We are all consumers in one or the other way. According to oxford Dictionary, “All of us may be called as consumers, when we purchase some movable or immovable property or hire services for various purposes”.
We have seen many people speaking about how substandard or contaminated goods they have received, all of us have been at least once in our economic must have faced this kind of situation, where we are not satisfied with received good or the price of the good or the unfathomable difference between the price and the good received. Similarly we have seen people and also experienced that despite paying the right amount asked we were not provided with the comfortable services for instances like seats and services provided in trains and buses were extremely uncomfortable. Sometimes we don’t receive the worth of the money we were made to pay. we always blame the goods and services received.
We are not always completely aware about the level of satisfaction it may provide and the level of dissatisfaction it will provide or sometimes we are not even aware if we will have to face dissatisfaction goods and services. This article provides a guide for its readers who are in one way or the other a consumer on an everyday basis, thereby letting them know the rights and responsibilities that are vested on them and need to be followed more than these to let them know the jurisdiction and standing of their suits so as to let the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 function effectively.
CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986. In order to here out the grievances and compensate the consumers easily Consumer protection act, was enacted in 1986. This act encourages the people who are consumers to speak up for their rights as consumers and for the inadequacies and flaws of the faced in purchasing any goods and services. This statute protects the consumers’ rights if the traders and manufacturers are engaged in the outlawed activities. The purpose behind bringing up this legislature is to provide assistance to both the parties, consumers and the traders or the manufacturers. The Act provides for the venue where the consumers can raise complaints and the forum to compensate the consumer after hearing it.
Consumer Redressal forum
Jurisdiction, The Act of 2019 of the consumer protection has replaced the Act of 1986, in order to adapt with the changing environment. The new Act provides for in its ambits, e-commerce, and transactions.
Coming to the jurisdictions that we presently follow that is according to The Act of 2019 are as followed,
- Territorial Jurisdiction – The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 now provides for the consumers, can register their complaints at a place where all or one of the opposite parties resides or carries on business, or the place of cause of action or where the complainant is residing or works for gain unlike the 1986 Act (which mandated filing of a complaint by the complainant at a place of residence or business of the respondent only), thus increasing the scope of territorial jurisdiction. The ultimate objective behind this is to remove the difficulties and problems faced by the consumers in seeking redressal against businesses.
The complaints are registered at appropriate forums based on the limit of pecuniary jurisdiction.
2. Pecuniary Jurisdiction – Certain significant modifications have been brought forth by the Act of 2019 concerning the pecuniary jurisdiction for all the forums i.e. the District, State, and National Commissions, respectively:
- The upper limit of pecuniary jurisdiction for the District Commission has been increased from Rs.20,00, 000 to Rs.100,00,000 as per Section 34 Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
- The limit of pecuniary jurisdiction for the State Commission has been increased from Rs.100,00,000 to Rs.10,00,00,000 as per Section 47 , Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and,
- The limit of pecuniary jurisdiction for the National Commission has been increased from above Rs.10,00,00,000 to above Rs.10,00,00,000 as per Section 58 Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
These modifications have actually contributed in improving and providing the wide scope of pecuniary jurisdiction to a much larger extent. Also changes made above in the 2019 Act has also changed the means for the direct the pecuniary jurisdiction on the basis of the valuation of goods and services payable as consideration, contrary to the 1986 Act where, pecuniary jurisdiction was actually directed by the value of the goods and services as well as the compensation sought, therefore not mount the amount of compensation claimed to bring the complaint within the pecuniary jurisdiction of State or National Commission.
For directing the value of the complaint, the aggregate value of the goods or services and compensation claimed by the complainant. This was held in the case of Ms. Pyaridevi chabiraj steels Pvt. Ltd. v. National Insurance Corporation Ltd.
3. Alternate Dispute Resolution– Another critical redressal mechanism incorporated by the 2019 Act, is the alternate dispute resolution in the form of mediation. This is really helpful because it is les expensive and also results in speedy resolution. As per this 2019 Act, the complaint may be referred to mediation after the admission of the complaint or at the first hearing or at any time before the dispute is resolved. The forum shall refer to the matter of mediation with the written consent of both the parties, furnished within 5 days.
To this effect, the new act incorporates the establishment of a consumer mediation cell by the respective State Government in each district and state as well as at the national commission by the central government and be attached to the forums.
It is based on the principles of natural justice. [E-complaints – The 2019 Act also includes the filing of Complaints before the District Forums electronically. The rules regarding this are yet to be prescribed by the Government. This was done to tackle problems related to the increase in digitalization.]
Conclusion- The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 protects the large engrossment of public of large number and was helpful in resolving pending cases all across the nation as we have already seen it is less expensive and speedy resolving capacity, which is helpful for both the public and the court and it is dynamic with the changing times and environment and specifically it is serving the purpose of protecting rights of the consumers and administration of dispute settlement.
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