You are on page 1of 23

Page |1

Introduction
The Consumer Right Protection Act was passed by the parliament and obtained assent of the
president on April 05, 2009 and its demand is the Consumers of Bangladesh. So it is essential to
understand what consumer is. Consumer is a person who consumes or uses any commodity or
service available to him either from natural resources of through a market for final consumption.
It gives Protection to the Consumers against the violation of their right and being injured by the
unfair trade practices of the seller or service provider. It does not mean that consumer right has
not protected before Act was passed. People of Bangladesh had been protected try various Acts
such as - Constitution of Bangladesh, Sale of Goods Act, Specific Relief Act, Dung Control
Ordinance, Pure Food Ordinance, Penal Code etc. But rights of the Consumers were not well
protected by those Acts. After the enactment, people got a written or existing Act and protected
under this Act.

Consumers
According to the law and act, a person is required to perform certain conditions to be regarded as
a consumer. Basically, the persons who use or consume products and services are known as
consumers. Another way to explain- buyer, who is the final customers of products and services,
is known as consumer. Under Consumer Right Protection Act, 2009 (CRPA, 2009) a person
who buys goods to earn a livelihood by self-employment (through in a commercial scale) also
falls within the definition of a consumer. Before the enactment, a set of consumer rights were
mentioned in different Laws in a fragmented way. In Bangladesh, consumers can be divided into
two types: (i) service consumer and (ii) product consumer. Section-2 (19) of the Consumer
Rights Protection Act, 2009 in Bangladesh states the definition of consumer as follows:
Consumer means any person who:
(a) Except for the purpose of resale and commercial purposei) purchases any product by payment of a price or promise to pay off a price;

Page |2

ii) Purchases any product by partly paid and partly promised; or


iii) Purchases any product with the promise of paying price in extended term or by installments;
(a) With the consent of the purchaser
(b) Uses the product purchased under clause;
(c) Who, after purchasing a product, uses it commercially for the purpose of making a living by
self-employed
(d) Any person who:
(i) Hires or receives otherwise any service by payment or promises to pay the price;
ii) Hires or receives otherwise any service by part payment or promises to pay partly the price.
(iii) Hires or receives otherwise any service by paying the price in an extended term or by
installments.
(d) With the consent
(e) Any person who consumes the service received under clause

The simplest way to explain consumers- consumers are those people on persons who buy or use
or obtain or hire a permission to use any kinds products or services by offering a price, prompt or
due or in installments.

Page |3

General Overview

The Consumer Right Protection Act (later termed as CRPA), 2009 of Bangladesh was passed by
the Parliament and obtained assents of the President on 5th April, 2009 and shall come into force
at once [sec-1(2)].The Act provides for the protection of consumer rights and for prevention of
acts against consumer right and interest and other relevant issues. The Consumer Protection Act
2009 is organized into 7 chapters and a total of 82 sections. The Act mainly deals with the
obligations of "economic operators" and product safety. It enjoins state organs to punish the
offenses of economic operators who violate consumer rights and interests. It provides for various
actions to be taken by the respective ministries against the production of products or services that
are likely to induce grave or imminent dangers. The Act also sets out comprehensive procedures
to be followed by inspection agents to ensure the quality and safety of products (goods and
services). It also allows for the establishment of a specialized institution to be in charge of fraud
repression and inspections of imported and exported goods. (Chapter 1) deals with definition
such as complainant, consumer, medicine, punishment, Food product, council, Rules etc and it
deals with the establishment of council (chapter 2). Department and Director General (chapter 3),
offence and punishment (chapter 4), trial (chapter 5), civil proceedings and remedies (chapter 6)
and miscellaneous (chapter 7).
In section 2(20) - it states some name of activities which is against consumer's rights such asto sale at a higher price, to sale any adulterer medicine or product, to sell any product which has
mixture of any product, deceiving people by false or untrue advertisements, not to supply goods
properly in exchange of price, to make counterfeit products, to sale date expired products and so
on.
In section 2(22) - it provides for a definition of services.
In section 5- it is said that "The Consumer Right Protection Council" shall be established and it
consists of 29 members. The Tenure of membership, Meeting and Function of the council shall
be enacted.

