Consumer Protection law
1 yr ago
Advocate Shakti Priyan Nair
Category : Consumer Protection law
In a time wrought with duplicity and forgery, the
Ministry of Consumer Affairs has taken steps forward by releasing a variety of
content on their website dealing with a spectrum of different topics. One such
topic which has been covered by the Ministry pertains to the misleading
advertisements that all consumers may have fallen for, one time or another.
Emphasising on the fact that Consumers have the Right
to know what product they are purchasing, the Ministry has described misleading
advertisements as advertisements where false and misleading statements and
claims are published by the party selling or offering for sale the
goods/services in question, thereby giving the consumer an incorrect understanding
of the goods/services being provided by the seller. In a nutshell, any
advertisement or promotion through Television, Radio, or any other electronic
media, Newspapers, Banners, Posters, Handbills, wall-writing etc. to
misrepresent the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of
goods, services or commercial activities so as to mislead the consumer could be
broadly defined as a misleading advertisement. The Ministry has further gone on
to categorize misleading advertisements into two categories:
1.Â Â Â Â
Advertisements which violate a Consumerâ€™s Right to Information and choice,
Â thereby have the potential to cause the
consumer loss of both time and money, as well as mental agony;
2.Â Â Â Â
Advertisements of health cures and drugs of questionable efficiency and
health gadgets of unknown values, which may have severe repercussions on the
health and safety of the consumer.
Misleading advertisements have long been a problem
plaguing Consumers all across India, and it is thrilling to see our government
take steps to ensure the best the interests of consumers are safeguarded, while
not impinging on the rights of the business. I believe that the Ministry has
been successful in manoeuvring this movement in a manner which has been
beneficial to all.
So the question that you would probably be asking
yourself after reading this is, where do I file my complaint against such
The answer would be in the form of the online portal
launched by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs called Grievances Against Misleading
Advertisements (GAMA). If you come across a misleading advertisement, or have
been personally been affected by a misleading advertisement, you may register a
complaint on the aforesaid online portal along with a copy of the
photograph/audio/video of the said misleading advertisement. To register his/her
grievance, a consumer may opt for one of two methods, enlisted hereinbelow:
1.Â Â Â Â
The first method is by registering as a user on the web portal http://gama.gov.in, and thereafter uploading the documents as
described above showcasing the misleading advertisement or;
2.Â Â Â Â
The consumer may also register his/her complaint along with the aforesaid
documents/information through the nearest Grahak
Suvidha Kendra or designated Voluntary Consumer Organizations, who will in
turn follow the Step 1 to file the complaint on behalf of the consumer.
Once the complaint has been registered, it shall be
forwarded to the concerned regulator/authority for action against those
responsible for the misleading advertisement. Action shall be initiated against
the parties responsible for the misleading advertisements in accordance with
the provisions of the existing law. For every complaint, the GAMA portal shall
issue a unique Complaint ID, and the same can be used by the consumer to track
the status of their complaint.
It is encouraging to see redressal mechanisms being
set up by the Government to address the problems being faced by consumers on a
day to day basis.
Please note that all information
as shown above has been taken directly from the website of the Ministry of
Corporate Affairs, and the GAMA portal. For more information on Consumer Laws
or Legal Metrology Laws, please contact the author of this post.
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