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Consumer Protection Act (CPA/COPRA) 1987

The Consumer Protection Act 1986, came into effect from 15.04.1987. It is applicable for the entire country except J & K The objective of the act is to provide the consumer a simple, speedy and inexpensive way of redressal of grievances in case of any deficiency / defect in the goods or services bought / used by him for a consideration. Who is a consumer? The one who purchases the goods or avails the service for a consideration, (or one who uses the goods with the approval of the buyer) Who is not a consumer? 1. One who purchase for resale. 2. buying goods for commercial purpose 3. receiving goods/services for free 4. enjoying personal services on a contract Who can file a case? A complaint can be filed under this act by 1. Consumer as defined by the act 2. any recognized consumer association 3. one or more consumers on behalf of numerous consumers having same interest 4. Central/State Government Which will constitute a lapse? a. b. c. d. e. f. Restrictive Trade Practices Unfair Trade Practices Defect in Goods Deficiency in services Charging excess price than displayed Supplying goods which are hazardous to life

Complaint Mechanism 1. Three Tier Judicial Fora a. District Forum: One president and two members out of which one must be a woman. It can entertain complaints upto Rs. 20 lakhs. The forum will accept complaints only if (i) the cause of action arise wholly or partially within local limits of its jurisdiction. (ii) One or more opposite party resides/carries business or has a branch within local limits of its jurisdiction. b. State Commission: A state commission will have a president and two members out of which one must be a woman.Person who is / has been a judge of a High Court can be appointed as a president. State Commission (i) has original jurisdiction to entertain complaints exceeding Rs. 20 lakhs but not exceeding Rs.100 lakhs. (ii) It has appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals against orders of any District Forum within the state (iii) It has supervisory jurisdiction to call for all records with respect to any consumer dispute which is pending before or decided by any district forum & to pass appropriate orders.

c. National Commission: The national commission shall consist of a president and four other members out of which one must be woman. Person who is/has been a judge of a Supreme Court can be appointed as president. It has (i) original jurisdiction where the goods or services or compensation claimed exceeds Rs.100 lakhs. (ii) It has jurisdiction to hear appeals against the orders of any state commission. (iii) It has also jurisdiction to call for records with respect to any consumer dispute which is pending before or decided by any state commission & to pass appropriate orders.

2. Time limit: A complaint can be filed within 2 years from the date in which the
cause of action has arisen. Complaints can be filed after this period if the commission/forum overlooks such delay after being satisfied with the genuineness of the delay. The complaints should be disposed off within a maximum period of three months by the district forum. 3. Application form: The complaint can be given in person or by post. It should have the name and address of the complainant, particulars of the opposite party, nature of deficiency, relief claimed and limitation period or any application to condone delay. 4. Penalties in case of non-compliance of orders: Where the opposite party or the complainant does not comply with the orders, he can be punished with imprisonment from minimum one month to maximum 3 years or with fine minimum of Rs. 2000 to maximum of Rs. 10000 or both 5. Appeal: District Forum State Commission (Deposit of 50 % of the amount decreed or Rs. 25000 whichever is less) State Commission National Commission (Deposit of 50 % of the amount decreed or Rs. 35000 whichever is less) National Commission Supreme Court (Deposit of 50 % of the amount decreed or Rs. 50000 whichever is less) 6. Time limit for appeal : 30 days from the date of the order Related to Banking: Which are considered as deficiency? a. Undue delay in advising, disposal of credit proposal (sanction/refusal) b. Sanctioning of loan against term deposits without getting discharge from all the depositors. c. Auctioning of jewels especially sacred /sentimental jewels for a very trivial amount of dues d. Withdrawal of credit limits without proper notice and valid reasons e. Retention of pledged jewels after closing the accounts under general lein for other debts which are adequately secured. f. Wrong calculation of interest g. Undue delay in settlement of claims in the accounts of deceased depositors. h. Setting of the accounts without proper / prior notice. Which are not considered as deficiency? a. Banks not sanctioning loans, not continuing, enhancing the credit facilities as banks have discretion to sanction / reject a credit facility b. Suspension of banking business due to strike by bank employees c. Fixing interest / service charges as per RBI/IBA guidelines