With changing times the economic and business environment of India also went through a change. In the 1980s and 1990s, we opened our economy and truly became a global trading partner with the world. This exposed customers to new products but also new problems. And we finally introduced the Consumer Protection Act to safeguard consumers. Let us take a look.
Consumer Protection Act
Consumer Protection Act has been implemented(1986) or we can bring into existence to protect the rights of a consumer. It protects the consumer from exploitation that business practice to make profits which in turn harm the well being of the consumer and society.
This right help to educate the consumer on the right and responsibilities of being a consumer and how to seek help or justice when faced exploitation as a consumer. It teaches the consumer to make right choices and know what is right and what is wrong.
Learn more about the Consumer Organisation and NGOs here in detail.
Who is a consumer according to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986? A consumer is one that buys good for consumption and not for the resale or commercial purpose. The consumer also hires service for consideration.
Practices to be followed by Business under Consumer Protection Act
- If any defect found the seller should remove the mentioned defects from the whole batch or the goods affected. For example, there have been cases where car manufacturing unit found a defect in parts of the vehicle usually they remove the defect from every unit or they call of the unit.
- They should replace the defective product with a nondefective product and that product should be of similar configuration or should be the same as the product purchased.
Read about Consumer Rights and Responsibilities here.
Redressal: Three Tier System Under Consumer Act
- District Forum: These fora are set by the district of the state concerned in each district wherein it consists of President and two members of which one should be a woman and is appointed by the State Government. In this, the complaining party should not make a complaint more than 20 Lacs and once the complaint is filed the goods are sent for testing and if they found defective the accused party should compensate and if the party is dissatisfied can make an appeal with state commission within 30 days.
- State Commission: This is set up by each state It consists of President and two members. Complains should be at least 20 lacs and exceed not more than 1 crore. The goods are sent for testing and if found defective are asked for replacement or compensation. If not satisfied can make an appeal within 30 days in front of the National Commission.
- National Commission: Consist of President and 4 members. The complaint must exceed an amount of 1 crore. The goods are sent for testing and if found defective are asked for replacement or compensation
Solved Question for You
Question: What do you mean by ‘consumer’ with reference to Consumer Protection Act 1986. Explain its salient features of Consumer Protection Act?
Ans. According to the Act, a consumer’s definition is who:
- buys goods or hires any service
- uses the goods or hires any service with the approval of any buyer or service provider
- uses goods and services to earn a livelihood by self-employment.
The salient features of Consumer Protection Act are-
- The Consumer Protection Act covers all public, private and cooperative sector.
- This applies to all the goods and services until and unless the Union government exempts it.
- Provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are compensatory in nature.