The Principle of Caveat emptor and Caveat venditor.

The law relating to consumer protection is not an innovation of the modern times. The people of ancient times were also aware of the need for protection of consumer interests. Regulations against adulterated food and false weights and measures are said to have prevailed in ancient times. For example: Old Testament, the code of Hamurabi, ancient laws of India etc. make specific mention of consumer interests that are to be protected.

                                   It is said that in Australia the sellers of adulterated milk were forced to drink all their adulterated milk themselves. Similarly the consumers in France were allowed to throw rotten eggs at those who sold them. During the middle ages consumers were to a certain degree protected by the strictures of Catholic church and also by craft guilds. Though the law did not favour the consumers, neither did it favour sellers.                                  

                           Before the advent of industrial revolution human needs were very few and those were met by exchange of goods. This was known as barter system. The market in its modern sense was not prevalent then. The needs of people were not much. But industrial revolution brought about radical changes in the lives of human beings. Consumer goods were rushed to the market in plenty. Traders started adopting various devices both fair and foul to sell their goods.Consequently market system gradually came into being.
                                Moreover as a result of scientific and technological development, more and more goods and articles were manufactured and people started relying upon them. Advertisement through media helped people to know about such goods although at times they misguided them. In course of time disputes between the buyer and seller began to crop up and with passage of time their number increased enormously. As the structure of the society was based on the principle of laissez faire State intervened in the lives of citizens only rarely.
                                There were no effective laws to control and regulate the relationship between the buyer and the seller. This emboldened the trader to exploit the consumers in various ways. In short, the trader became the king in the market. The principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) was the rule of those days. The conditions and warranties fixed by the traders or manufacturers were mostly unilateral and inadequate to protect the interest of the consumers.
                              In addition to it the doctrine of freedom of contract made the traders still bolder to make more and more profit. All these factors led to a worldwide consumer movement. The developed countries like US and UK were first to realise the urgent need of protecting the interest of the consumers. A number of legislations were passed to protect the interest of the consumers.
                           The concept consumerism in gradually gained momentum and State could no longer remain a passive observer. Consumer protection thus, became one of the primary duties of the State. The concept of caveat emptor was replaced by the concept of caveat venditor (let the seller beware). Thus the consumer became the King.

Reference : Consumer protection by Dr. Sheetal Kapoor.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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