Consumer protection measures European measures for consumer protection aim to protect the health, the safety and

the economic and legal interests of European consumers, wherever they live or travel and wherever they are buying in the EU. Several areas are subject to EU regulation in this regard, such as drugs, GMOs, tobacco industry, cosmetics, toys or explosives. Legal basis Articles 114 and 169 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Objectives

To ensure that all consumers in the Union, wherever they may live, travel or shop in the EU, enjoy a high common level of protection against risks and threats to their safety and economic interests.

To increase the ability of consumers to defend their own interests. Achievements A.Protection of consumers’ health and safety 1.Community actions in the field of public health and tobacco (5.5.3) 2.Foodstuffs (5.5.5) 3.Medicinal products (5.5.4) 4.General Product Safety System Directive 2001/95/EC provides a General Product Safety System whereby any consumer product put on the market, that is not covered by specific sector legislation, must still respect certain standards. Distributors and manufacturers must provide consumers with the necessary information, take the necessary measures to avoid safety threats, monitor the safety of products and provide the documents necessary to trace the products. If a product poses a serious threat calling for quick action, the relevant Member State must immediately inform the Commission via RAPEX, a system for the rapid exchange of information between Member States and the Commission. The Commission has published on February 2013 a package on Consumer Product Safety and Market Surveillance with the objective to review the current system.

5.Safety of cosmetic products, explosives for civilian use and toys The Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC and all its amendments and adaptations were replaced by the EU Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009. It ensures the safety of cosmetic products, as well as the protection of consumers by providing for ingredient inventories and informative labelling. By 11 July 2013, most provisions of the new regulation will be applicable. Safety requirements for e xplosives for civilian useand similar products (such as explosives and pyrotechnic articles) are set out in Directives 93/15/EEC, 2008/43/EC, 2004/57/EC and Decision 2004/388/EC. The directives do not apply to explosives for military or police use and munitions. Toy safety requirements (e.g. mechanical danger, toxicity and flammability, toys in food) are stipulated by Directive 2009/48/EC, The Standardisation Committee (CEN) revises and develops new standards. Toys that meet these standards bear the „CE‟ mark. 6.European Exchange of Information and Surveillance Systems Decisions 93/683 and 93/580 established a European Home and Leisure Accident Surveillance System (EHLASS), an information system on accidents at home and during leisure activities, and a Community System for the Exchange of Information between Member States on the dangers arising from the use of consumer products; with the exception of pharmaceuticals and products for trade use. B.Protection of consumers’ economic interests 1.Information society services, electronic commerce and electronic and cross-border payments The E-commerce Directive 2000/31/EC covers the liability of service providers established in the EU for services (between enterprises, between enterprises and consumers, and those provided free to the recipient which are financed, for example, by advertising income or sponsoring), online electronic transactions (interactive telesales of goods and services and online purchasing centres in particular), and online activities, such as newspapers, databases, financial services, professional services (solicitors, doctors, accountants and estate agents), entertainment services (video on demand), direct marketing and advertising and Internet access services. Directive 97/5/EC on cross-border credit transfers and Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 ensure that charges for cross-border pay m ents in euros (cross-border credit transfers, crossborder electronic payment transactions and cross-border cheques) are the same as those for payments in that currency within a Member State.

ethical considerations (in particular the protection of minors — programmes broadcasted in un-encoded form are to be preceded by an acoustic warning or identified by a visual symbol) and compliance with criteria concerning advertisements for alcoholic beverages and teleshopping. Advertising of tobacco and medicines. and on after-sale guarantees. the provisions of the new Consumer Rights Directive 2011/83/EU will apply. via the press and post.2. the sale of goods and guarantees. on contracts negotiated away from business premises. on the sale of goods and guarantees.Unfair commercial practices. This directive covers and revises the four directives on distance selling contracts. Directive 97/7/EC (as amended) and Directive 85/577 (as amended) protect the consumer in respect of contracts negotiated at a distance (e.TV without frontiers Directive 89/552/EEC (as amended by Directive 2007/65/EC) ensures the free m ove m ent of broadcasting services and preserves certain public interest objectives. in respect of which the consumer receives a visit from or takes part in an excursion organised by a trader). misleading . 4. the right of reply. such as cultural diversity. The Unfair Contract Terms Directive 93/13/EEC regulates standard term contracts. home computer. The provisions relate to.Distance selling contracts and contracts negotiated away from business premises. consumer protection and the protection of minors. contrary to good faith. Events of major importance for society are to be broadcast freely in un-encoded form. offered without the express wish of the consumer.g.Directive 99/44/EC (on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees) harmonises national provisions on the principle of product conformity vis-à-vis the contract. „sharp practices‟ (such as pressure selling. even if exclusive rights have been purchased by pay-TV channels. unfair terms in contracts. it causes a significant imbalance in the parties‟ rights and obligations. programmes involving pornography or extreme violence are prohibited. inter alia. 3. to the detriment of the consumer. A contractual term not individually negotiated (particularly in the context of a pre-formulated standard contract) shall be regarded as unfair if. and on unfair terms in contracts.Directive 2002/65/EC regulates the distance marketing of consumer financial services.e. fax and telephone) and those signed away from business premises (i. comparative and misleading advertising Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial (business-to-consumer) practices prohibits misleading and aggressive practices. For contracts concluded after 13 June 2014. television.

