A consumer is one that buys goods for consumption and not for resale or commercial purpose. The consumer is an individual who pay some amount of money for the things required to consume goods and services.
Meaning of consumer protection
Consumer protection refers to the act providing adequate protection to consumers against the unscrupulous, exploitative and unfair trade practices of manufactures and service providers.
Importance of consumer protection
Exploitation of consumers, there is an urgent need to protect consumers and to help them get value for their money. consumer protection is beneficial not only for consumer but also for businessman.
Importance from consumers point of view
- Consumer ignorance – ignorance of consumer about their rights and relief available to them, it becomes necessary to educate them so that they can protect their interest.
- Unorganised consumers – In India, consumers have not yet organised themselves to have powerful consumer movement. Due to this, there is a strong need to provide adequate protection to them, till their organisation become powerful.
- Widespread exploitation of consumers – the consumers are widely exploited through various unfair trade practices, such as defective and unsafe products, adulteration, misleading advertising, etc. so, consumer protection is necessary to provide protection.
Importance from businessman’s point of view
- Long term interest of business – in this highly competitive world, enlightened business firms have realised that they can exist in long-run only when they satisfy the consumers.
- Business uses society’s resources – business makes use of various resources, which are supplied by society. Businessmen are not the owner but merely the trustees of such resources. So, it is their responsibility to use the resources for the benefit of the society and the consumers.
- Social responsibility – a business has social responsibility towards various stakeholder’s ad consumer is one of the important stakeholders. So, it is the responsibility of the business to protect their interest by supplying good quality goods at reasonable prices.
Consumer protection Act,1986
The consumer protection act,1986 was enacted to protect and promote the interest of consumers. The scope of the act is very wide, it applies to all undertaking, irrespective of size, nature or ownership. The main features of the Act are:
- The Act has granted certain rights to empower them and to protect their interests.
- The Act also provide safeguards to consumers against defective goods, deficient services, unfair trade practices and other forms of exploitation.
- The Act has provided three tier machinery: District forum, State commission and National commission, to provide simple quick and easy remedy to consumers.
Consumer protection Act, 2019
- The consumer protection act, 2019 is fixed 20th July 2020 for enforcement of law.
- This act provides more satisfaction to consumers expect consumer protection act 2019.
- Now consumer can file complaint before district commission where he or she resides or personally works for gain as against in 1986 act consumer can only file the complaint where opposite party resides for personally works for gain.
- The act 2019 also changed the pecuniary jurisdiction of district commission (now district forum is renaming as district commission), state commission and national commission.
- Now the district commission increased from 20 lakhs to 1 crore, in state commission from 1crore to 10 crore and for national commission from above the 10 crores.
- According to consumer protection act, 2019 all district commission, state commission and national commission refer the dispute for mediation and all the commission will provide mediation facility to the parties.
- Now opposite party needs to 50% of the amount ordered by district commission before filling appeal, earlier the maximum ceiling amount was of Rs. 25000/- now this ceiling is removed.
Limitation period for filing of appeal to state commission is increased from 30to45 days, while delay is retained.