Page |4

In section 10- it provides about the Establishment of District Committee for the Protection of
Consumer Right.
In chapter 3- Sections from (18-36) deal with Establishment of a Department, Director
General and Powers and functions of the Director General and so on.
In chapter 4- Sections from (37-56) deal with punishment for the various acts against consumer's
rights and interests and violation of the provisions of this act.
In chapter 5- Sections from (57-65) deal with the trial.
In chapter 6- Sections from (66-68) deal with the civil proceedings and remedy.
In chapter 7- Section from (68-82) deal with the miscellaneous. Chapter 7 also deals with
different types of miscellaneous provisions such as- power of District Magistrate (sec-69),
Administrative action taken by Department (sec-70), monitoring private health and medicine
service (sec-73) etc. Under this chapter some exemption are also allowed for some offenses.

Aspects of Consumer Protection


There are three aspects of consumer rights protection, which every country must consider.

(i) Voluntary protection;


(ii) Institutional Protection;
(iii) Statutory Protection;

First, the aspect of 'voluntary protection' which means that consumers themselves would
voluntarily set up associations and/or organizations to safeguard their own rights and interests.
These associations/organizations generally work as pressure groups on the government for
consumer rights issues e.g. the Consumers' Association of Bangladesh (CAB).

Page |5

Second, the aspect of 'institutional protection'. By establishing national institutions to safeguard


and promote consumer rights of citizens this aspect of consumers' protection can be ensured. In
Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute has been active in protecting consumers of
Bangladesh in a limited capacity by way of doing laboratory research and testing of commodities
to find out whether the same comply with the expected standard. However, currently the country
has established a National Council for the protection of Consumer Rights and a District
Committee in every district headed by the DCs. The Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009 has
also established a Department/Directorate headed by a Director General (DG) for the protection
of consumers rights. Except the Government institutions there are some Non-Government
Organizations (NGOs) working for the protection of consumer rights e.g. CAB, Adhunik, PAB,
BAPA etc.

Third, is the aspect of 'statutory protection' which can be guaranteed by enacting relevant laws
for protecting the rights and interests of the consumers. Many countries of the world, including
those in Asia, have already enacted comprehensive laws in this regard. For example, the
Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009 in Bangladesh.

So, the concept of consumer rights depends upon the promotional activities and the protection
mechanisms of a particular society or of a state. The protection of a consumer rights ultimately
ensures safety in products and security in service whereas the promotion of a consumer rights
depends upon the education, monitoring of the supply and marketing systems of various
products,examining goods, enforcing proper scale in weight and measurement, enacting proper
laws, creating awareness, upliftment of moral standards etc.

Page |6

Importance of the Protection of Consumer Rights


It is now universally acknowledged that the observance of basic human rights is the cornerstone
of peace and security for all nations. A consumer right is considered as a basic human rights as
part of right to life. Many European countries have already inserted consumer rights in their
constitution for giving special preferences e.g. Spain.
The constitution of Bangladesh enshrines right to life as a fundamental right that indirectly
protects consumer rights. The constitution also states that it is the fundamental responsibility of
the State to ensure the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, shelter, education and
medical care with special regard to public health and morality.

In this digital era, the world is considered as a global village. So, concern for consumer rights
rarely begins or ends at any single nations boundaries, and effective action to protect and
promote consumer rights, whether at home or abroad, can be furthered by the imaginative use of
national, regional or international techniques. In the European Countries a consumers right is
protected through common directives applicable equally for all the EU nations. The World Trade
Organizations (WTO) has a great role in regulating trade affairs through different agreements
among various nations. The United Nations (UN) has adopted guidelines for the protection of
consumer rights.

