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CONTENTS

1. Introduction
2. What Is Consumer Protection
3. Consumer Protection Act 1986
4. Features of Consumer Protection Act
5. Importance of Consumer Protection
6. Importance to Businessmen
7. Rights of Consumer
8. Consumer Responsibility

9. Sectoral Laws Protecting Consumers in India


10. Recent Initiatives in Upgrading Legislations
11. Consumer Grievance Resolution

12. National Consumer Helplin


13. State Consumer Helplines
14. Smart Consumer Application
15. Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (Gama)
16. Online Dispute Resolution
17. Online Consumer Communities
18. Campaign on Internet Safety
19. Campaign on Internet Safety
20. Consumer Awareness
21. Commitment to the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer
Protection (Ungcp)

22. Conclusion
INTRODUCTION:

A businessman tries to achieve the goal of profit

maximization through increased sales. The seller has to be

careful in marketing the products. There have been cases in

India where adulterated food products caused deaths. The

exploitation of consumers is taken seriously by regulatory

bodies and consumer groups. Moreover, the globalization of

Indian economy has created a competitive market, where

consumer satisfaction is the key to the success of business. So

the United Nations has passed a resolution in April 1985,

indicating certain guidelines under which Govt. could make law

for better protection of interests of consumer. Accordingly

Govt. of India enacted the consumer protection Act. 1986.

WHAT IS CONSUMER PROTECTION?

The consumers have interested to purchase better quality

foods at reasonable prices. In case of shortage consumer has no

choice but purchase available goods at higher prices. Protecting

the interest and rights of the customer is known as consumer

protection. A consumer is exposed physical, environmental and

exploitation due to unfair trade practices. He should be

protected from the consumption of unsafe product such as

establish, spurious medicines etc.


The economic interests of consumer should be protected

against trade practices, deceptive and false advertisement.

There should also be protection of public interest against abuse

of monopoly power and monopolistic trade practices.

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1986:

The consumers in India need protection from unscrupulous

sellers. It is not possible to approach civil courts for every

complaint. In order to give quick, cheap and speedy justice to

consumers in India, Govt. of India passed the consumer

protection act 1986. It came into force on 15th April 1987. The

act is supplemented by consumer protection rule 1987. The act

is applicable to whole of India except the State Jammu &

Kashmir.

FEATURES OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT:

 The act shall apply to all goods and services purchased for

consumption purposes.

 The provision of the act are compensatory in nature.

 The act has been amended thrice i.e. during 1991, 1993 and

2002 for further guarantee and consumption.

 The object of the act is protection of interest and rights

of consumers.
 It aims to provide speedily simple and expensive redressed

to consumer disputes by establishing quasi judicial

machinery at district, state and national level.

 The quasi judicial bodies established observe the rule of

natural justice.

 The act also aims at consumer education in terms of

remedies available under the act.

 The act protects the consumer against unfair trade

practices.

 The act increases the feeling of responsibility of

manufactures, traders, suppliers or business men.

 The act gives additional remedy to consumers beside those

available under existing laws.

 The act covers all sectors whether private, public or co-

operative.

IMPORTANCE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION:

(a) Spread Awareness:

The ignorant consumers get information about their

rights remedies through consumer protection.

(b) Creates Consumer Organization: CONSUMER

PROTECTION IN INDIA
Consumer protection help to create more organizations

to protect the interest of consumers.

The organizations not only guide the consumers but also

file cases on behalf of companies.

(c) Protection Against Defect on Goods:

When the buyer informs to the seller the particulars

purpose, the seller is held responsible when goods are not

supplied as per requirement.

(d) Protection Against Defect in Service:

A consumer needs to be protected against services provided by

 Post and telegram department.

 Insurance companies

 Banking and financial institutions

 Transport companies

 Hotel boarding and loading

(e) Check unfair Trade Practice:

Trades adopt unfair practices to cheat the consumers.

Consumers should be protected against such practices.

It includes:
 Falsely representing that goods are of standard

quality, quantity and grade.

 Falsely representing that seller has sponsorship which

does not exist.

 Misleading the usefulness of goods.

