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CONSUMER MARKETS IN INDIA

The consumer protection Act, 1986 was put into practice to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of consumer counsels and other authorities for the settlement of consumers disputes and for matters connected there with. This Act applies to all goods and services. The objects of this Act are as follows 1. Better protection of interests of consumers 2. Protection of rights of consumers 3. Consumer protection councils 4. Quasi-Judicial Machinery for Speedy Redressal of Consumer Disputes

Consumer Councils
Consumer protection councils are three types i. Central consumer protection council ii. State consumer protection council iii. District consumer protection council i. The Central consumer protection council (Sec. 4 to 6) The central council shall consist of the following members, a) The minister in charge of consumer affairs who shall be its chairman b) Such number of other official or nonofficial members representing such interests as maybe prescribed.

The prime objects of the central council are the promotion and protection of the consumers. These rights are as follows, 1. Right to be protected against marketing of hazardous goods. 2. Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, purity, standard and price of the goods. 3. Right to be assured access to a variety of goods. 4. Right to be assured that consumer interests will receive due consideration. 5. The right of seek redressal against unfair trade practices. 6. Right to consumer education.

ii. The State consumer protection council (Sec. 7 to 8) Section 7 of the consumer protection Act provides for the establishment of state consumer protection councils by any state government to be known as consumer protection council for that state. The state council shall consist of a minister who is in charge of consumer affairs in the state government shall be its chairman, and such number of other official and non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed by the state government.

The term of office of the state council shall be 3 years. The state council shall consists of 150 members and they are 1. Chairman: Central minister for food and civil supplies. 2. Members: Apart from the chairman.

iii. District consumer protection council


The state government shall establish for every district by notification a council to be known as the district consumer protection council. It shall consist of the collector of the district, who shall be its chairman and such number of other official and non-official members representing such interests as may be prescribed by the state government. The district council shall meet as and when necessary but not less than 2 meetings shall be held every year. Object of every district council- shall be to promote and protect within the district the rights of the consumer laid down in section 6 of the consumer protection Act.

Redressal machinery
Consumer Dispute : on a complaint before the consumer redressal forums against a person, who denies or disputes the allegations contained in the complaint a consumer, dispute arises. i. District Forum ii. State Commission iii. National Commission

District Forum
This Act provides for the establishment of a district forum by the state government in each district of the state by notification. The state government may establish more than one district forum in a district if it considers it necessary. Each district forum shall consists of a) A person who is or who has been, or is qualified to be a district judge, who shall be its president. b) Two other member who are below 35 years of age and are persons of ability, integrity and standing and have adequate knowledge or experience of economics, law, commerce, accountancy, industry, public affairs or administration, one of whom shall be a woman.

State Commission
The Act provides for the establishment of state Consumers Disputes Redressal Commission by state government in the state by notification. Each state commission shall consist of a) A person who is or has been a judge of a high court appointed by the stage government who shall be its president. b) Two other member who shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing and have adequate knowledge or experience of, or have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to economics, law, commerce, accountancy, industry, public affairs or administration, one of whom shall be a woman.

National Commission
The Act provides for establishment of national consumer disputes redressal commission by the central government by notification in the official gazette. National commission consists of a) A person who is or has been a judge of supreme court is to be appointed by the central government who shall be its president. b) Four other members who shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing and have adequate knowledge or experience of or have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to economics, law, commerce, accounting, industry, public affairs or administration, one of whom shall be a woman.

Rights of Consumers
The consumer protection act recognizes six consumer rights. These rights are as follows, a) The right to be protected against the marketing of goods which are hazardous to life and property. b) The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices. c) The right to be assured, wherever possible and access to a variety of goods at competitive prices. d) The right to be heard and to be assured that consumer interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums. e) The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. f) The right of consumer education.

Consumer Awareness
The consumer movement in India is as old as trade and commerce. Till recently, there was no organized and systematic movement for safeguarding the interests of consumers. The ordinary citizen today depends on products, design and construction of which he or she may not understand. In this situation, reassurance is an overriding need, reassurance that the product is reliable and will meet the expectations of the consumers in terms of performance, safety, durability etc. people for, whom various schemes have been taken up do not get benefit as expected. This is mainly because they are not fully aware of these schemes and their benefits.

Unfair trade practices(UTP)


Following practices are UTP 1. False representations or statements 2. Misleading advertisements 3. Offer of gifts or prizes 4. Offer of contest 5. Sales of sub-standard goods 6. Hoarding or destruction of goods Order of commission a) The practice shall be discontinued or shall not be repeated; b) Any agreement relating to such unfair trade practice shall be avoid or shall stand modified respect thereof in such manner as may be specified in the order; c) Any information, statement or advertisement relating to such unfair trade practice shall be disclosed, issue or published in such manner as may be specified in the order.