The right of a consumer is seen through the mirror of economic progress. A consumer right
includes a bundle of rights and is a package to ensure security and safety in life. In spite of
resistance from the business communities, especially those involved in monopoly business, it is
now widely accepted that consumers should be dealt with special care and attention by providing
secured service and safety products. The people of the developing and least developed
countries are still in an ordeal to this aspect of consumer rights. This study has a great
importance to this respect.
It is widely accepted by the scholars that trade and business relates to the socio-economic and
religious conditions of a particular community. Bangladesh, a developing country with over

Page |7

population, is dependent upon the foreign countries for its essential commodities and imports
huge quantities of food, cosmetics and essential products every year especially from India, Japan,
China, the USA and the EU countries. It has very good relations with the Middle East countries
and earns huge foreign exchanges by exporting goods, medicines and apparels.

The religious prohibition on consumption of some food and food items has a great impact over
consumer rights. It is the prime responsibility of the state to ensure all those rights to its citizens.

So, the importance of the protection of consumer rights carries a great value towards humanity.
To ensure security and safety in life, the consumer rights protection related Laws should be
effectively enforced. The number of immature and unnatural death will be reduced if the
consumer rights are duly ensured. Effective enforcement of consumer rights shall have impact
widely on economic progress in national and international level. The consumer related laws
should be enforced equally for all the citizens irrespective of their nationalism or race, sex, color,
language, religion etc.

Consumer rights Protection under the Different Laws of Bangladesh


The term consumer is used in different senses. The right of a consumer has got recognition by
the Government only in 2009 with the enactment of the Consumer Rights Protection Act,
2009. Before the enactment, a set of consumer rights were mentioned in different Laws in a
fragmented way. In Bangladesh, consumers can be divided into two types: (i) service consumer
and (ii) product consumer.
In the opinion of Professor Ulf Bernitz, the term consumer indicates a person who purchases
goods mainly for private use and which are sold in the course of the merchants professional
activities.

In the UK, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 states

Page |8

thatconsumer means any individual who in relation to a commercial practice is acting for
purposes which are outside his business;

Section-2 (19) of the Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009 in Bangladesh states the definition
of consumer as follows:
Consumer means any person who:

(a) Except for the purpose of resale and commercial purpose-

i) purchases any product by payment of a price or promise to pay of a price;

ii) purchases any product by partly paid and partly promised; or

iii)

purchases any product with the promise of paying price in extended term or by

installments;

(b) uses the product purchased under clause (a) with the consent of the purchaser;

(c) who, after purchasing a product, uses it commercially for the purpose of making a living
by self-employed;

(d) Any person who:


i) Hires or receives otherwise any service by payment or promises to pay the price;

ii)

Hires or receives otherwise any service by part payment or promises to pay partly

the price.

iii)

Hires or receives otherwise any service by paying the price in an extended term or

by installments.

Page |9

(e) Any person who consumes the service received under clause (d) with the consent

Of the service consumer

So, consumer is a person who hires or purchases a product or service for his own use or for
the use of someone with his consent without any commercial purpose except a living by selfemployed.

An overview of the Bangladeshi Laws on the Promotion and Protection of


Consumer Rights
The general protection of the consumers may be derived from principles enunciated in Articles1511 and 1812 of the Constitution. Their Articles, though non-justifiable in its nature, indicates the
importance attributed to the nutritional status of the people and basic principles and measures for
protecting consumers from products, processes and services, which can endanger their health and
safety. This constitutional safeguard has been strengthened through promulgation of related laws
and regulations so that consumption be proper and appropriate.

Moreover, in the Constitution of Bangladesh some justifiable fundamental rights are


incorporated which are connected with the rights of the consumers. As for examples, Article 32
provides that no person shall be deprived of life save in accordance with law; Article 38 provides
that every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions, subject to any reasonable
restrictions imposed by law in the interests of morality or public order; Article 40 provides that
subject to any restrictions imposed by law, every citizen shall have the right to enter upon any
lawful profession or occupation, and to conduct any lawful trade or business. These fundamental
rights interalia are enforceable by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in accordance with Article
102 read with Article 44 of the Constitution.

The Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009 provided both civil and criminal remedies. A
consumer is entitled to lodge complain to the Consumer Rights Protection Department for any

P a g e | 10

violation of the Act. The Deputy Commissioners of different districts can exercise the same
power as given to the department. A consumer although barred from filing a direct complaint to
the police station under the Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009 can file a case to the Police
station under other Laws.