(f) Protect Against Higher Price:

Sometimes seller’s charges high price than the printed

price due to non availability. Sometimes seller does not

allow discount which is offered by manufacturer. Consumer

needs to be protected against such prices.

(g) Hazardous Goods:

Consumer should be protected against hazardous goods.

In respect of such goods the trader should display

information regarding the content, manner and effect of

use etc.

(h) Protection Against Non-Delivery of Goods:

As per contract seller is to make delivery of goods

which may be physical delivery or constructive delivery.

A consumer should be protected against non-delivery or

wrong delivery.
IMPORTANCE TO BUSINESSMEN:

(a) Success in the Long run: Consumers are the pillars of a

business. In order to survive in the long run. The

business should serve the consumers fairly and honestly.

(b) Social Responsibility: Business uses the resources of

society. So it is social responsibilities to sell quality

goods at reasonable price.

(c) Enhances goodwill: A good consumer services helps to

maintain food will and brings glory to the business,

consumer protection encourages a business not to follow

criminal activities.

(d) Prevents Govt. Interventions: When a business looks

after the interest of consumers the possibility of

intervention is reduced.

(e) Creating more consumers: To increase he business, it

has to retain the old consumers and create new

customer. This is possible by consumer protection and

satisfaction.
SECTORAL LAWS PROTECTING CONSUMERS IN INDIA

Besides the Consumer Protection Act 1986, various laws and

Regulations in India protect the interests of consumers, some

of which are:

1. The Bureau of Indian Standard Act 2016: The Bureau of

Indian Standards (BIS) Act 2016 establishes BIS as the

National Standards Body of India. Besides containing provisions

for establishing voluntary standards, the Act also contains

provisions to bring under compulsory certification regime any

article, process or service which it considers necessary from

point of view of health, safety, environment, prevention of

deceptive practices, security etc. Enabling provisions have also

been made for making hallmarking of the precious metal articles

mandatory. The Act allows multiple types of conformity

assessment schemes, including Self Declaration of Conformity

against any standard which provides simplified options to

manufacturers to adhere to the standards and get certificate

of conformity. It enables the Central Government to appoint

any authority, in addition to the BIS, to verify the conformity

of products and services to a standard and issue certificate of

conformity.
2. The Legal Metrology Act 2009: The Act has come into

force on 01.04.2011 and has repealed the Standards of Weights

& Measures Act, 1976 & Standards of Weights & Measures

(Enforcement) Act, 1985. The Government ensures through the

Act that all weight and measure used for trade or commerce or

for protection of human health and safety are accurate and

reliable so that users are guaranteed for correct Weighment

and Measurement. Provisions of the Act also empower

regulatory and enforcement actions for ensuring that the

consumer get the right quantity for which he has paid for.

3. The Essential Commodities Act 1955 : The Act empowers

the Government to regulate prices, production, supply,

distribution etc. of essential commodities for maintaining or

increasing their supplies and for securing their equitable

distribution and availability at fair prices. Most of the powers

under the Act have been delegated by the Central Government

to the State Governments with the direction that they shall

exercise these powers. Exercising powers under the Act,

various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government and

State Governments/UT Administrations have issued Control

Orders for regulating production, distribution, pricing etc. and

trading of the commodities declared as essential to the public.


At present seven commodities have been retained under the

Essential Commodities Act, 1955 to protect the interests of

the consumers which include farmers, general population and

the families below the poverty line.

4. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006: The Act

envisages regulation of manufacture, storage, distribution, sale

and import of food to ensure availability of safe and wholesome

food for human consumption and for consumers connected

therewith. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

(FSSAI) has been established under this Act for laying down

scientific standards for articles of foods and to regulate their

manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure

availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

The Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 was

operationalized with the notification of Food Safety and

Standards Rules, 2011 and six Regulations w.e.f the 5 August

2011. The setting of food standards is undertaken through a

number of Scientific Panels and the Scientific Committee of

the FSSAI and final approval by the Authority.

5.The Contract Act 1872: The Act binds people on their

promises made in a contract. The Act also provides remedies

available to parties in case of breach of contract.


