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consumer protection act


consumer protection act for college and profession and consumers about there rights

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									                   Consumer protection Act
       Consumer protection consists of laws and organizations designed to ensure
the rights of consumers as well as fair trade competition and the free flow of
truthful information in the marketplace. The laws are designed to prevent
businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair practices from gaining an
advantage over competitors and may provide additional protection for the weak
and those unable to take care of themselves. Consumer protection laws are a form
of government regulation which aim to protect the rights of consumers. For
example, a government may require businesses to disclose detailed information
about products—particularly in areas where safety or public health is an issue, such
as food. Consumer protection is linked to the idea of "consumer rights" (that
consumers have various rights as consumers), and to the formation of consumer
organizations, which help consumers make better choices in the marketplace and
get help with consumer complaints.
Other organizations that promote consumer protection include government
organizations and self-regulating business organizations such as consumer
protection     agencies     and     organizations,     the Federal  Trade
Commission, ombudsmen, Better Business Bureaus, etc.
A consumer is defined as someone who acquires goods or services for direct use or
ownership rather than for resale or use in production and manufacturing.[1]
Consumer interests can also be protected by promoting competition in the markets
which directly and indirectly serve consumers, consistent with economic
efficiency, but this topic is treated in competition law.
Consumer protection can also be asserted via non-government organizations and
individuals as consumer activism

       The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (in short, ‘the Act’), is aiso benevolent
social legislation that lays down the rights of the consumers and provides their for
promotion and protection of the rights of the consumers. The first and the only Act
of its kind in India, it has enabled ordinary consumers to secure less expensive and
often speedy redressal of their grievances. By spelling out the rights and remedies
of the consumers in a market so far dominated by organized manufacturers and
traders of goods and providers of various types of services, the Act makes the
dictum, caveat emptor (‘buyer beware’) a thing of the past.

The Act mandates establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the Centre as
well as in each State and District, with a view to promoting consumer
awareness.The Central Council is headed by Minster, In-charge of the Department
of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government and the State Councils by the
Minister In-charge of the Consumer Affairs in the State Governments. It also
provides for a 3-tier structure of the National and State Commissions and District
Forums for speedy resolution of consumer disputes.

       To provide inexpensive, speedy and summary redressal of consumer
disputes, quasi-judicial bodies have been set up in each District and State and at the
National level, called the District Forums, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commissions and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
respectively. At present, there are 629 District Forums and 35 State Commissions
with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) at the
apex. NCDRC has its office at Upbhokta Naya Bhawan, 'F' Block, GPO Complex,
INA, New Delhi-110 023.Each District Forum is headed by a person who is or has
been or is eligible to be appointed as a District Judge and each State Commission is
headed by a person who is or has been a Judge of High Court.The National
Commission was constituted in the year 1988. It is headed by a sitting or
retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India. The National Commission is
presently headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, former Judge of the
Supreme Court of India as President and has seven Members, viz. Hon’ble Mr.
Anupam Dasgupta, Hon’ble Mr. S. K. Naik, Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.C. Jain,
Hon'ble Mrs. Vineeta Rai, Hon'ble Mr. Vinay Kumar, Hon'ble Mr. Suresh Chandra
& Hon'ble Mr. Justice V.B Gupta,.

       The provisions of this Act cover ‘goods’ as well as ‘services’. The goods
are those which are manufactured or produced and sold to consumers through
wholesalers and retailers. The services are in the nature of transport, telephone,
electricity, housing, banking, insurance, medical treatment, etc.

       A written complaint, can be filed before the District Consumer Forum for
pecuniary value of upto Rupees twenty lakh, State Commission for value upto
Rupees one crore and the National Commission for value above Rupees one crore,
in respect of defects in goods and or deficiency in service. The service can be of
any description and the illustrations given above are only indicative. However, no
complaint can be filed for alleged deficiency in any service that is rendered free of
charge or under a contract of personal service.

       The remedy under the Consumer Protection Act is an alternative in addition
to that already available to the aggrieved persons/consumers by way of civil suit.
In the complaint/appeal/petition submitted under the Act, a consumer is not
required to pay any court fees but only a nominal fee. Consumer Fora proceedings
are summary in nature. The endeavor is made to grant relief to the aggrieved
consumer as quickly as in the quickest possible, keeping in mind the provisions of
the Act which lay down time schedule for disposal of cases.If a consumer is not
satisfied by the decision of a District Forum, he can appeal to the State
Commission. Against the order of the State Commission a consumer can come to
the National Commission.