The Law on consumer rights not only prohibits adulteration, hoarding, smuggling, black
marketing, cheating or fraud in weight and measurement or in selling products with higher price
but also provides punishments for such acts. A manufacturer or producer as well as a service
provider or even in special circumstances the seller is liable for adulterated foods or drugs or of
other essential commodities. The counterfeit products or stolen goods or adulterated food or
drugs are also prohibited for selling in the market and violation of which is punishable under the
penal Laws including death penalty under the Special Powers Act, 1974 or imprisonment for 10
years and a fine of Tk.10 lakh under the Drug Control Ordinances, 1982.

The Bangladeshi laws provides for the establishment of different organizations to protect the
rights of the consumers including various Courts or Tribunals such as-

(i) Consumer Rights Protection Department; (ii) National Consumer Rights Protection Council;
(iii) Special Tribunal; (iv) Mobile Court (can work/ function under various Laws; It may be
constituted by a special executive order); (v) Drug Court; (vi) Food Special Court; (vii) Ordinary
Criminal Courts; (viii) Ordinary Civil Courts; (ix) Marine Courts; (x) BSTI; (xi) Claims Tribunal
etc. (Please see-Appendix-I for details).
It should be noted that a consumers rights has different phases for its implementation (from
production in a factory or firm up to the time reaching in a consumers hand) e.g.-

In respect of an agricultural product, there should have safety from seeds, using of chemicals/
fertilizers, harvesting, processing, products, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, marketing,
selling, trademarks, standard marks, property marks, price fixing, supply chain, monopolizations,
storing, hoarding etc. The State shall ensure safety of a product in every such stage.

P a g e | 11

In respect of a service, the state shall ensure uniformity in price of the same service by different
service provider, safety measures during the period of such service; prevent fraud in providing
service, ensuring security of service consumer and resist maltreatment of the service provider.

So, the product safety, product and service liability can be ensured in Bangladesh by a number
of relevant laws. (Please see Appendix-II for details).
The specific areas covered by the consumer rights Protection related statutes in
Bangladesh (Safety in Product) are:
Adulteration of Food; Sale
of adultered food;
Adulteration of drug; Sale
of adultered drug;
Smuggling;
Black-marketing;
Counterfeiting of Product;
Sale of date-expired product;
Monopoly business;
Price hike, if fixed;
Weight & measurement;
Trade Marks;
Standards of Product and labeling;
Milk & substitute to breast-milk;
Specific areas covered by the consumer rights Protection related statutes in
Bangladesh (ensuring proper service) are:
Medical service; Legal
service;
Security service or service by Law enforcing agencies;
Telecommunication service;
Energy Regulatory service;

Transport service that includes- Air, water, land i.e. motor vehicles and railway etc.

P a g e | 12

Making and selling false weight or measure


Section-266 of the Penal Code also provides that. Whoever is in possession of any
instrument for weighing, or of any weight, or of any measure of length or capacity, which he
knows to be false, and intending that the same may be fraudulently used, shall be punished
with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with
fine, or with both.
The Weights and Measures Act 1985 controls how weighing and measuring equipment is
used. All this equipment must be tested and stamped for accuracy by a weights and measures
inspector before you use it. The most common problem we find relate to using weights and
scales which are either not accurate or not stamped, or both.

Price and distribution


To ensure the correct price and distribution of essential commodities in the country so that
importers, producers and businessmen may not earn more profits. Under the law the prices of
commodities should be attached to them and the list of the price should be hanged in an open
place and a receipt for sale of goods must be delivered to the purchaser. There is no a fixed
price on the every goods in our country thats why the sellers are earning more and more
money and losing the buyers.

