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Know the Basics of the Consumer Protection Act

IndianMoney.com Research Team | Posted On Monday, April 29,2019, 04:47 PM

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Know the Basics of the Consumer Protection Act

 

 

Consumer Protection Act, 1986:

The Consumer Protection Act was introduced in the year 1986, with the objective of providing a quick and efficient system for the redressal of consumer complaints. Consumer Protection Act is an Act of the Indian Parliament, enacted to protect the rights of consumers in India, by making provisions for the establishment of a Consumer Council and other authorities for quick settlement of consumer disputes and matters connected with them.

The Act implies to all goods and services and unfair trade practices and covers all sectors, regardless of being private, public or co-operative. The law attempts to diminish the helplessness of consumers against dominant and powerful retailers, merchants and businessman, to prevent hoarding and black marketing and enacting rules to provide commodities at fair prices.

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Know the Basics of the Consumer Protection Act

Basic Rights of Consumers Include:

  • Right to be protected from trading malpractices
  • Right to information on the quality, quantity, standards and price of the goods or services to safeguard the interest of the consumers
  • The right to access goods and services at a competitive market price from different vendors
  • Right to proceed to the court or consumer forum for any grievances and seek justice
  • Right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or low-quality products
  • Right to consumer education

Consumer redressal forum:

The Consumer Protection Act establishes a legal system for safeguarding the rights and interests of consumers. Under the Consumer Protection Act, each district has at least one consumer forum for the purpose of redressal of consumer related disputes. The Act provides authority to such bodies for providing relief to consumers/traders who have been cheated and award appropriate compensation to the victims.

Above the District Forum, there is the State Redressal Commission. At the centre, we have the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in New Delhi. Cases involving claims of Rs 5 Lakh must be filed with the District Consumer Forum Courts and cases where the claim involves an amount between Rs 5 Lakh and Rs 20 Lakh, must be filed with the State Commission. Cases involving claims of more than Rs 20 Lakhs must be filed with the National Consumer Court.

SEE ALSO: All You Need to Know About Consumer Protection Laws in India

To File the Complaint:

A consumer complaint must be filed in-person or by an authorized agent or by post, with the appropriate organisation for the redressal of consumer grievances. The complaint can be filed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, by an individual (consumer), a recognised consumer association, central or state government and one or more consumers along with numerous others having the same interest. Listed below are some of the important points a consumer must keep in mind to seek redressal through consumer courts:

  • The complaint must be filed within two years of purchasing the product or receiving the service.
  • The claim must be presented in writing on a plain sheet of paper and must be supported by appropriate evidence, verifying the allegations contained in the complaint.
  • The complaint must clearly specify the name and address of the complainant and also the nature, description of the goods/services against which the complaint is made and the specifications of the opposition party.
  • The complaint must mention the type of relief the consumer demands for the loss.
  • The complaint may be in any Indian language or in English.
  • The complainant must furnish details or record of transactions through emails or documents which serve as proof of complaints filed.

Appeal:

An appeal provides an unsatisfied consumer with the right to proceed to a higher court to file a case and seek justice. According to the consumer forum:

  • You can raise an appeal with the state commission within 30 days, if dissatisfied with the district consumer forum order. This is further extendable up to a maximum of 15 days.
  • An appeal can be made with the National Commission against the order of the State Commission, within 30 days of the order or within a time frame approved by the National Commission (Section 19).
  • An individual can file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the order of the National Commission. He must file the complaint within 30 days of the order of the National Commission.

SEE ALSO: Consumer Protection Act 1986

Penalties:

The consumer courts are the authoritative bodies, which are bestowed with the power to impose a penalty and enforce orders. The court has the power to decide on the matter, in case of absence of the defaulter. The forum may also impose a monetary penalty along with imprisonment up to 3 years, in case the charges against the defaulter prove to be correct. Forums can also issue a warrant to produce the defaulter in court.

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