Today consumerism has taken the form of a mass movement in every country. Today the consumer is considered to be the focal point of business activities. Despite the concept like “the customer is always right, the consumer is the king of the market” in the industrial corridors, on the other hand, it is also being talked about protecting the interests and rights of the consumer. Today the consumer is raising his voice by organizing himself to protect his sovereignty and the government is also using rules and acts as a weapon to promote his interest, but the reality is not hidden from anyone. Today’s consumer feels very victimized and cheated. Poor quality of goods and services, under-weight, adulteration, availability of counterfeit goods, service defects, quantity defects, lack of purity and overcharging are such examples, which are commonly heard and seen. In such a situation, the Government of India has made a concerted effort by getting the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 passed in the Parliament to rid the consumers of injustice and exploitation.

The Consumer Protection Act is divided into four chapters in which there are total 31 sections. This Act was passed by both the Houses of the Indian Parliament on December 1986, and with effect from July 1, 1987, this entire Act was extended to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Important amendments and changes were made in the years 1991, 1993 and 2002 due to many shortcomings arising after the implementation of this Act.

In general terms, consumer protection refers to all those measures which help in getting rid of various injustice and exploitation being done to the consumer. Therefore, providing protection of the fundamental rights and interests of the consumers is called consumer protection.

A message was sent to Congress by former US President John F. Kennedy and Johnson regarding the protection of consumer’s interests, in which consumer rights were mentioned, they are as follows:-
  1. Right to Safety: Under this right, every consumer, after purchasing such goods and services that cause danger or harm to his health and life, such as substandard and deformed equipment and equipment, adulterated goods, counterfeit medicines and dangerous chemicals etc., then he should be given full protection. have the right. Therefore, the consumer is protected against disease or other damage caused by the consumption of contaminated goods.
  2. Right to Choose : The consumer has the right to freely choose his favorite things from the variety of goods and services available in the market with variety, price and quality. If a person influences his choice or selection in an unreasonable way, then it is considered a violation of his right.
  3. Right to be Informed : Consumer can get various information like price, use, type, quantity, purity etc. before purchase of goods and services. By getting such information, any consumer is also saved from the loss of unfair practices of a trader.
  4. Right to be heard: It is the right of the consumer to give immediate and proper attention to his complaint or complaint. If the consumer’s interest is harmed, he has the right to present his complaint at the appropriate forum. Under the Consumer Protection Act, the following consumer rights have been added to the above four rights.
  5. Right to be redressed: This right provides a fair and just remedy or solution to the consumer’s complaint if any kind of dissatisfaction arises as a result of the use of any goods or services. If the consumer has suffered any loss due to the unethical practices of the businessman, then he has the right to be compensated.
  6. Right of Consumer Education: This right has proved helpful in making consumers aware and aware. Under this right, a consumer has the right to get knowledge and education regarding the goods and services and its use, maintenance etc.
  7. Right to Clean Atmosphere: Due to the use of commercial activities for personal interest and profit, increasing pollution (air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution etc.) and prevention of their ill effects and improvement in human life quality For this, this right has been given to the consumers. This right has become more important in the present context.

Its objectives have been clarified in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as follows:-

  1. To protect and promote the interests of the consumer.
  2. To protect consumer rights.
  3. To protect consumers from exploitation and harassment of businessmen.
  4. To set up councils or institutions to settle or settle consumer disputes and matters related to them.
  5. To arrange for Quasi Judicial Machinery for speedy and easy settlement of consumer disputes.

In order to protect and promote the rights and interests of the consumer and to advise the government for this purpose, there is a provision for the establishment of Consumer Protection Councils in the Consumer Protection Act:-

1. The Central Consumer Protection Council: According to section 4 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act, the Central Government will establish a Central Consumer Protection Council through notification. This Council shall be deemed to have come into force from such date as shall be announced in the notification.

Composition: The term of this council will be three years. It consists of a total of 150 members, which are as follows.

(i) The Chairman who shall be the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies of the Central Government.

(ii) the Vice-Chairman who shall be the Minister of State or the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies of the Central Government.

(iii) Ministers in charge of the Food and Civil Supplies Department of all the states.

(iv) Eight members of parliament, five of them from the Lok Sabha and three from the Rajya Sabha.

(v) Commissioner of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Tribes.

(vi) Not more than twenty members from various departments of the Central Government and autonomous organizations dealing with consumer interests.

(vii) not less than 35 representatives of consumer organizations (viii) not less than ten women representatives.

(viii) Not more than twenty representatives of farmers, traders and industry.