Selling or using poisonous or dangerous chemicals


There is a prohibition of sale or use of poisonous or dangerous chemicals, intoxicated food,
color etc.
No person shall directly or indirectly and whether by himself or by any other person acting on
his behalf(a)

Use any poisonous or dangerous chemicals or ingredients or additives or substances like

calcium carbide, formalin, pesticides (DDT, PCBs oil etc.), or intoxicated food color or
flavoring matter in any food which may cause injury to human body;

P a g e | 13

(b)

Sale any food in which poisonous or dangerous chemicals or ingredients or additives or

substances like calcium carbide, formalin, pesticides (DDT, PCBs oil etc.) or intoxicated food
color or flavoring matter has been used in any food which may cause injury to human body.
The High Court ordered on 28th February 2012 the police to file criminal cases against
culprits for using toxic chemical to ripen and preserve fruits and sell them under the Special
Power Act.
Formalin applied on fish, fruit, meat, and milk causes throat cancer, blood cancer, childhood
asthma, and skin diseases, while coloring agent Calcium Carbide may lead to cancer in
kidney, liver, skin, prostate, and lungs.
The court in its earlier ruling in 2010 asked the government to explain why it should not be
directed to take effective measures to protect public health by stopping the use of chemicals in
fruits, especially apples, mangoes, grapes, bananas and papayas.
The court had also asked the commerce, food and home secretaries to form a committee to
make recommendations to the government to stop the use of chemicals in fruits and submit a
report to the court within 15 days. But the respondents did not make any reply to the ruling
and order. Between these days, law enforcers and officials of authorities concerned including
Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute, market monitoring cell of the commerce ministry
used to conduct drives against the perpetrators.
They also destroyed huge amount of adulterated fruits across the country. But since the extent
of crime did not go down, the court comes with its fresh directives.
The lawyer said unscrupulous traders use chemicals such as carbide to ripen fruits, and also
formalin to elongate their shelf life.
The High Court also asked the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the Customs
Department to monitor land and sea ports and test imported fruits to find out whether they are
free from chemicals.
The HC said the use of chemicals to ripen and preserve fruits is illegal, and ordered the BSTI
and law enforcers to constantly monitor fruit depots across the country to prevent storage or
sale of contaminated fruits.

P a g e | 14

Arsenic phosphorous and the carbide produce acetylene gas


The chemical, it turns out, is Calcium Carbide, and is extremely hazardous to the human body
because it contains traces of arsenic and phosphorous. Once dissolved in water, the carbide
produces acetylene gas. Acetylene gas is an analogue of the natural ripening agents produced
by fruits known as ethylene. Acetylene imitates the ethylene and quickens the ripening
process. In some cases it is only the skin that changes colour, while the fruit itself remains
green and raw. When the carbide is used on very raw fruit, the amount of the chemical needed
to ripen the fruit has to be increased. This results in the fruit becoming even more tasteless,
and possibly toxic.
.

Fish in kitchen markets are stored in formaldehyde (used to preserve dead-bodies)


The chemical fertilizer urea is used in our rice to make it whiter, fish in kitchen markets are
stored in formaldehyde (used to preserve dead-bodies) to keep them fresh-looking, colors and
sweeteners are injected into fruits, and Recent studies by the Food and Nutrition Institute,
University of Dhaka, have also found Escherichia coli (E-coli), Salmonella, and Shigella
bacteria in restaurant food and street food in the city. Eating contaminated food may cause
diarrhea, dysentery and other diseases.

Condensed milk
Condensed milk produced by Bangladeshi manufacturers contained little or no milk and was
in fact condensed vegetable fat, the companies are continuing to supply their spurious product
to the market on the strength of a High Court stay order on legal action against them. Brands
like Starship, Danish, Goalini and Kwality are mostly producing condensed milk, which do
not satisfy the BDS 896: 1979 code of the Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute
(BSTI), said Shamsuzzoha, Information officer of Consumers Association of Bangladesh
Bangladeshs only consumer rights group. From the test conducted by the Public Health
Institute, it was found that these two brands have a bacterial count level of 76,000 and 25,000,
respectively, he said. The maximum count of bacteria in a gram of condensed milk is 10,000.
The Milk and Dairy Product section committee of BSTI finalized the BDS standard for
condensed milk on May 22, 1979. The quality was designed in accordance with the

P a g e | 15

condensed milk manufacturing procedure discovered first by scientist Gail Borden in 1896.
This standard was later approved by the Agriculture and Food Products Divisional Council of
BSTI.

