"Consumerism" is dominating the Indian market in today’s age, thanks to the economic reforms ushered in and the several agreements signed under the World Trade Organization. The transition has been from a predominantly "sellers market" to a "buyers market" where the choice exercised by the consumer is influenced by the level of consumer awareness achieved. By "consumerism" we mean the process of realizing the rights of the consumer as envisaged in the Consumer Protection Act (1986) and ensuring right standards for the goods and services for which one makes a payment. This objective can be achieved in a reasonable time frame only when all concerned act together and play their role. The players are the consumers represented by different voluntary non-government consumer organizations, the government, the regulatory authorities for goods and services in a competitive economy, the consumer courts, organizations representing trade, industry and service providers, the law-makers and those in charge of implementation of the laws and rules.
NEED FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
Prior to independence, the main laws under which the consumer interests were considered were the Indian Penal Code, Agricultural Production, Grading and Marketing Act, 1937, Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. Even though different parts of India exhibited different levels of awareness, in general, the level of awareness was pretty low. The Sale of Goods Act, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act did not directly deal with the subject of consumer interests. In the context of growing needs of the citizens many problems relating to their routine necessities, do not find effective measure for verifying wrongful acts and for compensation due to consequent loss to them.
The consumer in India needs special protection for various reasons. First of all, he is not provided with full and correct information about the quality of the product he buys, or its ingredients and its full use or effects. Even a... [continues]
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