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2 yrs ago

Salient features of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Author: Advocate Shakti Priyan Nair
Category : Consumer Protection law

At the first glance, an Act may seem daunting to go through and understand. However, the ministry of Consumer Affairs periodically publishes its Annual Report wherein all such salient features, latest developments are mentioned for the ready reference of the Consumers and Corporations alike. The Annual Report (2017-18) showcases the following salient features of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986:
  1. As per Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, a consumer is any person who buys any good for any consideration, or hires or avails any services for any consideration, not including people who have made such a purchase for resale or for any commercial purpose. The Act enshrines 6 rights that are given to consumers, namely, Right to Safety; Right to be informed; Right to choose; Right to be heard; Right to seek redressal & Right to consumer education.
  2. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, is an umbrella legislation covering goods and services, but excluding all transactions undertaken by people not falling under the definition of consumers as described above.
  3. A consumer can seek redressal against any  manufacturer and trader of goods/service provider, so long as the goods purchased or services availed of was for a consideration.
  4. The legislative intent of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was to provide for a simple, inexpensive and timely redressal of all consumer complaints. Furthermore, the provisions of the Act can be said to be compensatory in nature, while also being preventive and punitive in character.
  5. The Act provides for establishment of a three tier Consumer Dispute Redressal Mechanism, in the form of District Consumer Forums, State Commissions and the National Commission. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the District fora is upto Rs. 20 Lacs, State Commission is upto 1 crore, but not less than 20 Lacs, and for the National Commission, any dispute above Rs. 1 crore.
  6. The Act also provides for setting up of Consumer Protection Councils at the Central, State, District level, which are advisory bodies to promote and protect the rights of the consumers. 
It should be observed that more and more Consumers are becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities on account of the widespread nature of the programmes and initiatives taken by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs of India.

Please note that the image and content of this article are not owned by the Author, but have instead been taken from the Annual Report (2017-18) as published by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and have merely been reiterated herein with slight changes for the benefit of the consumers at large, in line with the legislative intent of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. For more information, kindly contact the author of this article.

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