Adulteration of food
Adulteration of food is an act of dishonest tradesmen who intend to make maximum profit
from minimum investment. Random manufacture of adulterated food unsuitable for human
consumption led to a resolve to combat this trend in order to maintain a standard of purity for
the preservation of public health. The legal philosophy for protection of the consumers from
intake of adulterated food articles resulted in the inclusion of some provisions in the Penal
Code, 1860 (Act No. XLV of 1860) making adulteration of food or drink and sale of noxious
food or drink punishable under sections 272, 273,274,275 and 276 of the said Code.
The provisions of the penal Code could not, however, effectively control the trend of
manufacture and sale of adulterated foodstuff. In subsequent years, widespread evil of food
adulteration began to threaten public health. Law Commission in 2006 submitted a report
along with draft bill recommending enhancement of punishment prescribed in sections 272,
273,274,275 and 276 of the Penal Code, 1860. The said recommendation is reiterated hereby.
Adulteration of food articles is an offence under the Pure Food Ordinance, 1959 providing
minor penalties of different kinds. Taking advantage of such minor penalties the unscrupulous
traders started mixing injurious materials with almost every food articles like fruits,
vegetables, fish, meat, flour etc. which necessitated an amendment of the Pure Food
Ordinance, 1959 in 2005 by the Bangladesh Pure Food (Amendment) Act, 2005 widening
definition of adulteration and the scope of the law and also enhancing the punishment of the
offences. Alarming increase of adulteration of foodstuffs created a strong public opinion for
combating the ferocity of the offence. There has been a wide circulation of views for
controlling different kinds of adulteration of foodstuffs. Mobile courts are now vigilant
around the capital and the districts to discover different kinds of food houses, hotels and
restaurants which are found to be selling noxious foodstuffs. Electronic media has been
giving a wide coverage of various forms of adulteration of foodstuffs consumed by the people
at large.

P a g e | 16

Reasons behind to be cheated as a consumer in Bangladesh


Consumers of our country, most of the time, are not aware of the products completely those they
are buying. As a result they get cheated. Consumers are not aware of their rights at all. If the
consumer is wise during purchase / shopping, then they need not to return home with the worry
that they may have been cheated. Some of the factors those help producers to do cheating with
the consumers are discussed belowLack of awareness
Mass people of Bangladesh are unaware of their rights as a consumer. They do not know if the
sellers cheat them, what they should do or where they should go. The reason behind is that
consumers right is still a comparatively new concept to the people of Bangladesh.
Illiteracy
Most of the people in Bangladesh do not know about the existence of their rights as consumer.
One of the main reasons for this is the lack of basic education. They cannot think up to the level
that they can have such rights which would give them protection against adulteration of food,
medicine etc. and the right to get proper service for which they are paying.
Economic Condition
We cannot avoid thinking of the economic condition which does not provide the atmosphere fit
for consumers who are careful and demand quality.
Compromising Attitude
Sometimes we do compromise with the quality of goods bought because of our financial
limitation. If we are incapable of paying the accurate price for the goods we buy, we cannot
expect a high standard of quality for the same.

P a g e | 17

These are the small fractions of problem related to the consumers. However, there are other
problems too. For example, in Bangladesh there is no separate court for consumers rights. Also
the consumers lack proper authority to go to the court to bring action against those who violate
the consumers rights. Therefore, the consumers need to rely upon the government officials
concerned to bring any effective action against the alleged parties. Those alleged parties are also
taking advantage of this vague situation. The corrupt businessmen tend to establish a good
relationship with corrupt government officials who might help them to cheat and exploit the
innocent consumers. Moreover, the BSTI (Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute) is beset
with lots of problems, like it does not have modern equipment and facilities for testing of many
products. Also, the general consumers very often question the efficiency and integrity of the
officials in the BSTI.