(ix) Competent persons who can represent consumer interests, not exceeding 15 in number.

(x) The Secretary-in-Charge of the Consumer Affairs Department of the Central Government shall be its member and Secretary.

(xi) Any member of this Council may resign his office by giving notice in writing to the Chairman.

Such vacant post shall be filled by the Central Government again by appointment of a representative from the same class.

Objectives (Section-6):- The main objective of the Central Consumer Protection Council is to protect and promote the interests and rights of consumers. These rights are as follows:-

  • Right to protection against goods and services threatening life and property.
  • Right to information about the type, quantity, purity standard and price of goods and services so as to protect the consumer from unfair trade practices.
  • The right of consumers to be assured of the availability of a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
  • The consumer’s right to be heard and assured that adequate attention will be given to the interests of the consumer at appropriate forums.
  • Right to be redressed against unfair trade practice or immoral exploitation.
  • Right to consumer education.

(II) The State Consumer Protection Council:- According to section 7 (1) of the Consumer Protection Act, the State Government may establish a State Consumer Protection Council by the procedure specified in the notification. This council shall be deemed to be effective from the date which is announced in the notification. Composition [Section 7 (2)] : The State Council shall consist of the following members.

  • The Minister in charge of Consumer Affairs of the State Government shall be the Chairman of this State Council.
  • A prescribed number of official or non-official members representing different interests as may be notified by the State Government from time to time.
  • A maximum number of 10 members nominated by the Central Government, official or non-official.

Meetings: As per the requirement of the State Consumer Protection Council, meetings can be called, but it is necessary to have at least two meetings every year.

The meetings of the State Council shall be held at such time and place as may be appropriate in the opinion of the Speaker. The procedure laid down by the State Government shall be adopted in relation to the disposal of the business of such assembly.

Objective (objects) [Section 8] : The object of the State Council shall be to protect and promote the rights and interests of the consumers of the State. These have been clarified in the Objectives of the Central Council (Section 6).

(III) The District Consumer Protection Council: According to Section 8A (1) of the Consumer Protection Act, the State Government can establish a District Consumer Council in each district through notification. The establishment of this council shall be deemed to be effective from the date specified in the notification.

Constitution [ Section 8A ( 2 ) ] : The members in the Zilla Parishad shall be as follows.

  • The Chairman of this Council shall be the District Magistrate of the district.
  • Official or non-official members representing various interests as may be determined by the State Government.

Meetings: If necessary, the Zilla Parishad can organize meetings as many times, but it will be mandatory to hold at least two meetings in every year.

Time and Place: When and at which place the meetings of the District Consumer Protection Council will be held. It depends on the chairman. In this, the works will be disposed of according to the procedure laid down by the state government. Objectives [Section 8 B] : The main objective of this council will be to protect and promote the rights of consumers of the district.

Under Section 9 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, a quasi-judicial three-tier system has been made for the resolution or redressal of consumer complaints, which is as follows-

I. District Forum :-

Establishment [Section 9 (a)] : The State Government may, by notification, establish a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in each district. This forum will be known as ‘Zilla Manch’.

If the State Government considers it appropriate, more than one District Forum can also be established for a district,

Composition (Section 10] : The members in each District Forum shall be as follows.

  • (I) A person who is or has been a District Judge or is qualified to be a Judge, may be made its Chairman.
  • (ii) There shall be two members, one of whom must be a woman. Their qualifications are as follows :

(a) Not less than 35 years of age;

(b) Must be a graduate degree holder from a recognized university,

(c) It should be a person of merit, credibility and prestige, having knowledge or experience in economics, legal, commerce, accountancy, industry, public relations or administrative. The appointments of these members are made by the State Government. On the recommendation of the committee, the constitution of this committee will be as follows;

  • (i) the chairman of the state commission – the chairman
  • (ii) the secretary of the law department of the state – member
  • (iii) the secretary in charge of the consumer affairs department of the state – member.

Tenure and reappointment: The term of each member of the District Forum holds office for 5 years or till the age of 65 years (whichever is earlier). He will not be eligible for reappointment.

Salary and service conditions: Salary or honorarium, other allowances and service conditions etc. to be given to the members of the District Forum will be determined by the State Government.

Jurisdiction : The District Forum shall have jurisdiction to admit the complaints of its area subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:

  • (i) When the cost of the goods and services claimed or the value of compensation does not exceed twenty lakh rupees.
  • (ii) A complaint may be lodged in the District Forum within the local limits of its jurisdiction. is acting, or

(a) any of the opposite parties (when there is more than one opposite party) whether the parties are actually or voluntarily residing or carrying on business or having a branch office or acting personally for profit or

(b) the suit arises in part or in whole.