       In order to help achieve the objects of the Consumer Protection Act, the
National Commission has also been conferred with the powers of administrative
control over all the State Commissions by calling for periodical returns regarding
the institution, disposal and pendency of cases. The National Commission is
empowered to issue instructions regarding (1) adoption of uniform procedure in the
hearing of the matters, (2) prior service of copies of documents produced by one
party to the opposite parties, (3) speedy grant of copies of documents, and (4)
generally over-seeing the functioning of the State Commissions and the District
Forums to ensure that the objects and purposes of the Act are best served, without
interfering with their quasi-judicial freedom.

Consumer law
       Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered an area of law that
regulates private law relationships between individual consumers and the
businesses that sell those goods and services. Consumer protection covers a wide
range of topics, including but not necessarily limited to product liability, privacy
rights, unfair    business    practices, fraud, misrepresentation,    and      other
consumer/business interactions.Consumer protection laws deal with a wide range
of issues including credit repair, debt repair, product safety, service and sales
Consumer Bill Of Rights
Before the mid-twentieth century, consumers were without rights with regard to
their interaction with products and commercial producers. Consumers had little
ground on which to defend themselves against faulty or defective products, or
against misleading or deceptive advertising method
By the 1950s, a movement called consumerism began to gather a following,
pushing for increased rights and legal protection against malicious business
practices. By the end of the decade, legal product liability had been established in
which an aggrieved party need only prove injury by use of a product, rather than
bearing the burden of proof of corporate negligence.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy presented a speech to the United States
Congress in which he extolled four basic consumer rights, later called The
Consumer Bill of Rights.

The Four Basic Rights Of Consumer

The Right to Safety
The assertion of this right is aimed at the defense of consumers against injuries
caused by products other than automobile vehicles, and implies that products
should cause no harm to their users if such use is executed as prescribed. The Right
was established in 1972 by the US federal government, the Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over thousands of commercial
products, and powers that allow it to establish performance standards, require
product testing and warning labels, demand immediate notification of defective
products, and, when necessary, to force product recall.
The Right to Be Informed
This right states that businesses should always provide consumers with enough
appropriate information to make intelligent and informed product choices. Product
information provided by a business should always be complete and truthful.
Aiming to achieve protection against misleading information in the areas of
financing, advertising, labeling, and packaging, the right to be informed is
protected by several pieces of legislation passed between 1960 and 1980.
The Right to Choose
The right to free choice among product offerings states that consumers should have
a variety of options provided by different companies from which to choose. The
federal government has taken many steps to ensure the availability of a healthy
environment open to competition through legislation including limits on concept
ownership through Patent Law, prevention of monopolistic business practices
through Anti-Trust Legislation, and the outlaw of price cutting and gouging.
The Right to Be Heard
This right asserts the ability of consumers to voice complaints and concerns about
a product in order to have the issue handled efficiently and responsively. While no
federal agency is tasked with the specific duty of providing a forum for this
interaction between consumer and producer, certain outlets exist to aid consumers
if difficulty occurs in communication with an aggrieving party. State and
federal Attorney Generals are equipped to aid their constituents in dealing with
parties who have provided a product or service in a manner unsatisfactory to the
consumer in violation of an applicable law. Also, the Better Business Bureau is a
national non-governmental organization whose sole agenda is to provide political
lobbies and action on behalf of aggrieved consumers.
Expansion to Eight Rights
In 1985, the concept of consumer rights was endorsed by the United
Nations through the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection, which
expands them to included eight basic rights. These have also been restated as a
charter of rights by the international NGO Consumers International,[2] recognising
the following additional rights:
The right to satisfaction of basic needs
To have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing,
shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation.
The right to redress
To receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for
misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
The right to consumer education
To acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices
about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and
responsibilities and how to act on them.
The right to a healthy environment
To live and work in an environment which is non-threatening to the well-being of
present and future generations.
However, consumer protection can only truly exist in first world, industrialized, or
developed nations due to the fiscal resources necessary to properly execute legal
protection of consumer interests.

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