CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986 AND 2019

CONSUMER DEFINITION

  • In oxford dictionary, a consumer is defined as a “purchase of goods or services”.
  • In black’s law dictionary, it is explained to mean “one who consumes. Individuals who purchase, use, maintain and dispose of produces and services.
  • According to Section 2(1) d, of the act, “consumer” means any person who-
  • Buy any goods for a consideration.
  • Hires or avails of any services for a consideration.

ENACTMENT

Consumer protection act, 1986 is an act of the parliament of India enacted on dated 24.Dec.1986 and it came into force on 15 April, 1987 to protect the interests of consumers in India.  later, it was replace by Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and was introduced in Lok Sabha on 8 July 2019 by the minister of consumer affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan which was passed by Lok Sabha on Dated 30 July 2019 and later passed in Rajya Sabha on 6August 2019, got approval by president on dated 9August, 2019. It applicable to whole of India including Jammu and Kashmir.

It makes provision for the establishment of consumer councils and the other authorities for the settlement of consumer’s disputes and for matters connected there with also. It safeguard for consumers which protect their rights and from exploitation through unfair trade practice by producer and manufacturer.

ENFORCEMENT OF CONSUMER RIGHT

The definition of consumer right is the right to have information about the quality, potency, quantity, purity, price and standard of goods and services. Consumer is to be protected against any unfair trade practices of trade. It is very essential for the consumer to know these right.

  • Right to safety- the right to be protected from all kind of hazardous goods and services
  • Right to inform- the right to be fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services. And any disparity in quality or quantity of goods and services, consumer can suit file in consumer court.
  • Right to Chosen- the right to free choice of goods and services
  • Right to hear- the right to heard in all decision-making processes reeled to consumer interests.
  • Right to redress-the right to seek redressed, whenever consumer rights have been infringed. Right to be compensated for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services
  • Right to consumer education- the right to complete consumer education. Which right to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to be an informed customer.
  • Right to healthy environment- the right to live and work in a environment which is neither threatening nor dangerous and which permits a life of dignity and well being.
  • Right to basic needs- which guarantees survival, adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, and sanitation. With this right, consumers can look forward to the availability of basic and prime commodities at affordable prices and good quality.

The right stated at serial number 1 to 4 (SICH)  were declared by president Kennedy and right stated at serial number 5 to 8 (REHB)were added by IOCU(International organization of consumer union).

WAYS EXPLOITS THE CONSUMER RIGHTS

Producer and manufacturers exploits the consumer in several ways such as:

Unfair trade practices Misleading and deceptive advertisement. Offering gifts and prizes.

 Spiraling prices

Adulteration

Poor quality product

Deceptive packing

Under weight supplies

Deficiency in service

Negligence in service

Monopolistic trade practices.

CONTRACT OF SERVICE AND CONTRACT FOR SERVICE

There is distinction between a contract for services and a contract of service. The contract of service implies some relationship of a master and a servant. A servant is obliged to obey the order of his master and complete control of employer over the employee’s work, employer is generally liable for his employee’s act such as ‘vicarious liability’ in law of tort, is an agreement between an employer and employee, this is contract of service.

 Where the person engages the services of another person and where he can only order what is to be done, it is a contract for services/work for hire agreement. Like Independent Contractor.

For the rendered, the person who has to pay a charge or fee or a price demanded for the services. Example, where a person contracts for installation of a telephone. He is required for installation charges, call charges etc. It is clearly case of hiring contract for services. Another example, Construct a building, here independent contractor just obliged to construct the building (specified project) within specified period. Independent contractor is not bound to obey any other instruction. Independent contractor is liable itself for his act.

AGENCY DEALS CONSUMER DISPUTES

Court established under Consumer Protection Act, 1986 at three level District, State and National which responsible for consumer protection and dispose the dispute arise through consumer’s exploitation and Cases related consumer disputed filed in this forum according to monetary limit.

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): 

Established in each district, it comprises of 3 members each. If the value of the claim is up to 20 lakhs then, an appeal may be filed from the order of  DCDRF in State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): 

Established in every State, the SCDRC can entertain original as well as appellate complaints. If the value of the claim is between 20 lakhs to 1 Crore, an appeal may be filed from the order of SCDRC to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): 

Located in New Delhi, it is the highest forum in the three-tier Redressal System under the Consumer Protection Act.

The pecuniary jurisdiction lies if the value of the claim exceeds 1 crore. It is also authorized to hear appeals from SCDRC. Further, an appeal from the order of NCDRC lies to the Supreme Court.

PROCEDURAL FILING COMPLAINT

First step: Intimation via notice.

A legal notice to be sent by the aggrieved party to the service provider who provided the goods or the services. It is important and necessary step should be accomplished because it’s give an opportunity to settle the matter without approach the forum.

Second step: Consumer complaint drafted

Filing Complaint is second step in which aggrieved party has to draft the complaint. The following details must be specified in the complaint:

  1. Name, description and the address of the complainant(s) and the Opposite Party or parties.
  2. Cause of Action, the approximate date, time and venue.
  3. Relevant facts relating to the cause of action.
  4. The Relief or Remedy claimed by the complainant in accordance with the facts of the case. 
  5. Signature and Verification by the complainant or his authorized agent.

There is no need lawyer to file complaint, aggrieved party can file complaint itself and complaint can be filed physically or online.

Third step: Attach relevant document

Copies of material evidence and relevant documents that support your case in Consumer Court are important. These documents include:

A copy of the bill, receipt of delivery, packaging of a product, and a record of online booking of the goods bought

Warranty/Guarantee certificates

A copy of the written complaint and notice sent to the manufacturer/seller

Forth step: Appropriate forum

Choose the appropriate forum for filing the complaint in accordance with the pecuniary jurisdiction which is estimated in reference to the total value of goods and services bought or availed and the amount of compensation sought.

Fifth step: Pay requisite court fees

A prescribed fee is required to be paid along with the complaint filed depending on the forum. The court fee depends upon the value of goods bought and the amount of compensation sought.

Sixth step: Submit an affidavit

The person who wants to file a case in the Consumer Court is also required to submit an affidavit in the court. The affidavit must state that the facts presented and statements made by the consumer are true to their knowledge.

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.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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