Punishments for the Violation of Consumer Rights under various Laws


The various types of punishments under the consumer related Laws of Bangladesh can be
summarized below:

1. Death Penalty for adulteration of food, black marketing, hoarding etc. under the Special
Powers Act, 1974;
2. 10 years imprisonment and/ or two lakh taka fine for manufacturing sub-standard or
prohibited drugs under the Drug Control Ordinance, 1982;
3. 3-years punishments and/ or taka 2-lakh fine under the Consumer Rights Protection Act,
2009 for adulteration of food or medicine;
4. Compensation 5-times than the actual loss under the Consumer Rights Protection Act,
2009;
5. 4-years imprisonment and/ or 1-lakh taka fine under the BSTI Ordinance, 1985;
6. Tk.50 thousand as fine and/or rigorous imprisonment for one year under the Pure Food
Ordinances for sub-standard food items or giving false warranty etc;
7. 6-months imprisonment or one thousand taka fine under the Penal Code, 1860 for
adulteration of food or drug or sale of adulterer food or drug. For fraudulent use of false

P a g e | 18

weight or measure of length or capacity one year imprisonment or fine or with both. The
same punishment can be imposed for an offence relating to trade mark and property
mark. For offering prize in connection with trade as an inducement, the offender may be
punished for 6-months imprisonment or with fine or both.
8. 2-years imprisonment and 10000 Tk. fine for the violation of Standards of Weights and
Measures Ordinance, 1982;
9. 3-years imprisonment and/ or 1-thousand tk. fine for the violation of the Control of
Essential Commodities Act, 1956;
10. 2-years imprisonment and/ or 50,000 taka fine under the Breast-Milk Substitute
(Regulation of Marketing) Ordinance, 1984 if any person make, exhibit, distribute,
circulate, display or publish any advertisement promoting the use of any breast-milk
substitute or implying or designing to create the belief or impression that breast-milk
substitute feeding is equivalent or superior to breast-milk feeding.

Other Measures of punishments:


1. Forfeiture of goods or products or commodities or articles;
2. Destruction of goods attached;
3. Sale of attached Goods;
4. Arrest & detention.

Responsibilites of the consumer


Use the product safely, following all safety instructions and remaining alert for future
precautions.
Choose vigilantly at a fair price.
Make the effort to seek compensation for a wrong.
Make choices that minimize the environmental impact of your purchase on others.
Consume in a sustainable manner, so as not to prevent others from meeting their own needs.

P a g e | 19

Recommendations for an Effective Consumer Rights Protection Mechanism


The protection of the consumer rights is purely a legal issue. There should have been numerous
organizations for the proper implementation of various statutes relating to the consumers rights.
A special force may be constituted to monitor the market price of various goods and also the
services provided by various organizations in different sectors e.g. hospitals, transports etc. The
number of Mobile or Circuit Courts can be increased by giving special jurisdictions to punish the
offenders on the spot.

There should have been frequent monitoring and checking or examining or testing of the quality
and standard of a good in conformity with its labeling and the provisions of Law applied thereof.
The examination must be conducted by the experts using modern technological equipments. In
recent times, a serious public debate was on the melamine in baby food. The Bangladeshi experts
failed to come in a consensus on the issue and we finally depended upon a foreign expert report.
The following measures can be taken
1. Specific people who will be engaged in production of specific food or fishing items
should be given proper training regarding production, packaging, exporting etc.
2. For safety measures food and fishing items are to be testified by the specific agencies to
maintain global standard.
3. Introduction scientific instruments/equipment for securing safety of food and fishing
items and its qualities.
4. Safety measures should to take such as from poisoning, insecticides, pest control, impure
water supply, hazardous waste management etc by the Government to maintain quality of
foods.
5. Planning of a consumer education programmed.
6. Monitoring of the mechanism whereby prices and rates are fixed on the consumer goods
and services market.
7. Surveillance of practices or agreements jeopardizing the competitive structure of a
market sector.