e.marketing and unfair advertising). The injured consumer seeking for compensation needs to prove the damage. and practices which use coercion as a means of selling. Creditors have to use the same Standard European Consumer Credit Information. on timeshare. long-term holiday products. resale and exchange.Package holidays and timeshare properties Directive 90/314/EEC protects consumers purchasing package holidays within the EU. 7. 6. coercion and undue influence) and a „blacklist‟ of unfair commercial practices. while the creditor can ask for a fair and objectively justified compensation.Consumer credit Directive 2008/48/EC aims to ensure uniformity in the level of protection of rights enjoyed by consumers in the single market. Consumers are allowed to withdraw from the credit agreement without giving any reason within a period of 14 days after the conclusion of the contract. They also have the possibility to repay their credit early at any time. establishes the principle of objective liability or liability without fault of the producer in cases of damage caused by a defective product. It also lays down the conditions under which comparative advertising is permitted. a form containing all information about the contract. Directive 2008/122/EC. i. the Annual Percentage Rate of Charge. including the cost of the credit.Directive 98/6/EC on unit prices obliges traders to indicate sale prices and prices per measurement unit in order to improve and simplify comparisons of price and quantity between products on the market. (irrespective of the place of purchase or sale). It provides for a comprehensible set of information to be given to consumers in good time before the contract is concluded and also as part of the credit agreement. without costs.Liability for defective products and price indication Directive 85/374/EEC. a defect in the product and a causal link. covers the obligation of information on the constituent parts of the contract and the right to withdraw without giving any reason within 14 calendar days. It includes criteria to determine aggressive commercial practice (harassment. Directive 2006/114/EC concerning misleading and comparative advertising controls misleading advertisement. 5. The directive also . modified by Directive 99/34/EEC. The Communication from the Commission of November 2012 proposes to review Directive 2006/114/EC in order to tackle the loopholes of the text and focus on the problem of misleading directory companies. within three years.

9.Protection of consumers’ legal interests 1. C.g. Reco m m endation 98/257/EC. Regulation (EEC) No 2409/92 introduced common criteria and procedures governing the establishment of the air fares and air cargo rates charged by air carriers on air services within the Community. Regulation (EEC) No 2299/89 (as amended) on computerised reservation systems (CRS) for air transport products established obligations for the system vendor (to allow any carrier on an equal basis) and for the carriers (to communicate with equal care and timeless information to all systems). which can be opened.Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures and injunctions ADR are out-of-court settlement mechanisms that help consumers and traders solve conflicts. 8. mostly through a third party. arbitrator or ombudsman. e. following the criminal acts of 11 September 2001. involving the use of standard forms. D ecision 20/2004/ECand the Council Resolution of 25 May 2000 lay down the principles to be followed in ADR proceedings.SOLVIT (internal market) and the European judicial network in civil and commercial matters. This network also works together with other European networks. at the competent national courts level. cancellation or long flight delays.European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Network or ‘Euroguichets’) The ECC-Network gives information and assistance to consumers within the context of crossborder transactions. A provisional agreement of Parliament and Council was reached on 12 March . and on air carrier liability (passenger and baggage) in the event of accidents. in order to protect the collective interests of consumers. a mediator. available in all EU languages.contains a checklist for pre-contractual information. aimed at guaranteeing the single consumer with cheaper and faster remedies. against infringements made by commercial operators from other countries. notably FIN-NET (financial). Directive 98/27 on injunctions for the protection of consumers‟ interests (as modified) harmonises existing EU and national law and. introduces the „action for injunctions‟.Air transport Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and (EC) No 2027/97 (as amended) established common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding. Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 (as amended) introduced common rules in the field of civil aviation security standards.