6. The Sale of Goods Act 1930: The act provides safeguard

and relief to customers in case goods are not complying with the

expressed conditions and warranty.

7. The Competition Act, 2002: The Act governs Indian

competition law. It replaced the Monopolies and Restrictive

Trade Practices Act, 1969. Under this legislation, the

Competition Commission of India was established to prevent the

activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India.

It is a tool to implement and enforce competition policy and to

prevent and punish anti-competitive business practices by firms

and unnecessary Government interference in the market.

Competition law is equally applicable on written as well as oral

agreement, arrangements between the enterprises or persons.

8.The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable

Advertisements) Act, 1954 . The Act controls advertising of

drugs in India. It prohibits advertisements of drugs and

remedies that claim to have magical properties, and makes doing

so a cognizable offence. The act defines "magic remedy" as any

talisman, mantra, amulet or any other object, which is claimed

to have miraculous powers to cure, diagnose, prevent or mitigate

a disease in humans or animal. It also includes such devices that

are claimed to have power to influence structure or function of


an organ in humans or animals. It prohibits advertisements of

drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties, and

makes doing so a cognizable offence.

9.The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940: The Act regulates the

import, manufacture and distribution of drugs in India. The

primary objective of the act is to ensure that the drugs and

cosmetics sold in India are safe, effective and conform to state

quality standards. The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 framed

under the Act contain provisions for classification of drugs

under given schedules and there are guidelines for the storage,

sale, display and prescription of each schedule. The Act defines

the standards of quality for drugs and defines "misbranding". A

drug is considered misbranded if it claims to be of more

therapeutic value than it actually is. The manufacturer of such a

drug may be asked to suspend manufacture of the drug . the

Act also deals with fake and adulterated drugs.


RECENT INITIATIVES IN UPGRADING LEGISLATIONS

A comprehensive up gradation of the existing Consumer

Protection Act, 1986, by way of introduction of a new Bill is

currently under consideration of the Parliament, aimed at

making the consumer law more effective, functional and

purposeful. Salient features of the Bill include:

(a) Establishment of the central consumer protection authority

(CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of

consumers, to investigate and intervene when necessary to

prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade

practices, and to and take action against misleading

advertisements.

(b) Provisions for “product liability” action for or on account of

harm caused by or resulting from any product by way fixing

laibility the liability of a manufacturer

(c) Provision for “mediation” as an alternate dispute resolution

(ADR) mechanism which aims at giving legislative basis to

resolution of consumer disputes through mediation, thus making

the process less cumbersome, simple and quicker. This will be

done under the aegis of the consumer fora.

(d) Several provisions aimed at simplifying the consumer dispute

adjudication process in the consumer fora are envisaged. These


include, among others, enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction of

the consumer disputes redressal agencies, increasing minimum

number of members in the consumer fora to facilitate quick

disposal of complaints, power to review their own orders by the

state and district commission, constitution of ‘circuit bench’ to

facilitate quicker disposal of complaints, reforming the process

for the appointment of the president and members of the

district fora, enabling provisions for consumers to file

complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer fora

that have jurisdiction over the place of residence of the

complainant, and deemed admissibility of complaints if the

question of admissibility is not decided within the specified

period of 21 days.

CONSUMER GRIEVANCE RESOLUTION

NATIONAL CONSUMER HELPLINE: Government of India has

set up a National Consumer Helpline (NCH), with a toll-free

number 1800-11-4000 or 14404, which provides advice,

information and guidance to empower consumers and persuade

businesses to reorient their policy and management systems to

address consumer concerns and grievances adopting global

standards. The NCH responds to more than 40,000 complaints

in a month, and it has partnered with more than 300 major


companies to whom complaints are transferred online for

resolution and getting feedback from them. An Integrated

Grievance Redress Mechanism (INGRAM) portal was launched

for bringing all stakeholders such as consumers, Central and

State Government Agencies, private companies, regulators,

Ombudsmen and call centers etc. on to a single platform. The

portal helps in creating awareness among consumers to protect

their rights and inform them of their responsibilities.

Consumers can register online their grievances through this

portal. The National Consumer Helpline is accessible now

through this portal.

