1. 1. Dr. Tabrez Ahmad Professor of LawDr. Tabrez Ahmad,Blog:, 1
  2. 2. Dr. Tabrez Ahmad,, 2
  3. 3. Agenda Historical Background Un Guidelines For The Consumer Protection Consumerism The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (Act) Definitions Defects In Service Product Liability Benefits & Relief Jurisdiction Dr. Tabrez Ahmad 3
  4. 4. BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Scenario in early 70s & 80s Existing laws providing consumer protection Shortcomings of such Laws 4
  5. 5. Why protect the consumers?Reasons for Enacting the Act Collective BargainingSellers Lobby; Forming cartels; Artificially keeping prices high!!!! Multiple LawsIndia Contract Act; Sale of Goods Act; Essential Commodities Act Hurdles in the LitigationGoing to regular court; Expensive & Time Consuming RemedyPunishment in the form of Punitive & Deterrent measure 5
  6. 6. CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION AGAINST Unfair trade practice Restrictive trade practice Defects Deficiencies 6
  7. 7. UN GUIDELINES FOR THE CONSUMER PROTECTION Protect from hazard to health & safety; Promote & protect economic interests; Provide adequate information for informed choice; Consumer education; Provide effective redress—formal and informal procedures; Freedom to form groups & present views in decision-making affecting consumers; 7
  8. 8. Consumer Protection Act 1986The act was passed in:Lok Sabha on 9th December,1986 andRajya Sabha on 10th December, 1986 andAssented by the President of India on 24th December, 1986and wasPublished in the Gazette of India on 26th December, 1986.This act was enacted in the 37th year of the Republic ofIndia and was amended from time to time in the followingyears i.e. 1991, 1993 and 2002. 8
  9. 9. THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT Cont…. An Act to provide for the better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provisions for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers disputes and for matters connected therewith. Short title, extent and application: (1). This Act may be called the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. (2). It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. (3). Save as otherwise expressly provided by the Central Government by notification, this Act shall apply to all goods and services. 9
  10. 10. THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT Cont…. Applicability Amendments  Amendments in the year 1993  Amendments in the year 2002 10
  11. 11. „Whether Consumer is the king of the market‟ “Sellers market” is now “Buyers market” &  With industrial development leading to the influx of various goods and services in the market; Consumers have to be protected! 11
  12. 12. Objectives of CPA, 1986 Education HeardSafety Consumer Rights Redressal Choose Information 12
  13. 13. Definitions Who is a Consumer? Two kinds of consumer under the Act  Consumer of goods  buys or agrees to buy goods  any user of such goods  Consumer of services  hires or avails any services  any beneficiary of such service 13
  14. 14. DefinitionsSection 2 of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, defines certain wordswhich are used in various sections.Appropriate Laboratory : S. 2(1)(a) : “Appropriate laboratory” means a laboratory or organisation :I. Recognised by the Central GovernmentII. Recognised by a state government, subject to such guidelines as may be prescribed by the Central Government in this behalf; orIII. Any such laboratory or organisation established by or under any law for the time being in force, which is maintained, financed or aided by the Central Government or a State Government for carrying out analysis or test of any goods with a view to determining whether such goods suffer form any defect. 14
  15. 15. Complainant S.2(1)(b) :i. A consumer, orii. Any voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956, or under any other law for the time being in force; oriii. The Central Government or any State Government, who or which makes a complaint;iv. One or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest,v. In case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative who or which make a complaint. 15
  16. 16. Complaint S.2(1)(c) :i. An unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader or service provide;ii. The goods, bought by him, or agreed to be bought by him, suffer one or more defects;iii. The services hired or availed of, agreed to be hired or availed of by him, suffer from deficiency in any respect;iv. A trader has charged for the goods mentioned in the complaint, a price in excess of the price fixed by, or under any law for the time being in force or displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods, with a view to obtaining any relief provided by or under this act;v. Goods which will be hazardous to life and safety when used, are being offered for sale to the public in contravention of the provisions of any law for the time being in force requiring traders to display information in regard to the contents, manner and effect of use of such goods;vi. Services which hazardous or likely to be hazardous to 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: with a view to obtaining any relief provided by or under this act. 16
  17. 17. Consumer S.2(1)(d) :Consumer 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, when such use is made with the approval of such person who buys such goods for consideration paid or 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; 17
  18. 18. (Hires or avails of) any services for a consideration which has been paidor promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system ofdeferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services otherthan the person who (hires or avails of) the services for consideration paidor promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system ofdeferred payment when such services are availed of with the approval ofthe first mentioned person (but does not include a person who avails ofsuch services for any commercial purpose)Consumer Dispute S.2(1)(c) :“A dispute, where the person, against whom, a compliant has beenmade, denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint.” 18
  19. 19. FaultImperfectionShortcomingIn theQualityQuantityPotencyPurityStandard 19
  20. 20. Deficiency: S.2(1) (g)Fault In theImperfection QualityShortcoming Or Standard and Manner ofInadequacy performance 20
  21. 21. Manufacturer: S.2(1) (j) “Manufacturer” means a person;i. Makes or manufactures any goods or parts thereof; orii. Does not make or manufacture any goods but assembles parts there from made or manufactured by others and claims the end product to be goods manufactured by himself; oriii. Puts or causes to be put his own marks on any goods made or manufactured by any other manufacturer 21
  22. 22. Person: S.2 (m) Includes :i. A firm, registered or not;ii. A Hindu undivided familyiii. A co-operative society;iv. Every other association registered as person under the Societies Registration Act,1860. 22
  23. 23. Service: S.2(1) (r)“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 information But does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service 23
  24. 24. CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTIONAGAINST UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE  Adopting unfair methods or deception to promote sale, use or supply of goods or services e.g.  Misleading public about price (e.g. bargain price when it is not so).  Charging above MRP printed.  Misleading public about another’s goods or services.  Falsely claiming a sponsorship, approval or affiliation.  Offering misleading warranty or guarantee. 24
  25. 25. CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION AGAINST RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICE Price fixing or output restraint re: delivery/flow of supplies to impose unjustified costs/restrictions on consumers. Collusive tendering; market fixing territorially among competing suppliers, depriving consumers of free choice, fair competition. Supplying only to particular distributors or on condition of sale only within a territory. Delaying in supplying goods/services leading to rise in price. Requiring a consumer to buy/hire any goods or services as a pre- condition for buying/hiring other goods or services. 25
  26. 26. CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION AGAINST DEFECTS  Any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or under any contract express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods. DEFICIENCY  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. 26
  27. 27. CONSUMERS RIGHTS Right to safety against hazardous goods and services Right to be informed about quality, quantity, purity, standard, price Right to choose from a variety at competitive prices Right to be heard Right to seek redressal Right to consumer education 27
  28. 28. FORUM & JURISDICTION Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums (District Forum)  Claims less than or equal Rs.20 lacs. Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (State Commission) Claim more than Rs.20 lacs & less than Rs.1 crore & appeals. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (National Commission) Claim equal to Rs.1 crore & appeals 28
  29. 29. REQUISTIES OF A COMPLAINT Who can file a complaint Where to file a complaint How to file a complaint What constitutes a complaint? Procedure for filing the appeal 29
  30. 30. ESSENTIAL INFORMATION IN THEAPPLICATION  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 30
  31. 31. 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. 31
  32. 32. Dr. Tabrez Ahmad 32
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