Legal Protection to Consumers

What is the Need of Consumer Protection?

Consumer Protection works for both the business and consumers. The consumers, in order to acquire the correct information of the product and services, require this consumer protection forum to keep them updated about their purchase. This enables the customers to make rational decisions and prevents them from misleading information broadcasted by the businesses.

We have already enhanced our scope about what is ‘Consumer Protection’, here in this section we will know about the measures initiated and the contributions done by the government in this legal protection for the consumers. 

Consumer Protection Measures in India 

Consumer Protection Measures are initiated across India. The measures are also in the form of Acts that are reformed and restructured from time to time. 

1. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986

This Act protects the rights of the consumers and makes them aware of their rights as a consumer. There are three-tier redressal forums to protect the right of the consumer.

2. Indian Contract Act, 1972

The Indian Contract Act lays down the conditions that need to be fulfilled by the parties who contract in an agreement. This act regulates the buyers by keeping a legal check on their promise to sell authentic products to the seller. This Act protects the interest of both parties. It takes care that the contract is not breached, else respective remuneration has to be paid for such breach.  

3. The Sales of Goods Act, 1930

This protects the rights of the consumers in case the products received by them are sub-standard. 

4. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954

The act confirms the purity of the food items and thereby ensures the health of the consumers. 

5. The Trade Marks Act, 1999

This Act protects the consumers from the false marks which could mislead them to consume the product, and thus cheat on them by serving less qualified products. 

Consumer Protection Laws

There are various consumer protection laws that help fellow consumers to raise their voice against the exploitation. Few consumer protection laws are as follows:

1. Right to File a Complaint From Anywhere –

This new right has enabled the consumer to file their complaint from literally anywhere, be it to the District Commission or the State Commission. With this right, the restriction of location is being wiped out. 

2. Right to Seek Compensation Under Product Liability –

The consumer is saved from any damages from defective products or services. The seller is liable to pay the compensation of the damages done to the consumers. 

3. Right to Seek a Hearing Using Video Conferencing –

This right helps the consumers to present himself for hearing through video conferencing mode even. This extinguishes the barriers of location again. 

4. Right to Know Why His Complaint is Rejected –

The commissions can never reject a complaint without hearing the complaint from the complainant. In fact, the commission needs to keep the complainant notified about its rejection or accepting their complaint within 21 days if no answers are received then it is deemed to have been admitted.  

Role of Government in Consumer Protection

The government prioritises the protection of consumers. This is a reform which also contributes to the ‘New India’ mission. 

Role of Government in Protecting the Consumers are as Follows:

  • The government introduced bills which enforces consumer rights which provides a mechanism for addressing the complaints regarding defective goods and services.

  • There are consumer dispute redressal forums in the district, national and state levels who help the consumers in solving their grievances. 

  • Bill has been initiated to establish the Consumer Protection Authority who investigates consumer complaints. 

  • The bill of the government classifies the type of contract unfairness so that they can be addressed accurately. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Does the Indian Contract Act, 1972 Tell About?

Ans. This Act is applicable to all the states of India. The act determines the circumstances in which promises made by the parties in a contract shall be legally binding to act accordingly. Under Section 2(h), the Indian Contract Act defines a contract as an agreement which is enforced by the law.

2. When is a Contract Said to be ‘Breached’?

Ans. A breach of contract means the violation of the agreed-upon terms and conditions of a binding contract. Breaching of a contract could be anything from a late payment to a more serious violation such as the failure to deliver goods or services. A contract is binding and will be actionable if taken to court.

Thus, breaching of contract means the parties who contracted, either of them failed to fulfil their tasks which they were legally bound to do.

3. What is a Consumer Protection Authority?

Ans. A Central Consumer Protection Authority checks the matters which relates to the violation of rights of the consumers, violation like - unfair trade practices and false or misleading advertisements which are not justified towards the interests of the consumers.

4. What are the Types of Contract Unfairness?

Ans. There are four types of contract unfairness –

  • Paying excessive security deposits.

  • Disproportionate penalty for an occurrence of breach.

  • Unilateral termination without any cause.

  • The type where the consumer is exposed to any disadvantageous situation.