since 29 December 2005. c. OBJECTIVES 1. using appropriate legal instruments such as injunctions. recognizing that consumers often face imbalances in economic terms. To facilitate production and distribution patterns responsive to the needs and desires of consumers. To assist countries in curbing abusive business practices by all enterprises at the national and international levels which adversely affect consumers. Taking into account the interests and needs of consumers in all countries. d. educational levels. . To facilitate the developing of independent consumer groups. To assist countries in achieving or maintaining adequate protection for their population as consumers. equitable and sustainable economic and social development. e. b. I. as well as the importance of promoting just.2013 on two proposals for legislation: a directive on ADR and a regulation on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). in the case of intra-Community infringements. To further international co-operation in the field of consumer protection.Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 established a network of national authorities responsible for the effective enforcement of EC consumer protection law and. To encourage the development of market conditions which provide consumers with greater choice at lower prices. 2. f. and bargaining power. g. these guidelines for consumer protection have the following objectives: a. obliged them to cooperate in guaranteeing the enforcement of EC law and to stop any infringement.European judicial network in civil and commercial matters and obligation for national authorities to cooperate Decision 2001/470/EC established a European judicial network to simplify the life of citizens facing cross-border litigations by improving the judicial cooperation mechanisms between Member States in civil and commercial matters and by providing them with practical information to facilitate their access to justice. To encourage high levels of ethical conduct for those engaged in the production and distribution of goods and services to consumers. particularly those in developing countries. and bearing in mind that consumers should have the right of access to non-hazardous products.

Governments should provide or maintain adequate infrastructure to develop. d. Governments should develop. In so doing. taking into account the guidelines set out below. All enterprises should obey the relevant laws and regulations of the countries in which they do business. (Hereinafter references to international standards in the guidelines should be viewed in the context of this paragraph. Availability of effective consumer redress. e. 2. and bearing in mind the costs and benefits of proposed measures. each Government must set its own priorities for the protection of consumers in accordance with the economic and social circumstances of the country. particularly the rural population. strengthen or maintain a strong consumer protection policy. GENERAL PRINCIPLES 1. implement and monitor consumer protection policies. The legitimate needs which the guidelines are intended to meet are the following: a. f.) 5. The promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers. They should also conform to the appropriate provisions of international standards for consumer protection to which the competent authorities of the country in question have agreed.II. Freedom to form consumer and other relevant groups or organizations and the opportunity of such organizations to present their views in decision-making processes affecting them. . The potential positive role of universities and public and private enterprises in research should be considered when developing consumer protection policies. Access of consumers to adequate information to enable them to make informed choices according to individual wishes and needs. Consumer Education. c. b. Special care should be taken to ensure that measures for consumer protection are implemented for the benefit of all sectors of the population. 3. and the needs of its population. The protection of consumers from hazards to their health and safety. 4.

III. Consumer organizations should be encouraged to monitor adverse practices. Government should. Government should intensify their efforts to prevent practices which are damaging to the economic interests of consumers through ensuring that manufacturers. They also seek to achieve the goals of satisfactory production and performance standards. national or international standards. in particular suppliers. . if a product is found to be seriously defective and/or to constitute a substantial and severe hazard even when properly used. Physical Safety 1. the consumer should be adequately compensated. 3. manufacturers and/or distributors should recall it and replace or modify it. the public without delay. voluntary standards and the maintenance of safety records to ensure that products are safe for either intended or normally foreseeable use. if it is not possible to do this within a reasonable period of time. exporters. importers. Government should adopt or encourage the adoption of appropriate measures. 2. such as the adulteration of foods. as appropriate. 2. Consumers should be instructed in the proper use of goods and should be informed of the risks involved in intended or normally foreseeable use. 4. or substitute another product for it. Government should also consider ways of ensuring that consumers are properly informed of such hazards. Appropriate policies should ensure that if manufactures or distributors become aware of unforeseen hazards after products are placed on the market. where appropriate. Those responsible for bringing goods to the market. false or misleading claims in marketing and service frauds. they should notify the relevant authorities and. Appropriate policies should ensure that goods produced by manufactures are safe for either intended or normally foreseeable use. distributors and others involved in the provision of goods and services adhere to established laws and mandatory standards. should ensure that while in their care these goods are not rendered through improper handling or storage and that while in their care they do not become hazardous through improper handling or storage. fair business which could adversely affect the economic interests of consumers and the exercise of choice in the market-place. Government policies should seek to enable consumers to obtain optimum benefit from their economic resources. adopt policies under which. safety regulations. Promotion and protection of consumers' economic interests 1. B. retailers and the like (hereinafter referred to as "distributors"). including legal systems. adequate distribution methods. Vital safety information should be conveyed to consumers by internationally understandable symbols wherever possible. GUIDELINES A.

