Consumer and Consumer rights

CONSUMER AND CONSUMER RIGHTSThis article is about the consumer and consumers rights which government of India gave them. Main aim of this article is to make consumers aware towards their rights and social and legal obligations of the business and the government towards consumers. Consumers must be aware of their rights so as to protect themselves from unfair trade practices.

Consumer rights
In the present world everyone want to become successful in lesser time for this they use cheap means instead of fair, similar thing happens in market place where every company, brand want to become successful at every cost even by using wrong ways they don't care about consumers and their health .So it become duty of government to safeguard the interest of consumers. To protect consumers from this unethical and unfair trade practices government gave some rights to consumers which help the consumers in protecting themselves from being exploited and cheated by manufacturers are known as consumer rights. According to this right consumers have rights to know about the every aspect of product fully for their wellness. If consumer feel being cheated they can file a complaint against that company and product in consumer forum and from consumer forum get right judgement.

Factors which cause exploitation of consumers

Illiteracy and ignorance
  • The majority of population is illiterate and ignorant . They cannot differentiate between right quality substandard quality goods.Due to these weakness they are cheated
Fatalism of consumer
  • Many consumers think that that whatever is supplied to them at whatever price is the gift of god . No one responsible for their misery

Compromising attitude
  • Indian consumers are by nature compromising . They are not habituated of making complaints and fight with the sellers

Unrecorded sales
  • Most of the sales remain unrecorded, so no suit can be filed against such sales . In practice, we do not insist on receipts and cash memos. Consequently we are cheated and no one can save us

Nonstandard products
  • Products which we buy are some times are not made up of standard ingredients instead made up of cheap goods which effects in many ways
Dishonest manufacturers and sellers
  • Consumers also got be fooled by wicked shopkeepers and their wrong ways of selling goods

Needs of consumers rights

  • Dissatisfaction of consumers as many unfair practices were being indulged in by the sellers
  • There was no legal system available to consumers to protect them from the exploitation in the market place
  • The consumer movement as social force originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interest of consumers against hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil
  • There is need of rules and regulations to ensure protection for consumers therefore consumer rights is needed for the welfare of consumers.
Consumer Protection Act-COPRA 1986 ACT

Consumer Protection Act 1986 commonly called COPRA 1986 ACT is major step taken by the government of India in context of protecting consumers from unfair market practices.
This act extend and applies to whole India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This act came in effect on December 1986 after being passed by the Indian parliament and signing by the president . It was modified later on with some more positive changes.

Rationale behind the enactment of Consumer Protection Act 1986

Consumer ignorance
  • Consumer in general are innocent and ignorant about the quality and constituents of the product being used by them . So it is the responsibility of the administration to protect the right of the consumer

Principle of'Buyer Beware'is out of date 
  • Previously it was thought that sellers are corrupt and dishonest, so it become responsibility of buyers that he should be cautious but practically consumers are the victim of the producers exploitation

Control over business malpractices
  • Consumer protection through legislation is necessary to protect consumers from the unfair and deceptive practices such as selling defective and substandard goods
Settlement of consumers disputes
  • In case the consumer suffers damage, there must be someone to listen and redress his grievance . With this view various acts, specially Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted

Consumers rights guaranteed by COPRA 1986

Right to safety
  • Certain goods may cause serious injuries . This goods are pressure cookers, gas cylinder, electrical goods etc. If there is any manufacturing defects in the goods consumer have the right to be protected against their fatal risks
Right to be informed
  • A consumer has the rights to be informed about the quality, quantity, standard of the ingredients used, price of the products which consumer use.
Right to choose
  • The consumer has the right to choose the product of his choice out of the alternative products available. The seller should not adopt aggressive technique and force consumer to buy certain products
Right to seek redressal
  • Consumer have the right to get their claim settled in their favour in case of being cheated and exploited by the producer. The government has set up many consumer courts for this specific purpose
Right to be heard
  • Right to be heard and to be assured that consumers'interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums
Right to consumer education
  • Consumer have also right of education

Remedies available to consumers under C
onsumer protection Act

  • Not to offer hazardous goods for sale
  • To discontinue the unfair trad practices or the restrictive trade practicesor not to repeat themTo remove the defects or deficiencies in the services supplied
  • To return the complaint the price paid for the goods or the charges paid for the services
  • To replace the defective goods with new goods of similar description which are free from any defect
Duties of the consumer

  • It is the duty of the consumer to be more alert and questioning about the price and quality of goods and services that he uses.
  • He should assert and act to ensure that he gets a fair deal . As long as he remains passive he will continue to be exploited
Association of consumer
  • Consumer should organise themselve to develop the strength and influence to promote and protect their interests
Asking for warrantees
  • Consumer should insist for waranty card with stamp of the seller
Cash memo
  • Consumer should get cash memo from seller
Progress of consumer movement in India

COPRA-brought about a sea change in the quality and service of products the way they were sold to the consumer.Consumer movement in in India has made some progress in the terms of number of organised group and their activities. However consumer redressal process is becoming cumbersome, expensive and time consuming.

After years of COPRA consumer awareness in India is spreading but slowly.Besides this ,the enforcement of laws that protect workers, especially in the unorganised sector is weak, similarly rules and regulation for working of markets are often not followed. some innovations are needed in this act so that it should run smoothly.

Legal measures taken by the government of india to empower the consumer in India

  • The agriculture produce (grading and marketing)Act, 1937
  • Essential commodities Act, 1955
  • Prevention and control of pollution Act, 1974
  • Environment protection Act
  • The Standard of Weights and Measure Act, 1976
  • The prevention of Goods Adulteration Act, 1976
  • Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1946
  • The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969
  • Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980
  • The Bureau of Indian Standard Act, 1986
  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986


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