To protect and promote the consumers’ interest through speedy and inexpensive redressal of their grievances.

Scope of Consumer Protection Act,1986

The scope of the Act is very wide as It is applicable to all types of undertakings, big and small, whether in the private or public sector, or in the co-operative sector, whether a manufacturer or a trader, and whether supplying goods or providing services.

Protection of consumers by giving Consumer Rights

The CPA, 1986 confers certain rights to consumers to empower them and protect their interests.

1. Right to safety

The consumer has a right to be protected against goods & services which are hazardous to life & health. Thus, consumers are to be educated so that they should use ISI marked electric appliances.

2. Right to be informed

The consumer has full right to have complete information about the product he wishes to buy including its ingredients, date of manufacture, price, quantity, directions for use, etc. So, the manufactures must provide such information on the package and label of the product.

3. Right to choose

The consumer is free to choose from a variety of products at competitive prices. It means that the marketers should offer a wide variety of products in terms of quality, brand, prices, size, etc. and allow the consumer to make a free choice.

4. Right to be heard

The consumer has a right to file a complaint & to be heard in case of dissatisfaction with a good or service.

5. Right to seek redressal

The consumer has a right to get relief in case the product falls short of his expectations. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides a number of reliefs to consumers like replacement, removal of a product etc.

6. Right to consumer education

The consumer has a right to acquire knowledge and to be a well informed consumer throughout life. He should be aware about his rights & the reliefs available to him in case of a product falling short of his expectations.

Three tier machinery available under Consumer Protection act, 1986

The Consumer protection Act, 1986 makes available the three tier machinery available to protect the consumers and empower them.

1. District Forum

The District Forum consists of a President and two other members, one of whom should be a woman, appointed by the State Government concerned.

A complaint can to be made to the appropriate District Forum when the value of goods or services in question, along with the compensation claimed, does not exceed ₹20lakhs.

On receiving the complaint, the District Forum shall refer the complaint to the party against whom the complaint is filed.

In case the aggrieved party is not satisfied with the order of the District Forum, he can appeal before the State Commission within 30 days of the passing of the order.

2. State Commission

Each State Commission consists of a President & not less than 2 other members, 1 of whom should be woman. They are appointed by the State Government concerned.

A complaint can be made to the appropriate State Commission when the value of the good in question along with the compensation claimed exceeds 20 lakhs but not exceeds 1crore.

The appeals against the orders of District Forum can also be filed before the State Commission. It may refer the goods for testing in a laboratory, then pass an order after considering the test report from the laboratory & hearing to that party.

In case party is not satisfied than he can appeal to National Commission before 30days.

3. National Commission

The National Commission consists of a President & at least 4 other members, 1 should be a woman. They are appointed by the Central Govt.

A complaint can be made to the National Commission when the value of the goods in question along with compensation claimed exceeds 1 crore.

On receiving complaint, the National Commission refers the complaint to the party against whom the complaint is filed. It may refer the goods for testing in a laboratory, and then pass an order after considering the test report from the laboratory & hearing to that party.

Appeals

1. If the party is not satisfied with the order of the district forum, the matter can be taken to the next level i.e. state commission. If from the order of the state commission also, the party is not satisfied, the matter can be taken to the national commission. It cannot be taken further.

2. If the party is not satisfied with the order of the state commission, appeal can be filed with the national commission.

3. If the party is not satisfied with the order of the national commission, it can be taken to the Supreme Court in the form of appeal.

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