Similar policies should apply to the provision of services. Governments should regularly review legislation pertaining to weights and measures and assess the adequacy of the machinery for its enforcement. strengthen or maintain. voluntary and other. exclusion of essential rights in contracts. formulate or promote the elaboration and implementation of standards. and unconscionable conditions of credit by sellers. Promotional marking and sales practices should be guided by the principle of fair treatment of consumers and should meet legal requirements. Government should develop. National standards and . as the case may be. of codes of marketing and other business practices to ensure adequate consumer protection. Governments should.3. Government should adopt or maintain policies that make clear the responsibility of the producer and to ensure that goods meet reasonable demands of durability. Government should encourage all concerned to participate in the free flow of accurate information on all aspects of consumer products. 9. and are suited to the purpose for which they are intended. Consumers should be protected from such contractual abuses as one-side standard contracts. In this condition. as well as measures to ensure that the information provided is accurate. 10. 8. Voluntary agreements may also be established jointly by business. see to it that manufacturers and/or retailers ensure adequate availability of reliable after-sales service and spare parts. in co-operation with consumer organization. measures relating to the control of restrictive and other abusive business practices which may be harmful to consumers. 11. Governments should be guided by their commitment to the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 35/63 of 5 December 1980. 4. where appropriate. Governments should. at the national and international levels for the safety and quality of goods and services and give them appropriate publicity. C. 6. within their own national context. as appropriate. utility and reliability. 5. 7. This requires the provision of the information necessary to enable consumers to take informed and independent decisions. Standards for the safety and quality of consumer goods and services 1. Governments should encourage fair and effective competition in order to provide consumers with the greater range of choice among products and services at the lowest cost. and that seller should see that these requirements are met. consumer organizations and other interested parties. Governments should. encourage the formulation and implementation by business. These codes should receive adequate publicity. including means for the enforcement of such measures.

3. where appropriate. b. quality and performance of essential consumer goods and services. fair. where possible. as well as information about them. Education and information programmes 1. to generally accepted international standards. consider: a. where appropriate. inexpensive and accessible. as appropriate. Governments should develop or encourage the development of general consumer education and information and information programmes. Where a standard lower than the generally accepted international standard is being applied because of local economic conditions. in order to ensure that they conform. bearing in mind the cultural traditions of the . Governments should. Government should establish or maintain legal and/or administrative measures to enable consumers or. Governments should encourage and ensure the availability of facilities to test and certify the safety. 3. including advisory services and informal complaints procedures. Distribution facilities for essencial consumer goods and services 1. D. 2. Encouraging the establishment of consumer co-operatives and related trading activities. 2. Adopting or maintaining policies to ensure the efficient distribution of goods and services to consumers. every effort should be made to raise that standard as soon as possible. Measures enabling consumers to obtain redress 1. as could be the case particularly in rural areas. especially in rural areas. Such policies could include assistance for the creation of adequate storage and retail facilities in rural centres. Information on available redress and other dispute-resolving procedures should be made available to consumers. specific policies should be considered to ensure the distribution of essential goods and services where this distribution is endangered. relevant organizations to obtain redress through formal or informal procedures that are expeditious. incentives for consumer self-help and better control of the conditions under which essential goods and services are provided in rural areas. expeditious and informal manner. Government should encourage all enterprise to resolve consumer disputes in a fair. which can provide assistance to consumers.regulations for product safety and quality should be reviewed from time to time. and to establish voluntary mechanisms. Such procedure should take particular account of the needs of low-income consumers. F. E.

