Oct 31, 2017
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Consumer Protection

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1.Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection ensuring the safe interest of consumers by enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The article below gives an Overview of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986:

  • Introduced in the Lok Sabha on 5th December, 1986 to provide better protection in the interest of consumers.
  • Enacted as a result of a widespread consumer protection movement in the form of a social welfare legislation.

 

  • Objective:

The Consumer Protection Act, 1956, aims to provide speedy and simple redressal to consumer disputes.  The thoughtful piece of legislation intends to protect the consumers at large from exploitation.

  • Who is a Consumer?

Section. 2 (1) (d)of the Consumer Protection Act, 1956, defines ”consumer” as any person who buys any goods for a consideration, who pays or will pay. Hires or avails any service for a consideration for which he has paid or will pay.  However, it does not include a person obtaining goods for resale or any commercial purpose.

  • Rights of a Consumer

Under the the Consumer Protection Act, 1956, Consumers Rights include, the consumers Right to Safety, Right to Redressal, Right to Consumer Education, Right to Information, Right to be Heard.

2.Redressal Agency

Consumer Protection Act, 1956, sets up a Redressal Agency in the form of a District Forum, State Commission and  National Commission to achieve the aims and objectives of this Act.

  • 1.District Forum

  1. District Forum consists of a person who is qualified or qualifies as a District Judge as its President.
  2. The forum should consist of  at least one female member among the other members of the forum.
  3. Every member of the District Forum, holds office for a term of 5 years or up to the age of 65 years which ever is earlier.
  4. It has the jurisdiction to entertain complaints, where the value of the goods or services and the compensation claimed does not exceed Rs.20 Lacs.
  •  Power of a District Forum
  1. Remove any defect detected by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in testing.
  2. Replace the defective goods with new goods free of any defect.
  3. Pay the consumer for any loss or injury suffered to him due to negligence of defaulting party.
  4. Furthermore, compensate the complainant for any expense of redressal.
  • 2.State Commission

  1. The State government issues a notification for establishing a State Commission.
  2. Where the value of compensation for goods or services claimed exceeds Rs. 20 Lacs but does not exceed Rs.1 Crore.
  3. Additionally, State Commission can entertain an appeal against the orders of any District Forum within the State.
  • 3.National Commission

  1. National Commission qualifies a person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court as the President.
  2. The forum should consists of at least 4 members but not more than the number of members prescribed. Of these number of members, one member has to be woman.
  3. Every member of the National commission holds office for a term of 5 years or up to the age of 70 years, which ever is earlier.
  4. It has jurisdiction to entertain complaints, where the value of goods or services and compensation, claimed exceeds Rs. 1 Crore.
  5. Moreover, it can entertain appeals against the orders of any State Commission.

Consumer Protection Councils

  • District Consumer Protection Council

District Consumer Protection Council shall consists of;

  1. The Collector of the district, as the Chairman of the council,
  2. Any number of other official and non-official members as the State Government prescribes,
  3. The District Council meets at least twice in every year,
  4. Additionally, the State Government also prescribes its various procedures.
  • State Consumer Protection Council

State Consumer Protection Council consists of;

  1. A Minister of the State government in-charge of consumer affairs as the Chairman,
  2. Any number of other official and non-official members as the State Government prescribes,
  3. The State Council meets at least twice every year.
  4. Additionally, the State Government also prescribes its various procedures.
  • Central Consumer Protection Council

Central Consumer Protection Council consists of;

  1.  A Minister of the Central Government in-charge of Consumer Affairs as the Chairman,
  2. Any number of other official and non-official members as the Central Government prescribes,
  3.  The Central Council shall meet at least once a year.

Consumer Protection Cases

  • Chetan Prakash vs. MET Institute of computer Science

Prakash, appeared for his final year BSc exams, however prior to the declaration of his results, he sought admission to MET Institute, towards pursuing his Masters in Computer Science. However, the institute laid a condition, that in order to pursue the MCS course,a student has to clear his final year exams. Prakash, however, went ahead and deposited his fees towards the MCS course before the declaration of his result. On declaration of his result, Prakash fails his exams. On failing his exams, he goes to withdraw his admission from the MCS course and requests for a refund, to which the institute does not responded. Finally, he sends a legal notice to the institute, and registers a complain with the consumer forum.

The Court gives a judgement directing the institute, to pay the complainant, Chetan Prakash, Rs. 32,000 as compensation for harassment, along with the course fee of Rs.62,200.

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, is a very elaborate act on consumer compensation. The consumers, however should know how to put the Act to use like How to file a consumer complaint, cost involved etc.

File a consumer complaint with an online lawyer now!

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