P a g e | 20

8. Protection against one-sided contract terms and risks of economic damage.


9. The Government machineries from practical point of view are very weak in enforcing
consumers rights. As the Government machineries do not work smoothly, so nongovernment organizations should come forward with a program of helping the
consumers. In order to co-ordinate the activities of these organizations it is necessary to
hold regular meetings and to provide legal aids and assistances to the consumers through
a central unit.

10. Strong political commitment should be created for the protection of the consumers from the
corrupt businessmen, traders and industrialists.

11. There must be an effective protection of consumers against excessive examples of


imbalance in their relations with suppliers.
12. Consumers must be given real opportunities to defend their rights and obtain redress for
any damage incurred.
13. Consumers must be involved, through consultation and representation, in decision
making, not only by public authorities but actually within companies which affect their
interests. Participation by consumers in the law making process is an essential factor in
the development of specific consumer law.

14. Education on consumer problems needs to be organized, so that every citizen is in a


position to make active use of the legal aid which it is intended to make available to him.

In Bangladesh, producers and consumers are very closely connected as territorially they live side
by side. This might be one of the reasons why in Bangladesh tractability issues in food and
vegetable sectors are not that relevant for any concerned parties. As a result we dont see any
major rules and regulations in this area. For Bangladeshis the EU rules and regulations might
appear as the trade barriers because of their detailed and precise character on tractability. In the

P a g e | 21

areas of General and Specific Hygiene Requirements Bangladesh should and can adopt the EU
regulations to ensure a better situation with regard to food safety.

The general public, whether they be educated or not, remain in darkness with regard to the
consumer laws. In order to create awareness among the public at large it is necessary to hold
regular conferences, seminars, workshops, meeting etc and to publish advertisements in the print
and electronic media.

Conclusion
Laws are accumulation of some rules and regulations by sovereign authority. But success of laws
depends on who has the power of enforcing them. Appropriate enforcement of a law can make
people do the right thing. So, if certain people, those have the power, enforce consumer right
protection law in a right manner, strong-handed, and effectively then all the people of the
country will get benefited. They will get the quality products and services at cheap price because
of the market competition. As a result, we have to import fewer products from the other countries
at a high cost we may also export those product instead of importing. So, economy of the country
will boost up and it run properly. For the betterment of the whole society, now it is important to
enforce the consumer protection law properly and this country a better place to live.

P a g e | 22

References

List of relevant statutes on consumer rights:


1. The Consumer Rights Protection Act, 2009

2. Bangladesh Standard Testing Institute Ordinance (BSTI), 1985

3. The Customs Act, 1969

4. The Special Powers Act, 1974

5. The Penal Code, 1860

6. The Drug Control Ordinance, 1982

7. The Breast-milk Substitute (Regulation of Marketing) Ordinance, 1984

8. The Fish and Fish Products Ordinance, 1983

9. The Pure Food Ordinance, 1959

10. The Trade marks Act, 2009

P a g e | 23

Books:
1. M. Humayun Kabir Chowdhury, et al, Consumer Perceived Value Formation in
Bangladesh: A latent Structure Approach, ASA University Review, vol.1, Issue No.01,
pp-1-4
2. Mizanur Rahman, Consumer Protection in Bangladesh: Law and Practice (1994) 17(3)
Journal of Consumer Policy 349.
3. Ahamuduzzaman, Consumer Protection Law, Books 4 U, July, 2009,Ch-Four, pp-123124

Encyclopedia:

1. Encyclopedia Britannica
2. Encarta Encyclopedia
Websites:

1.

http://mohammadrayhanuddin.blogspot.com/2011/11/shortcomings-relating-toconsumer.html

2.

https://bangladesheconomy.wordpress.com/category/consumer-rights/

3.

http://www.slideshare.net/

4.

http://boi.gov.bd/index.php/component/businesslaws/?view=lawdetails&law_id=1113

5.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01018968

6.

http://www.dncrp.gov.bd

7.

http://www.consumersinternational.org/our-work/consumer-protection-and-law/keyprojects/bangladesh-project/

8.

http://www.dhakachamber.com/economic_policy/Consumer_Laws_Final

9.

http://www.lawyersnjurists.com/articles-reports-journals/law-and-ethics