Governments should encourage consumer organizations and other interested groups. credit conditions and availability of basic necessities. and f. In advancing consumer interests. d. prevention of food-borne diseases ad food adulteration. 2. prices. including the media. quality. . Information on weights and measures. 5. pollution and environment. where appropriate. Health. Measures relating to specific areas 1. to undertake education and information programmes. 7. and agencies and organizations for consumer protection. how to obtain redress.people concerned. and conscious of their rights and responsibilities. G. water and pharmaceuticals. Consumer education should. including low-income consumers and those with low or non-existent literacy levels. give priority to areas of essential concern for the health of the consumer. adequate and information. particularly in developing countries. e. particularly for the benefit of low-income consumer groups in rural and urban areas. develop or encourage the development of consumer information programmes in the mass media. as appropriate. to enable them to participate in carrying out consumer information and education programmes. 4. Governments should. Business should. Governments should organize or encourage training programmes for educators. Bearing in mind the need to reach rural consumers and illiterate consumers. Policies should be adopted or maintained for product quality control. c. Relevant legislation. mass media professionals and consumer advisers. Governments should. Government guidelines in regard to specific areas should be developed in the context of the provisions of this document. The aim of such programmes should be to enable people to act as discriminating consumers. special attention should be given to the needs of disadvantage consumers. preferably as a component of existing subjects. As appropriate. Consumer education and information programmes should cover such important aspects of consumer protection as the following: a. become an integral part of the basic curriculum of the educational system. where appropriate. where appropriate. Product hazards. as well as education and research programmes in these areas. undertake or participate in factual and relevant consumer education and information programmes. Product labelling. In developing such programmes. such as food. in both rural and urban areas. capable of making an informed choice of goods and services. 6. nutrition. b. 3.

other generally accepted international food standards. to their use. Governments should take into account the need of all consumers for food security and should support and. Pharmaceuticals. within the goals and targets set for the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade. Governments should develop or maintain adequate standards. inter alia procurement. develop or improve food safety measures. drawing on the work done by the World Health Organization. taking into account such relevant health and environmental information s Governments may require producers to provide and include in the labelling of products. including. inter alia. such as pesticides and chemicals. as appropriate. to promote the use of international nonproprietary names (INNs) for drugs. production. formulate. adopt standards from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization Codex Alimentarius or. registration systems and the availability of reliable information on pharmaceuticals. maintain or strengthen national policies to improve the supply. safety criteria. inspection and evaluation mechanisms. as far as possible. CONSUMER RIGHTS The importance of consumer rights lies in their enforceability. 4. food standards and dietary requirements and effective monitoring. 5. production and storage. in their absence. Measures should also be taken. . licensing arrangements. In so doing. 3. Government should take special account of the work and recommendations of the World Health Organization on pharmaceuticals. There must be an equal thrust on education of all citizens on the consumer rights available to them and the mechanisms through which these rights. In addition to the priority areas indicated above. When formulating national policies and plans with regard to food. it is not enough to have dynamic consumer laws in the country. Governments should.2. Water. quality and technology. For relevant products. Governments should adopt appropriate measures in other areas. which in turn depends largely on level of consumer education and awareness. the need for education programmes and the importance of community participation. if violated can be redressed. Due regard should be paid to the choice of appropriate levels of service. distribution. distribution and quality of water for drinking. the use of that organization's Certification Scheme on the Quality of Pharmaceutical Products Moving in International Commerce and other aged. where relevant. Governments should maintain. provisions and appropriate regulatory systems for ensuring the quality and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals through integrated national drug policies which could address. in regard. In other words. Food.

the Consumer Protection Act. Moreover.alia include: (a) The right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property. 1986 One of the most important milestones in the area of consumer protection/consumer movement in the country has been the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act. 1986. (d) The right to be heard and to be assured that consumers interests will receive due consideration at appropriate fora. quantity. wherever possible to access to variety of goods and services at competitive prices. Hence. traders and service providers with the knowledge of market and manipulative skills often attempt to exploit the consumers. standard and price of goods or services. the increase in population has resulted in enormous pendency and delay in disposal of cases in the civil courts. in spite of the existence of various provisions of different laws for protecting their interests. (c) The right to be assured. 1986 was enacted to .The rights of consumer which are being sought to be promoted and protected through the legislative mandate available under the Consumer Protection Act. purity. and (f) The right to consumer education LEGISLATIVE MEASURES ON CONSUMER PROTECTION CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT. potency. . (e) The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. This Act has been necessitated because the wellorganized sectors of manufacturers. 1986 inter. (b) The right to be informed about the quality. as the case may be to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.