STATE CONSUMER HELPLINES: State Consumer Helplines

have been set up by State Governments with the objective to

encourage Alternate Consumer Disputes Redressal mechanism

at State level and help in resolving cases through mediation.

SMART CONSUMER APPLICATION: The Government has

launched a mobile application “Smart Consumer” to enable the

consumer to scan the bar code of the product and get all details

of the product such as name of the product, details of

manufacturer, year and month of manufacture, net content and

consumer care details for making complaint in case of any

defect.
GRIEVANCES AGAINST MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENTS

(GAMA): In its endeavor to address the problem of misleading

advertisements, the Government has launched a portal called

“Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA)”.for

registering complaints online. A Consumer can register a

complaint along with a copy / video / audio of such

advertisement through the web portal.

ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: An Online Consumer

Mediation Centre, established at the National Law School of

India University, Bengaluru under the aegis of Ministry Of

Consumer Affairs, Government of India aims to provide for a

state-of-the-art infrastructure for resolving consumer disputes

both through physical as well as online mediation through its

platform. The center will provide innovative technology for

consumers and organisations to manage and resolve conflicts

and to propel online mediation as a first choice to resolving

consumer disputes. This is an innovative tool that affords

consumers better access to justice through quick and easy

redressal mechanism and at the same time provide opportunity

for businesses to maintain good customer relations.

ONLINE CONSUMER COMMUNITIES:In association with the

Local Circles, a social media platform, the Government has


launched a platform ‘Online Consumer Communities’ for citizens

to discuss and opine about governance and daily life issues.

Through this, a citizen can get connected with their

Government, City, Causes, Neighborhood, Interest, needs and

any other communities they are a part of.

CAMPAIGN ON INTERNET SAFETY: India has currently one

of the largest number of internet users. With the rapid

increase in digitization across all spheres, the message of

internet safety needs to be integrated into the everyday tasks

that the consumer undertakes online. Government in association

with a Partner Company has initiated a year-long campaign

organizing ‘Digital Literacy, Safety & Security’ workshops to

educate users about the challenges of internet safety and

security.

CAMPAIGN ON INTERNET SAFETY: India has currently one

of the largest number of internet users. With the rapid

increase in digitisation across all spheres, the message of

internet safety needs to be integrated into the everyday tasks

that the consumer undertakes online. Government in association

with a Partner Company has initiated a year-long campaign

organizing ‘Digital Literacy, Safety & Security’ workshops to


educate users about the challenges of internet safety and

security.

CONSUMER AWARENESS: The Government has been

conducting a countrywide multimedia awareness campaign since

2005 on various issues related to consumer rights and

responsibilities across diverse subjects. “Jago Grahak Jago”

[Awake Consumers awake] has today become a household axiom.

More recently, joint publicity campaigns have been launched in

partnership with the related Government Departments/

Organizations that deal with a mass consumer clientele. For

instance, on food, with the Food Safety & Standard Standards

Authority of India (FSSAI); on financial services with the

Reserve Bank of India (RBI); and on medicines with the National

Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) through various

electronic and print media such as Television, Radio,

Newspapers and outdoor advertising. The consumer awareness

campaign is implemented through the Directorate of Audio and

visual Publicity (DAVP). In order to create awareness among the

people living in rural and backward areas, the Government has

decided to take part in important fairs/festivals of various

states/UTs, in view of the fact that such fairs/festivals draw a

large number of people from rural and backward areas.


COMMITMENT TO THE UNITED NATIONS GUIDELINES

ON CONSUMER PROTECTION (UNGCP)

THE UNITED NATIONS GUIDELINES ON CONSUMER

PROTECTION (UNGCP) launched in 1985 was revised, after due

deliberations by all stakeholders, in December 2015. The UN

General Assembly on 22nd December 2015 approved the revised

UNGCP 2015. India had actively participated in the process of

revision of the UNGCP in 2015 and emphasized for having an

oversight mechanism, which has been set up in the form of the

Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) under Guideline 95

of the revised UNGCP 2015. All the member states are de-

facto members of the IGE. The first session of the

Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection

Law and Policy was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, on

17 and 18 October 2016 under the aegis of UNCTAD.

