Consumer Protection Act, 1986

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Consumer Protection Act, 1986

By | September 2013
Page 1 of 21
Consumer Protection Act, 1986

1. Introduction

2. Redressal Machinery

3. Important Case Laws

4. Membership

Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Introduction & Definitions

A consumer is a user of goods and services. Any person paying for goods and services which he uses is entitled to expect that the goods and services are of a nature and quality promised to him by the seller.

The earlier principle of "Caveat Emptor" or "let the buyer beware" which was prevalent has given way to the principle of "Consumer is King". The origins of this principle lie in the fact that in today's mass production economy where there is little contact between the producer and consumer, often sellers make exaggerated claims and advertisements which they do not intend to fulfill. This leaves the consumer in a difficult position with very few avenues for redressal. The onset on intense competition also made producers aware of the benefits of customer satisfaction and hence by and large, the principle of " consumer is king" is now accepted.

The need to recognise and enforce the rights of consumers is being understood and several laws have been made for this purpose. In India, we have the Indian Contract Act, the Sale of Goods Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act, the Indian Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Act, the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, the Trade and Merchandise Marks Act, etc which to some extent protect consumer interests. However, these laws required the consumer to initiate action by way of a civil suit which involved lengthy legal process proving to be too expensive and time consuming for lay consumers. Therefore, the need for a more simpler and quicker access to redressal to consumer grievances was felt and accordingly, it lead to the legislation of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Objects of the Consumer...

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