Method of Submission of Grievance In this there is the following method of submitting a complaint Who can make a complaint? ( section 12 ) ; A complaint in respect of goods sold or delivered or services rendered may be presented by,

  • A consumer to whom any goods have been sold or service rendered,
  • A recognized consumer association. Which is registered by the Companies Act, 1956 or any other law.
  • One or more consumers having common interest with the permission of the District Forum
  • Central or State Government.

Guidelines for Submission of Complaints-

  • (a) Every complaint submitted to the District Forum shall be in writing along with the prescribed fee.
  • (b) The complainant himself or his authorized agent can submit the complaint by post or in person
  • (c) The complaint can be made on plain paper as there is no prescribed format for submitting the complaint.
  • (d) The admissibility of the complaint should be settled within 21 days from the date of receipt of the complaint.
  • (e) The District Forum may pass orders for acceptance or rejection on receipt of the complaint, but it shall not be rejected without hearing the complainant.

Procedure of Settling Consumer Complaints: According to Section 13 of the Consumer Protection Act, the procedure to be followed in the District Forum for redressal of consumer complaints is as follows:

(A) Procedure for Settling consumer complaints: By District Forum After accepting the complaint, within 21 days, a copy of the complaint shall be provided to the opposite party.

and may direct to present his case within 30 days or within such period as may be extended by the Forum, which may be a maximum of 15 days. If the opposite party denies the allegations made in the complaint or makes an error in presenting his side within the stipulated time, then the District Forum will dispose of the consumer complaint as follows,

  • To get the sample of the goods :- The goods in the complaint is alleged to be defective and cannot find the defect or defect without examination or analysis of the goods. Then the District Forum will receive the sample of the goods, seal it and send it to the appropriate laboratory for testing. The laboratory shall submit its report to the District Forum within 45 days or within an extended period.
  • Payment of Fee:- When the samples are sent to the laboratory for testing or analysis, the complainant shall be directed to deposit the prescribed fee with the District Forum. This fee will be sent to the MACH laboratory.
  • Receiving the report:- The District Forum will receive the report from the laboratory and send a copy along with its comments to the opposite party.
  • Knowing of Objections:- If the complainant raises an objection against the laboratory report or test procedure, he shall submit it in writing to the District Forum.
  • Opportunity to be heard :- The complainant shall be given a reasonable opportunity to present his case regarding the findings of the laboratory and other objections.

(B) Redressal procedure for service related complaints:

(i) Complaint regarding error in service is made in writing to the District Forum. After accepting the complaint, the District Forum sends a copy of the complaint to the opposite party. The Forum will ask him to furnish an explanation of the complaint within 30 days. The platform can extend this time period by 15 days.

(ii) When the opposite party rejects the complaint within the stipulated time, the District Forum shall settle the dispute on the basis of

  • The evidence and evidence brought to his notice by the complainant and the opposite party, or
  • Where the opposite party does not contest the charges within the stipulated time, it shall give an ex parte decision on the basis of the evidence brought to the notice of the complainant.
  • If the complainant is unable to appear before the District Forum on the date of hearing, the Forum shall either dispose of the complaint or decide on the merits. The justification of the above process cannot be raised in any court on the ground that the principle of natural justice has not been adopted in it.

Order of District Forum :- If the District Forum is satisfied after the hearing of the complaint and the complaint regarding the goods or services in the complaint is true, then it shall ask the opposite party to comply with one or more of the following: can ask for.

  • Removal of defects detected by the appropriate laboratory,
  • Replacement of defective goods with new defective goods of the same type,
  • Refunding the cost of goods or expenses incurred to the complainant,
  • Of the opposite party. To pay for damage or loss caused to the consumer by negligence,
  • To remove defects or defects in goods and services
  • To stop or prevent recurrence of restrictive trade practices or unfair practices
  • Prohibiting the production of dangerous or harmful goods for sale,
  • Withdrawal of an offer for sale of dangerous goods
  • Providing corrective advertisements to negate the effect of the defective advertisement,
  • Reasonable costs to the aggrieved parties To order to get (costs).

