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CONSUMER

PROTECTION ACT
UN GUIDELINES FOR THE CONSUMER
PROTECTION

 Protect from hazard to health & safety;

 Promote & protect economic interests;

 Provide adequate information for informed choice;

 Consumer education;

 Provide effective redress—formal and informal


procedures;

 Freedom to form groups & present views in decision-


making affecting consumers;
WHO IS A CONSUMER?

• Two kinds of consumer under the Act

– Consumer of goods
• buys or agrees to buy goods
• any user of such goods

– Consumer of services

• hires or avails any services


• any beneficiary of such service
Who is a Consumer?
• Consumer is one who
– Buys any goods for a consideration and
includes a hire-purchaser;
– Any user of such goods for consideration but
excludes one, who obtains for re-sale or for
commercial purposes;
– Hires a service for consideration and includes
a beneficiary of such service, if availed of with
the approval of the hirer.
CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION AGAINST

• Unfair trade practice

• Restrictive trade practice

• Defects

• Deficiencies
CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION
AGAINST

UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICE


 Adopting unfair methods or deception to promote sale, use
or supply of goods or services e.g.
 Misleading public about price (e.g. bargain price when it is
not so).
 Charging above MRP printed.
 Misleading public about another’s goods or services.
 Falsely claiming a sponsorship, approval or affiliation.
 Offering misleading warranty or guarantee.
CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION AGAINST

RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICE


 Price fixing or output restraint re: delivery/flow of supplies to
impose unjustified costs/restrictions on consumers.
 Collusive tendering; market fixing territorially among
competing suppliers, depriving consumers of free choice, fair
competition.
 Supplying only to particular distributors or on condition of
sale only within a territory.
 Delaying in supplying goods/services leading to rise in price.
 Requiring a consumer to buy/hire any goods or services as a
pre-condition for buying/hiring other goods or services.
CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION AGAINST

• DEFECTS
– Any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency,
purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any
law for the time being in force or under any contract express or implied
or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to
any goods.

• DEFICIENCY
– Any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature
and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or
under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be
performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in
relation to any service.
CONSUMER'S RIGHTS

 Right to safety against hazardous goods and


services
 Right to be informed about quality, quantity, purity,
standard, price
 Right to choose from a variety at competitive prices
 Right to be heard
 Right to seek redressal
 Right to consumer education
FORUM & JURISDICTION
• Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums (District
Forum)
– Claims less than or equal Rs.20 lacs.

• Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (State


Commission)
–Claim more than Rs.20 lacs & less than Rs.1 crore & appeals.
• National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
(National Commission)
–Claim equal to Rs.1 crore & appeals
REQUISTIES OF A COMPLAINT

• Who can file a complaint

• Where to file a complaint

• How to file a complaint

• What constitutes a complaint?

• Procedure for filing the appeal


ESSENTIAL INFORMATION IN THE
APPLICATION

– Name and full address of complainant


– Name and full address of opposite party
– Description of goods and services
– Quality and quantity
– Price
– Date & proof of purchase
– Nature of deception
– Type of redressal prayed for
BENEFITS & RELIEFS

• Benefit
– Disposal within 90 days
– No adjournment shall ordinarily be granted - Speedy trial

• Relief
– Removal of defects in goods or deficiency in services.
– Replacement of defective goods.
– Refund against defective goods or deficient services.
– Compensation.
– Prohibition on sale of hazardous goods.
Deficiency - Service
• ‘Deficiency’ means
– a fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in
quality, nature, or manner of performance than is
required.
• ‘Service’ includes
– service in connection with banking, financing,
insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical
and other energy, boarding or lodging, housing
construction, entertainment, amusement or purveying
of news and other information
– but does not include any service free of charge or
under a personal contract.
What is a Complaint?
• An allegation in writing by a complainant that:
– An unfair or restrictive trade practice is practised by
trader or service provider
– Goods bought or to be bought or services hired or to
be hired suffered from any deficiency
– Trader or service provider has charged excess price
– Goods and services are hazardous or are likely to be
hazardous to life and safety.
Who is a complainant?
• A consumer
• Any voluntary consumer association registered
under the Companies Act or any other law
• Central or State Government, if it makes a
complaint
• One or more consumers having same interest
• In case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or
representative.

A Consumer Dispute arises when a


complaint is denied or disputed.
Machinery under the Act

• Central Consumer Protection Council


– to be established by Central Government
• State Consumer Protection Council
– to be established by State Government
• District Consumer Protection Council
– to be established by State Government for
every district
Consumer Dispute Redressal
Machinery
• There are Consumer Fora at the District,
State and National level
– District Forum – At the District level
– State Commission – At the State level
– National Commission – At the National level
Pecuniary Jurisdiction
• Forum where complaints can be entertained
– Depends on value of goods and service and
compensation claimed
• Limits are :
– District Forum
• not exceeding Rs.20 lakhs
– State Commission
• exceeds Rs.20 lakhs but does not exceed Rs.1
Crore
– National Commission
• exceeds Rs.1 Crore.
Territorial Jurisdiction
• Territorial Jurisdiction lies in the court of
the place
– Where the opposite party resides or carries
on business or personally works for gain
– Where the cause of action wholly or partly
arose.
Disposal of disputes
• District Forum may
– ask the opposite party to remove the defect,
– replace the goods with new goods and free from defect
– to return to the complainant the price of goods or
– to pay any amount as compensation
• Appeals to be preferred within thirty days
– from the order of the District Forum to the State Commission and
– from the order of the State Commission to the National
Commission
• Can entertain appeals beyond thirty days
– on sufficient cause shown for the delay
It has to be disposed within ninety days from its
admission.
Time Limit for filing complaint
• Within two years from the date on which
the cause of action arises
• Even where the time limit expires, the
complaint can be taken up
– provided complainant is able to satisfy the
Forum or Commission about the
reasonableness in the delay
• The delay for every single day has to be
explained.
What are the rights of a
‘consumer’?
– Protection from hazardous goods and
services
– Information about the quality, quantity, purity,
standard and price
– Access to a variety of goods and services at
competitive prices.
– Assurance that his interest will be considered
at appropriate fora
– The right to consumer education
PROBLEM - 1
• A had purchased seeds from a party.
• The seeds did not germinate.
• The party which supplied seeds took the
plea that A was not a consumer.
• Is purchase of seeds for the purpose of
agriculture, a purchase for commercial
purpose?
PROBLEM - 2
• A had applied for electricity connection.
• However, power supply was not provided
to A.
• Can A seek redressal of his grievance in
Consumer Court?
PROBLEM - 3
• A’s car met with an accident.
• The insurance claim was rejected on the
ground that A’s driver was not holding
valid driving license.
• Should A approach a Consumer Court for
seeking the Insurance claim?
PROBLEM - 4
• A’s grievance is that he had registered
with the M.I.G. Scheme of the Haryana
Housing Board.
• The board had escalated the price of the
flats three times within a period of two
years.
• Does his case lie within the jurisdiction of
Consumer Fora?
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