The Consumer Protection Act to protect the Consumers Rights

The Consumer Protection Act applies to all the goods and services. It covers private, public and cooperative sectors.

Rights of consumers

The Consumer Protection Act seek to promote and protect the rights of the consumers such as:-

  1. The right to safety: the right to be protected against marketing of goods which are hazardous to life and property;
  2. The right to be informed: the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
  3. The right to be heard: the right to be heard and assured that consumer’ interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums; it also includes the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or unscrupulour exploitation of consumers;
  4. The rights to choose.
  5. The right to consumer education.

Who is a consumer for the purpose of services?

  1. One who hires any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised or under any system of deferred payments;
  2. It includes any beneficiary of such service other than the one who atually hires the service for consideration and such services are availed with the approval of such person.

What constitutes a defect or deficiency?

A defect or deficiency is a fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature or manner of performance that is required to be maintained by or under any law or in pursuance of a contract or undertaking in relation to that service.

The Consumer Protection Act to protect the Consumers Rights
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The main objective of this Act is:

  • To provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumers grievances.
  • For this purpose, three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at the national, state and district level has been envisaged under the Act.
  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission —- National Commission
  • State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission —– State Commission
  • District Consumer Disputes redressal Forum —– District Forum
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Who can file a complaint?

  1. Consumer;
  2. Any voluntary organisation representing consumers registrated under companies Act/ Societies Act;
  3. Central Government;
  4. State Government or Union Territory;
  5. Agroup of consumers having common dispute.

Where to file a complaint?

  1. If the cost of goods or services and compensation asked for, does not exceed Rs. 20 lakhs, then the complaint can be filed in the District Forum which has been notified by the government for the District where the cause of action has arisen or where the party resides;
  2. If the cost of goods or services and compensation asked for is more than Rs 20 Lakh but not exceed Rs 1 Crore, the complaint can be filed before the State Commission;
  3. If the cost of goods or services and compensation asked for exceeds Rs 1 crore, the complaint can be filed before the Nation Commission.
The Consumer Protection Act to protect the Consumers Rights
Photos Credit Google

Relief available to consumers:

Depending on the nature of relief sought for by the consumer and facts of the case, the redressal forum may give order for one or more of the following reliefs:-

  1. Removal of defects from the goods.
  2. Replacement of goods.
  3. Refund of consideration paid.
  4. Award of compensation for the loss or injury suffered.

Limitations:

Complaint is to be filed within 2years from the date on which the cause of action has arisen. The fora shall not entertain the time barred complaints.