Consumer Protection Act, 1986
|Parliament of India|
|Citation||Act No. 68 of 1986|
|Enacted by||Parliament of India|
|Commenced||24 December 1986|
|Consumer Protection Act, 2019|
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPRA) was an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India. It was replaced by the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. It was made for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer's grievances and matters connected there with it. The act was passed in Assembly in October 1986 and came into force on December 24, 1986. The statute on the right was made before this COPRA act
Significance of the Act
This Act is regarded as the 'Magna Carta' in the field of consumer protection for checking unfair trade practices, ‘defects in goods’ and ‘deficiencies in services’ as far as India is concerned. It has led to the establishment of a widespread network of consumer forums and appellate courts all over India. It has significantly impacted how businesses approach consumer complaints and have empowered consumers to a greater extent.
Consumer Protection Council
Consumer Protection Councils are established at the national, state and district level to increase consumer awareness.
Various Consumer Organisations
To increase the awareness of consumers, there are many consumer organisations and NGOs that have been established.
CONSUMER GUIDANCE SOCIETY OF INDIA (CGSI) was THE FIRST CONSUMER ORGANISATION ESTABLISHED IN INDIA IN 1966.
It was followed by many others such as
(1) Consumer Education And Research Centre (Gujarat)
(2) Bureau Of Indian Standards
(3) Federation Of Consumer Organisation In Tamil Nadu
(4) Mumbai Grahak Panchayat
(5) Consumer Voice (New Delhi)
(6) Legal Aid Society (Kolkata)
(7) Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat
(8) The Consumers Eye India.
(9)United India Consumer's Association.
Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies
- District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (DCDRF): Also known as the "District Forum" established by the State Government in each district of the State. The State Governments may establish more than one District Forum in a district. It is a district-level court that deals with cases valuing up to ₹2 million (US$28,000).
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC): Also known as the "State Commission" established by the State Government in the State. It is a state-level court that takes up cases valuing less than ₹10 million (US$140,000)
- National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): Established by the Central Government. It deals with matters of more than 10 million.
Objectives of the central council
The objectives of the Central Council is to promote and to protect the rights of the consumers such as:-
- The right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
- The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
- The right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices ;
- The right to be heard and to be assured that consumer's interest will receive due consideration at appropriate forums;
- The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers
- The right to consumer education.
Jurisdiction/Three Tier System of Council Courts
Jurisdiction of District Forum
- Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the District Forum shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed does not exceed rupees twenty lakhs.
- A complaint shall be instituted in a District Forum within the local limits of whose jurisdiction:-
- a) – the opposite party or each of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides or carries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain, or
- b) – any of the opposite parties, where there are more than one, at the time of the institution of the complaint, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the permission of the District Forum is given, or the opposite parties who do not reside, or carry on business or have a branch office, or personally work for gain, as the case may be, acquiesce in such institution; or
- c) – the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
Consumer courts do not have jurisdiction over matters where services or goods were bought for a commercial purpose.
Jurisdiction of State Commission
Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the State Commission shall have jurisdiction:-
- a) to entertain
- i) complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds rupees twenty lakhs but does not exceed rupees one crore (R10 million); and
- ii) appeals against the orders of any District Forum within the State; and
- b) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute
- a) to entertain
Jurisdiction of National Commission
- (a) to entertain—
- (i) complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds rupees one crore; and
- (ii) appeals against the orders of any State mayor; and
- (b) to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission. However, the Supreme Court of India has held that the jurisdiction of National Commission under Revision Jurisdiction is very limited and can only be exercised when State Commission exceeds its jurisdiction, fails to exercise its jurisdiction or there is material illegality in the order passed by State Commission.
- Kumar, Vineet. "An Analysis of Consumer Protection Laws in India". iPleaders. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
- "CONSUMER PROTECTION AND NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION". NCDRC. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- Meera Industries, Howrah vs. Modern Constructions, Howrah
- "Jurisdiction of National Commission under Revision Application is limited". Consumer Law India. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2017.