Till the 1970s there was unchecked consumer mistreatment happening in India. Black marketing, monopolistic practices, adulteration of food were all commonplace. However, the consumer movement brought about a change in the scenario. The government too provided consumers legal protection through various laws and setting up of consumer court. Let us take a look.
Legal Protection to Consumers
To protect consumer on legal terms, Court of Law i.e. Consumer Court has laid down certain acts to protect the consumers on legal grounds. This Legal Protection keeps intact the right of the consumer which when acted will provide them justice against any dissatisfaction created by the sellers/business/manufacturer.
This legal Indian framework by Consumer Court also consists of large number of regulations that are maintained strictly for the protection of consumers. Some of these regulations are followed as stated below –
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Laws to Protect Consumers
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPRA)
- In this, it protects the right of the consumer and makes user aware of their rights.
- They have developed or formed three-tier system wherein there is District Forums, State Commission, and National Commission thus to protect the right of the consumer.
Indian Contract Act, 1972
- They lay down the conditions in which the parties promise each other of the services to be provided and agree on certain terms.The contract is made that is binding on each other.
- They protect the interest that the contract is not breached and in case if breached the remuneration to be provided.
The Sales of Good Act, 1930
- To ensure the consumer rights in case the goods offered to the consumer is not up to the standard which was promised and the false claim was made.
The Essential Commodities Act, 1955
- To keep track of the commodities which are essential and monitor their production and supply. Also keep a track of any hoarders, black marketers,
The Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking ) Act, 1937
- To implement the grading standard and hence monitoring the same whether standard checks are been done to issue the grading. In this, AGMARK is the standard introduced for agricultural goods.
The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954
- This act makes sure the purity of the food items and the health of the consumers which could be affected by the adulterated items.
The Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976
- The Standards of Weights and Measures Act protects the right against the goods which is underweight or under measured.
The Trade Marks Act, 1999
- This act protects users from false marks which could mislead the consumer and hence cheat them in the ground of quality of the product.
The Competition Act, 2002
- The Competition Act replaced from the Monopolies and the Restrictive Trade Practices Act following to take action against the firms which use such practice which in turn affect the competition in the market.
The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986
- The Bureau of Indian Standards Act ensures about the quality of the product to be used by the consumer and have introduced BIS Mark to certify the quality of the product and have set up grievance cell which can take complaints regarding the quality of the product.
Consumer Courts are special courts set up by the Indian Judiciary to settle consumer grievances and entertain consumer problems. A special consumer court is set up to ensure that justice is done quickly and efficiently, without undue hardship to the complainant. Also to handle the sheer number of cases, the consumer courts help lessen the burden on the judiciary system.
Another major advantage that the consumer court offers is that the whole process is fairly simple. One does not even need to hire a lawyer or any legal professional for the hearing if he thinks it is not required. Self-representation is possible in a consumer court. Right from submitting a complaint to the process of hearing all procedures are kept simple and uncomplicated.
Solved Question for You
Question: What do you mean by The Competition Act, 2002?
Ans: The Competition Act, 2002 has been replaced by the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969. It provides protection to the consumers in case of any practices that have been adopted by the business firms in which it hampers the competition in the market. It takes action against the firms which use such practice which in turn affect the competition in the market.