Consumer Protection Act has been in operation for about 25 years. still leaving scope for further improvements. whether private. The Salient Features of the Act are as under: (i) The Act provides for establishing three-tier consumer dispute redressal machinery at the national. (v) The Act also provides for setting up of Consumer Protection Councils at the Central. A number of deficiencies and shortcoming in respect of its operation have come to light thereby requiring Amendments on three occasions. (iv) The Act provides for relief of a specific nature and also for compensation to the consumer as appropriate. (ii) It applies to all goods and services. public or any person. It is one of the most progressive and comprehensive pieces of legislation and is umbrella legislation covering all goods and services. CONSUMER GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL Consumers need an inexpensive and quick grievance redressal mechanism to ensure that manufacturers and service providers are accountable for the price and . . (iii) It covers all sectors. state and district levels. (vi) The provisions of the Act are in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force. which are advisory bodies to promote and protect the rights of the consumers.better protect the interests of consumers. State and District levels.

electricity. To ensure speedy disposal of cases. State Government advised to avoid any . it is necessary to provide several methods of grievance redressal including those which are available in accordance with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act . banking. It also provides for a threetier structure of the National and State Commissions and District Forums for speedy resolution of consumer disputes. The provisions of this Act covers „goods as well as services‟. insurance. Accordingly. telephone.quality that the consumers are entitled to. If. . the consumer is not satisfied by the decision of the District Forum. medical treatment etc. out of 38.221 cases (almost 91%) have been disposed off (Annexure-II & III). At present there are 632 District Forums.73.772 cases filed in consumer fora at three-tier level since inception. 35 State Commissions with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission(NCDRC) at the apex (Annexure-I). 35. 1986 enables the ordinary consumers to secure less expensive and often speedy redressal of their grievances. The Act mandates establishment of Consumer Protection Council at the Centre as well in each States and District. As per information made available by NCDRC. he can appeal to the State Commission and against the order of State Commission a consumer can appeal in the National Commission. housing. with a view to promoting the consumer awareness. The services are in the nature of transport. Consumer Protection Act. The goods are those which are manufactured or produced or sold to consumers through whole sellers and retailers.24.

appointing persons to preside over State Commissions/District Forums. Chennai.75 crores has been released to NIC for activities to be undertaken under CONFONET Project in the XIth Plan. Act no. Under the scheme of “Strengthening Consumer Fora” (SCF). Under this scheme. It aimed to plug loopholes and enlarge . 2011 Consumer Protection Act was earlier amended thrice by Act no. The scheme has been extended during 11th Plan period with a total outlay of Rs. So far National Commission has held Circuit Bench sitting at Hyderabad. During the year 2011-12 an amount of Rs. Ahmadabad and Bhopal.delay in appointment of President and Members in Consumer Fora. Some of the State Commissions also held Lok Adalats for speedy disposal of the cases. the Act was again amended to address the inadequacies in the coverage of the main Act.25. In order to dispose of the pending cases. Ernakulam. Amendment made in 1991 was mainly to incorporate provisions for the quorum of District Forum.34 of 1991. The project is being implemented by the National Information centre (NIC) on a turnkey basis. Pune. Scheme of Computerization and Computer Networking of Consumer Fora (CONFONET) was launched in March 2005. the Consumer Fora at all the three-tiers throughout the country were to be fully computerised to enable access of information and quicker disposal of cases. in case of absence of President to enable the court function uninterruptedly.62 of 2002. Bengaluru. . CONSUMER PROTECTION (AMENDMENT) BILL. In 1993. Circuit Benches from National Commission frequently visits the State. financial assistance is provided to the States/Union Territories for strengthening infrastructure of building as well as nonbuilding assets (Annexure-IV).0.50 of 1993 and Act no.69 crores. Kolkata.