Powers of District Forum: The District Forum will have all the powers in relation to the hearing of consumer disputes, which is available to a civil court, which is as follows;

  • Any defendant or witness Has the power to summon and compel him to attend and to interrogate under oath,
  • To receive or produce any form or thing for evidence,
  • To accept evidence on oath from any person.
  • The District Forum has the right to obtain the report of analysis or examination of the goods related to the appropriate laboratory or other source.
  • Every District Forum may obtain necessary information from any person for the fulfillment of the purposes of this Act.
  • Such other matter as may be prescribed and decided ,

II. State Commission:-

Establishment: Every State Government may, by notification, establish a Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which is known as State Commission.

Composition: The State Commission will have the following members?

(i) who has been or has previously been a Judge of the Slov High Court and who may be appointed by the State Government, such person shall be the Chairman of the State Commission.

(ii) a minimum of two other members but not more than the number prescribed by the State Government. Out of which one will also be a woman member. The qualifications of these members are as follows.

  • These members should not be less than 35 years of age
  • They should be holders of a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university,
  • Such persons, apart from having attainment of merit, reputation and prestige, should be in economics, law, accountancy, industry, public Should have at least 10 years experience in redressal of cases or administrative problems.

Appointment of Members: The members will be appointed by the State Government on the recommendation of the Selection Committee consisting of the following members.

  • State Commission Chairman – Chairman,
  • Secretary of State Law Department – Member,
  • Department Secretary dealing with Consumer Affairs – Member.

Tenure and Re-appointment :- The tenure of the member of the State Commission will be 5 years or on attaining the age of 67 years, whichever is less. A member of this commission may be re-appointed for another 5 years or till he attains the age of 67 years.

Salary or conditions of service etc. :- Salary or honorarium allowances and conditions of service to the members of the State Commission shall be as per the directions prescribed by the State Government. will be included.

Jurisdiction of the State Commission: The jurisdiction of the State Commission (Section 17) is as follows;

  • A complaint in which the value of the goods or services and the compensation claimed exceeds Rs 20 lakh. But 1 crore Rs. be up to .
  • To hear appeals made against the orders of any District Forum in the State.
  • If the State Commission feels that the District Forum has encroached upon its jurisdiction or any irregularity has been committed, it may call for the records relating to the District Forum and pass suitable orders.

Redressal of complaints [Section 18] : The State Commission will follow the same procedure for redressal of consumer complaints as is followed by the District Forum. It has been described earlier.

Appeal against the State Commission: Any person aggrieved by the order of the State Commission may prefer an appeal against the order before the National Commission within 30 days from the date of the order. The National Commission may admit the appeal after the expiry of the prescribed period of 30 days, if it is satisfied about the reasons for the delay in preferring the appeal.

Unless the appellant has deposited 50% of the amount specified in the order of the State Commission or Rs 35,000, whichever is, the National Commission will not accept his appeal.

The State Commission or the National Commission shall hear the appeal as expeditiously as possible. It shall endeavor to dispose of the appeal within 90 days from the date of admission of the appeal.

Procedure for hearing of appeal The appeal presented in the National Commission against the order of the State Commission may be heard under Rule 15 of the Consumer Protection Rules, 1987 in the following manner;

  • Memorandum before the National Commission to the appellant or the representative appointed by him ( Memorandum) has to be submitted. This appeal can be sent in person by registered post.
  • The memorandum must be readable or typed and divided into headings. It is imperative to mention the grounds of appeal.
  • Should be attached.
  • If the stipulated period for admitting the appeal has expired, the affidavit should also be accompanied by the details of the reminder, on the basis of which the appellant wishes to satisfy the National Commission on the reasons for the delay.
  • The appellant shall submit 6 copies of the reminder letter to the Commission.
  • It is necessary for the appellant or his representative to appear before the National Commission for the hearing on the prescribed date, otherwise the Commission may dismiss the appeal or may order ex-parte hearing in the absence of the defense.
  • The appellant cannot form the basis of the decision on grounds or reasons other than those given in the memorandum. Apart from the reasons given in the memorandum, the commission can give a decision keeping in view other reasons also.
  • The National Commission may adjourn the hearing of the appeal at any time.
  • The National Commission shall transmit the order of appeal free of cost to all the parties.

(III) National Commission

Establishment: – The Central Government may, by notification, establish a National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to be known as the National Commission. Composition: The members of the National Commission shall be as follows.

  • (i) a Judge of the Supreme Court or has previously been appointed by the Central Government, that person shall be the Chairman of this Commission.
  • (ii) a minimum of four members and such maximum as the Central Government may determine. One of these members shall be a woman.

The qualifications of these members will be as follows;

  • The age of these members should not be less than 35 years,
  • They should have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university,
  • These members should have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in solving problems related to economics, law, accountancy, commerce, industry, public affairs and administration, in addition to having qualification, credibility and reputation.

