Basics of Consumer Protection Act, 1986

The basic features of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

-Puneet Chaturvedi, Advocate

The Constitution of India, which is divided into different parts, has two very important parts . Part III Fundamental Rights and Part IV Directive Principles of State Policy. These two parts denote two important features of our constitution. The former denotes the existing and enforceable legal rights and the latter denotes the targeted social and economic goals which our founding fathers desired, our successive  governments to achieve.

That in pursuance of achieving one such goal, Consumer Protection Act came into force in the year 1986. That as per the preamble of the Act it was brought to provide for the better protection of the interests of consumers and for settlement of consumers’ disputes. Although there were remedies in other laws like Contract Act, Sales of Goods Act, Torts, IPC and procedure prescribed in C.P.C. and Cr.P.C., the purpose o f enactment of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was to provide specialized redressal to the consumer grievances.

That the Act provides for the Central Consumer Protection Council, State Consumer Protection Council and three tiers of the Consumer Redressal Authorities i.e. District Consumer Forum, State Consumer Commission and the National Consumer Commission. The Councils were assigned with the job to promote and protect interest of the consumers at the Central and State levels and the redressal authorities  were established to provide speedy and simple remedy to consumer disputes through a quasi-judicial machinery. Continue reading Basics of Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Consumer Voice

 Consumer VOICE

Voluntary Organization in Interest of Consumer Education-is the Voice of and for the consumers in every sense.

A voluntary action group, it consists of academicians, professionals and volunteers channelising their energies towards creating informed consumers.

It raises awareness in consumers not only about malpractices perpetuated in the market place, but also about her/his rights. Consumer VOICE aims at being the most powerful tool in the hands of the consumer to help them fight for value for their money.

Consumer awareness has become important because of the liberalizing economy.Consumers need guidance to make informed choice in the products and services available. They need protection against deficient services and products with timely information and intervention.

Consumer VOICE endeavors to provide all of the above to its growing fraternity of members.

Consumer VOICE was founded by teachers and students at the University of Delhi in the beginning of the academic year 1983-84. Till mid 1986, Consumer VOICE functioned as an unregistered voluntary consumer association.

On 28 June 1986, it was registered as a Public Charitable Trust with noted jurist, Justice (retd.) V.M. Tarkunde and Prof. P.K. Ghosh of the Delhi School of Economics as founder donors and Dr. Sri Ram Khanna and Mr Rajan Karanjawala as Trustees.

In 1988 the Dept of Company Affairs Govt. of India accorded recognition to Consumer VOICE under the MRTP Act. The trust has since been granted exemption under section 80-G of the Income Tax Act and, donations made to the Trust are exempt from Tax. However the organization does not accept donations from private enterprise in order to ensure objectivity, or from individuals except when the donor is genuinely committed to espouse the cause of consumer protection.

As one of its first consumer-rights initiative, VOICE filed a suit against the ‘Wills Made for Each Other’ tobacco campaign, as it was monopolistic and discriminated against consumers who did not smoke. VOICE also challenged television manufacturers which were selling colour television sets at a premium to consumers during the Asiad Games.

In 1997, VOICE started to publish Consumer VOICE, a bi-monthly magazine that focused on bringing consumers information on product performance. ‘Voltage Stabilisers’ were one of the first product tests to be published in Consumer VOICE magazine.

The publisher of Consumer VOICE magazine since 1999 it is currently working in close co-ordination with the Dept of Consumer Affairs, Govt of India, on a comparative product testing project. The project aims to test a wide range of products most commonly used by Indian consumers in NABL-accredited laboratories. The test results are then published in Consumer VOICE magazine.

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Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC)

Consumer Education and Research Centre is the leading consumer rights organisation in India. CERC is a non profit, non government body, dedicated to the protection and promotion of consumer interests through active use of research, media, law, advocacy and information dissemination. CERC does not belong to any political party, nor does it subscribe to any political ideology.

 

CERC is recognised as a research institute by the Government of India and as a consumer organisation by the Government of Gujarat. The United Nations has recognised CERC as one of the approved non government organisations.

CERC’s goals

  • Ensure total consumer safety against unsafe products and services through education, research, awareness campaign and dissemination of the findings of the comparative testing of consumer products and product information.
  • Establish transparency and accountability of business and industry, including utility services and the public sector;
  • Resolve individual complaints;
  • Protect the environment
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