2012. Revised proposed amendments were re-circulated in 2009 and in light of the comments received on the draft proposal.2011 . . 2010.12.12. concerned Central Ministries and NCDRC in July 2006. A number of proposed amendments were circulated to all State Governments. . in July 2004 a Working Group was set up to examine the provision of the Act and consider relevant amendment to make the Act more meaningful. In 2002. functional and vibrant. strengthening them with more powers.12. In meantime some fresh additional comments of the Department of Financial Services were received on the proposed sections regarding unfair trade practice and unfair contract. The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 16. The main objectives of the proposed Bill are :(i) Widening the scope and amplifying the provisions of the Act. As a pro-active measure. enhancing the capability of redressal agencies. (ii) Facilitating quicker disposal of complaints. the Department of Consumer Affairs in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice formulated “Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill. 2011. The Committee Report was presented in Lok Sabha on 19. The Bill was referred to Standing Committee on Food. These changes were got approved by the Ministry of Law and Justice and formed part of the draft proposal of Consumer Protection (Amemdment) Bill. Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution on 26.2011. Act was again amended to facilitate quicker disposal of complaints. Lok Sabha streamlining the procedure and widening the scope of the Act to make it more functional and effective.the scope of areas covered and interest more power to the redressal agencies under the Act.

(iv) Strengthening penal provisions/enforcement orders of Consumer For. The Committee also recommended Ministry to effectively implement consumer related programmes and policies in close co-ordination with the State Governments in the interest of consumers. Active participation of State Governments. Future Roadmap As per the Strategic Plan of the Department of Consumer Affairs. to spread awareness about consumer rights. It also draws attention towards strong need to spread awareness in order to educate the consumer about their rights as provided under the Act. duties and responsibilities and to promote consumer welfare by strengthening consumer movement in the country. Strict parameters regarding . A need for updation of the quality of goods and standards of services provided to consumers so as to conform to the international standard is also stressed upon.(iii) Rationalising the qualifications and procedure of selection of the Presidents and Members of Consumer Fora. academic and research institutions. schools and voluntary organizations will be sought to create a vibrant consumer movement in the country. The Standing Committee Report on above Bill observed that a cooperative approach between Central and State Governments will result in uniform implementation of consumer protection laws and rules across all jurisdictions. Committee recommended that Consumer Fora should be given power to grant punitive damages of not less than five times of the loss or compensation awarded to aggrieved consumer by the defaulting Companies . the vision is to protect the rights and interests of consumers.

(iii) Of recent there has been derogation or poaching on the jurisdiction of Consumer Protection Act in some of the areas due to the orders passed by the Courts. Such loopholes in the Act should be plugged through appropriate amendments to the Act and Rules. (v) Setting up counselling and a mediation mechanism at pre-litigation stage and so as to reduce the burden of consumer courts and resolve disputes through out of court settlements. (ii) Amendment of Consumer Protection Act to make it more effective and tuned to reducing the backlog of cases. mediation or in-house grievance redressal should be tried. (vi) Provision of adequate infrastructure to Consumer fora so as to make them function effectively.consumer products will be developed and enforced along with regular monitoring of prices to ensure the sovereignty of consumers . it is necessary to provide several methods of grievance redressal including those which are available in accordance with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act. . (iv) Computerisation and Networking of consumer fora across the country so that consumers can file complaints and access their case status online. but without giving up the right of the consumer to obtain legal redress . Accordingly. Thus. 12th Plan strategy and implementation plan: (i) Consumers need an inexpensive and quick grievance redressal mechanism to ensure that manufacturers and service providers are accountable for the price and quality that the consumers are entitled to.

civil society organizations and above all consumer themselves are vital for betterment of consumer welfare in year to come. under the Scheme on Strengthening Consumer For a. . of cases filed/ disposed and other related performance indicators. (ix) Provision of funds for the annual maintenance of confonet hardware items like computers. . (viii) Provision for monitoring the performance of functioning of District Fora by developing dynamic MIS Reports on the performances related to total no. the present drive and direction need to be supplemented by adopting different channels of redressal. And there is a dire need for the State Governments to give deserving priority to Consumer welfare and gear up themselves to meet the challenges thrown up by market economy.(vii) Moving from manual system to computer based system to bring in more efficiency and transparency. Involvement of trade and industry. schemes / programmes adopted by the Government. replacement of ups batteries etc. However. ups. Conclusion The prospect of the consumer justice system in our country appears to be bright in view of the proactive policy.