Justify the following statement.
The Consumer Protection Act was passed in the interest of consumers.
Ans :The Consumer Protection Act came into force from 1986. Thereafter the Ministry of Law and Justice proposed a new act in 2019. The Act has for the first time recognized six rights of the consumer
1) The right to be protected against the marketing of hazardous goods.
2) The right to be informed about the price and features of goods.
3) The right to make a choice out of a variety of goods.
4) The right to make a complaint against unsatisfactory goods.
5) The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices.
6) The right to consumer education. All the above rights are in the interest of the consumer and not the seller.
The Act has made provision for the establishment of Consumer Protection Councils at the central and state levels for promoting and protecting these rights.
The Act has created quasi-judicial machinery consisting of the District Commission, State Commission, and National Commission to entertain complaints and to give fair justice to the aggrieved consumers.
The Act prescribes punishment of imprisonment not less than one month which may extend to 3 years and a fine which shall not be less than Rs. 25,000 which may extend to Rs. 1 lakh or with both for the guilty person.
The strict enforcement of these rights creates competition among the sellers. Consequently, consumers get quality goods at fair prices. The government has also adopted various measures for creating public awareness about the rights of consumers. Various programs are shown on television channels as well as programs are broadcasted by All India to educate consumers.
2) Consumers have many responsibilities.
Ans : Consumers have many responsibilities such as
Consumers should use their rights: Consumers have many rights with regard to goods and services. They must be aware of their rights while buying.
1.Cautious consumer: Consumers should understand their responsibilities while buying goods and services. While buying, the consumer should enquire about the quality, quantity, price, utility of goods and services, etc.
2.Filing of complaint: It is the responsibility of a consumer to approach the officer concerned if consumers have some complaints about the goods and services.
3. Consumers must be quality conscious: The consumers should never compromise on the quality of goods. They should not buy inferior stuff out of greed for less prices. If consumers behave like this, there cannot be any protection for them from any sector.
4. Beware from exaggerating advertisement: The seller informs the consumer about their goods and services through advertisement.
5. The demand for Receipt and Guarantee/ warranty card: Consumers should always ask for an invoice for the goods purchased.
6. Pre-Plan for buying: The important responsibility of consumers is that they should not buy in hurry.
7. Organized efforts: Consumers should undertake responsibility for the protection of their rights and safeguarding their interests.
3) The aim of the consumer organization is to protect the rights of the consumer.
Ans : The role of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in consumer protection is explained as follows:
NGO organise campaigns and various programmes on consumer issues to create social awareness.
They initiate and organise training programmes for the consumers and make them aware and conscious of their rights and various modes of redressal of their grievances.
They publish journals and periodicals at regular interval to make the consumers understand and keep them informed about various consumer-related developments.
They provide legal advice free of charge to the members on the matters of consumer interest and help them to put up grievances before the appropriate authority.
NGOs active members interact (communicate) with the businessmen and Chambers of Commerce and Industry for ensuring a better deal for the consumers.
The file Public Interest Litigation (Janhit Yachika) on important consumer issues like ban on a product or medicine injurious to public health. They also file cases in the court of law to safeguard the rights and protect the interest of the general public.
Few examples of NGOs working for the consumers are Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE), Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Consumers Association of India (CAI), Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), Grahak Shakti (GS), etc.