GENESIS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW

INTRODUCTION

Consumer protection laws offer an important part of a reliable market economy. While “buyer beware” was once the motto of the free market, these regulations help keep sellers honest, with no threat of unpleasant surprises. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights and to the formation of consumer organizations, which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace and pursue complaints against businesses. Entities that promote consumer protection include government organizations self-regulating business organizations and NGOs that advocate for consumer protection laws and help to ensure their enforcement (such as consumer protection agencies and watchdog groups. 

Consumer is defined as someone who acquires goods or services for direct use or ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing. Consumer interests can also be protected by promoting competition in the markets which directly and indirectly serve consumers, consistent with economic efficiency, but this topic is treated in Competition law. 

IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT , 1986

It may be mentioned at the outset that any one interested in the task of consumer protection movement has to be well versed in various laws and not merely with the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. He should have knowledge of laws relating to Contract, Tort, Railways, Telegraphs, Telephones, Post, Air Travel, Insurance, Electricity, Water, Housing, Medicine, Banking, Finance, Engineering, Motor Vehicles, Hotel Industry, Entertainment, Cooperative Societies, Tourism Agencies, Sales Tax, Central Excise, Limitation, Transport etc. There is no limit to subjects, which may come before a Consumer Forum / Commission for decision. In addition, one should also be well versed with the laws relating to unfair trade practice and restrictive trade practices. Be it as it may. In India various Acts intended to protect the consumers against different forms of exploitation were enacted.

The Objectives of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 in India

The purpose of the Act is to provide for the establishment of the Commission:

1· To prevent practices having adverse effect on competition;

2· To promote and sustain competition in markets;

3· To protect the interests of consumers and

4· To ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in the markets, in India

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT , 2019

On July 20th, 2020, the new Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force in India, replacing the previous enactment of 1986. The new Act overhauls the administration and settlement of consumer disputes in India. It provides for strict penalties, including jail terms for adulteration and for misleading advertisements. More importantly, it now prescribes rules for the sale of goods through e-commerce. The consumer is now truly the king. 

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), India is a quasi-judicial commission in India which was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. Its head office is in New Delhi. The commission is headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India.The commission is presently headed by Justice R K Agrawal, former judge of the Supreme Court of India.

 Section 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 posits that the National Consumer shall have jurisdiction:- to entertain a complaint valued more than one crore and also have Appellate and Revisional jurisdiction from the orders of State Commissions or the District fora as the case may be.

Section 23 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986, provides that any person aggrieved by an order of NCDRC,  may prefer an Appeal against such order to the Supreme Court of India within a period of 30 days.

NATIONAL CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY

The day which shows the rights and power of a consumer and customer, National Consumer Day which is celebrated on 24th of December, the day has been presented to make people aware about the rights of consumers. It becomes important to celebrate National Consumer Day because the relationship between buyer and seller involves money and money is the most useful thing as well as the biggest threat to humanity. The day was made under Consumer Protection Act to save consumers from many market exploitation like different pricing and getting different or defective products.

The act came into power in 1986 after the approval by the president of India, it is said that people must be aware of the facilities that the government is making for the consumers and to make it possible this day was formed.

WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY

The consumer movement marks 15th March with World Consumer Rights Day every year, as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights and needs. Celebrating the day is a chance to demand that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights. World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who sent a strong message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so. The consumer movement first marked that date in 1983 and now uses the day every year to mobilize action on important issues and campaigns.

CONCLUSION

The Consumer Protection Act, implemented in 1986, gives easy and fast compensation to consumer grievances. It safeguards and encourages consumers to speak against insufficiency and flaws in goods and services. If traders and manufacturers practice any illegal trade, this act protects their rights as a consumer. Consumer law helps to make sure that customers are aware of what they are buying, such as the ingredients in food; that advertising is fair and does not mislead; that debt collection is fair, and nearly every step in the buying and selling of goods is ordered towards creating a level playing field. 

REFERENCES

1.www.mondaq.com

2.www.texology.com

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