Representatives from 66 countries and 5 intergovernmental

organizations, including the heads of competition and consumer

protection authorities, attended the high-level discussions. In

the meeting, the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food

and Public Distribution, India, stated that the

Intergovernmental Group of Experts provided a forum that

facilitated engagement and mutual understanding, as well as the


development of appropriate strategies to improve consumer

protection. The Second IGE meeting held in July 2017,

recognised the important role of relevant stakeholders,

particularly with regard to the inclusive consumer protection

policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; It

underlined the importance of designing and implementing

specific measures aimed at the protection of vulnerable and

disadvantaged consumers, recognizing that member States may

adopt differing definitions to address specific domestic needs,

and suggested further research in particular for this category

of consumers in developing countries; It emphasized the

importance of harnessing e-commerce to increase the welfare

of consumers worldwide while limiting its potential risks and

stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation,

including informal collaboration, among agencies, to enhance

consumer trust in e-commerce, and the initiatives taken to build

trust in the digital economy.

Aimed at promoting the international cooperation in the field of

Consumer Protection among the Asian countries, for mutual

sharing of best practices, India in partnership with UNCTAD

will be hosting a regional conference for South, South East and

East Asian countries on 26 & 27 October, 2017.


RIGHTS OF CONSUMER:

(a) Right to safety: The produces providing goods in the

market should be liable to ultimate users if the person

or property is injured in the normal use of goods. The

victimized customers has remedy under the consumer

redressal system.

(b) Right to Information: The procedure or seller has

right to inform about use, weight, expiry date etc. The

consumer has to take intelligent decision before

purchase of goods.

(c) Right to Heard: The consumer has right to place his

appeal in appropriate forum. His grievance shall be

heard in appropriate forum. He will receive the

attention and consideration from the forum.

(d) Right to Choose: The consumer has right to choose

about what to buy and what not to buy. The seller

cannot force a buyer to buy a product which he may not

wish to buy.

(e) Right to Seek Redressal: The consumer has the right

to seek redressal against unfair trade practice or

unscrupulous exploitation. The consumer has right to

appeal if seller fails to keep his promise given earlier.


(f) Right to Consumer Education: The consumer has right

to be educated regarding the product, exploitation, legal

remedy etc. a well educated and informed consumer will

behave rationally.

(g) Right to Basic Education: The basic needs of every

citizen are food, clothing, shelter, sanitary, education,

energy and transportation. Every consumer has right to

fulfill all these basic needs.

(h) Right to healthy environment: All citizens and

consumers have the right to be protected against

environment degradation and pollution. It is the duty of

every manufacture not to pollute the environment.

CONSUMER RESPONSIBILITY:

The consumer has been assigned following responsibilities:

(a) Exercise his right: Consumer has to exercise his right

whenever required. He must know the Govt. role in

protecting consumer rights.

(b) Proceeding Cautiously: The consume should proceed

cautiously before buying by asking full information

regarding availity, price and other term of purchase.


(c) Filing Complaints: Whenever any defects arise in the

product the consumer should file complaint in the

appropriate forum. He should file for genuine loss.

(d) Quality Consciousness: The consumer should ne quality

conscious. He should always ask for avality product i.e.

the product bearing ISI mark, AG mark, ISO mark etc.

(e) Careful Study of Advertisements: At times

advertisement exaggerated the quality of features of a

product or service. The consumer should compare the

actual features with stated features in the

advertisement.

(f) Demand Cash Memo: Whenever cash purchase is made,

the consumer should demand cash memo. The cash memo

is the evidence of purchase of the product.

(g) Forming Consumer Association: In order to increase

the bargaining the power of individual consumer. They

should form consumer association. They can put the

demand for compensation strongly.

(h) Consuming Legal Goods: The consumers should not try

to obtain goods and service through illegal means. Such

action discourages blank marketing and hoarding.


CONSLUSION

Consumers are regarding as God of business. Their need

desire should be given consideration by every business. As some

of businesses are exploitation, consumers are saving and

protecting them consumer protected from act is necessary.