Salary and conditions of service etc. :- Salary or honorarium allowances and service conditions etc. of the members of the National Commission shall be determined by the Central Government.

Tenure and reappointment :- The term of each member of the National Commission shall be 5 years or till the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier. Such person shall not be re-appointed as a member.

Jurisdiction of National Commission : The jurisdiction of the National Commission ( Section 21 ) is as follows;

  • A complaint involving the value of goods or services and compensation for which the claim amount is Rs.1 crore. be more than
  • To hear the appeal presented against the order of any State Commission.
  • If the National Commission is of the opinion that any State Commission has encroached upon its jurisdiction or any irregularity has been committed, the State may call for the records relating to the Commission and make suitable orders.

Redressal of Grievances (Section 22): The National Commission shall settle consumer disputes in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Central Government.

In Section 14 of the Consumer Protection Rules, 1987, the procedure currently in force of the National Commission has been mentioned which are as follows.

1. Submission of complaint:- The following things are required to be presented in the complaint before the National Commission.

  • The complaint should be submitted in person or by his representative,
  • The complaint may be submitted in person or by registered post,
  • The name, address and particulars of the complainant,
  • The facts relating to the complaint, The time and place of origin of the complaint etc.
  • Documents to substantiate the allegations made in the complaint
  • Relief sought by the complainant.

2. Procedure for disposal:- The National Commission shall follow the procedure laid down in section 13(1) and 13(2) for disposal of complaints.

3. Appearance on the date of hearing :- It is mandatory for each party or his representative to appear before the National Commission. If the complainant or his representative is absent, the Commission may dismiss the complaint. If the opposite party or its representative does not appear, the Commission shall decide in the presence of one of the parties.

4. Adjournment and time period of decision: The National Commission can adjourn the proceedings whenever it wants, but the decision of the complaint will have to be given within three months of the receipt of the information to the opposite party, if there is no need to test the article in the laboratory

5. To order: National The Commission may, after being satisfied with the complaint of the consumer, order to remove the defects of the goods and services, to replace the goods, to return the value and to pay compensation.

  1. Consumer: Consumer means a person who purchases goods or services or receives services in return for consideration on hire. If goods are obtained for resale or commercial use, then they are not called consumers, similarly those who use services for commercial purposes also cannot be called consumers.
  2. Complaint : Unfair or restrictive trade practice by the merchant or service provider, defect or deficiency in the goods or service purchased, taking more than 1 price displayed on the package, than the price shown in the price list If the complainant makes a complaint in writing, which aims to obtain compensation, in the event of overcharging, over-priced, offering for sale of goods dangerous to life and safety and non-disclosure of information relating to dangerous things, then it shall be called a complaint. will be called
  3. Complainant : Complainant means one or more consumer or representative or registered voluntary organization or Central Government or State Government or in case of death of consumer his legal heir or representative.
  4. Appropriate Laboratory : Appropriate Laboratory means such laboratory or organization which is recognized by the Central and State Government and which is established by the Central Government or State Government to examine and analyze the defect or not of the article. has been or is funded or assisted.
  5. Consumer Dispute: Consumer dispute refers to a dispute where the person against whom the complaint has been made. Denies or denies the allegations included in the complaint.
  6. Defect: Defect means any defect or deficiency or incompleteness in the quality, quantity, purity or standard of goods under any implied or express contract.
  7. Deficiency: Deficiency means any defect of performance, imperfection, deficiency or inadequacy in respect of any service of the kind, quantity, purity or standard required by law in force or agreed to be provided by the person under contract. Goods: Goods means all types of moveable property. Including stock, shares, standing crops and other articles which are attached to the land but which have been agreed to be separated before sale or under the contract of sale,
  8. Manufacturer: A manufacturer is a person who Manufactures goods or any part thereof or collects or assembles manufactured goods made by other person or puts his mark or mark on goods made by other persons
  9. Person : Firm, Hindu Undivided Family, Co-operative Society and group of persons, whether registered under the Societies Registration Act or not, consists of individuals.
  10. Unfair Trade Practice: Unfair trade practice means any trade practice by which any fraudulent or unfair practice is adopted for the purpose of promoting the sale, consumption or supply of any goods or for the provision of services.
  11. Trader: In the context of goods, a trader means a person who sells or distributes goods for sale. It also includes the manufacturer of the goods. If the goods are sold or distributed under a package, the merchant doing such packing is also included.
  12. Service: Service means any type of service that is made available to potential users. But it does not include such service which is free or provided under personal service contract. ,

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