Consumer Protection Act, 1986

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Consumer Protection Act, 1986
Consumer Protection Act, 1986
An Act to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers' disputes and for matters connected therewith.
Citation Act No. 68 of 1986
Enacted by Parliament of India
Date commenced 24 December 1986
Status: In force

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India. It makes provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers' disputes and for matters connected therewith also.

Significance of the statute[edit]

This statute is regarded as the Magna Carta in the field of consumer protection for checking the unfair trade practices and ‘defect in goods’ and ‘deficiencies in services’ as far as India is concerned. It 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 empowered consumers to a great extent.[1]

Consumer Protection Council[edit]

Consumer Protection Councils are established at the national, state and district level to increase consumer awareness.[2]

The Central Consumer Protection Council[edit]

The Central Govt. shall by notification establish with effect from such date as it may specify in such notification a Council to be known as the Central Consumer Protection Council

Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies[edit]

  • 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 Government 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$31,000).[2]
  • 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$160,000)[2]
  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): Established by the Central Government.

Objectives[edit]

Objectives of Central Council[edit]

The objectives of the Central Council is to promote and protect the rights of the consumers such as:-

  1. the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
  2. the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, as the case may be so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
  3. the right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices ;
  4. the right to be heard and to be assured that consumer's interest will receive due consideration at appropriate forums;
  5. the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers; and
  6. the right to consumer education.

Objectives of State Council[edit]

The objective of every State Council shall be to promote and protect within the State the rights of the consumers laid down in clauses 1 to 6 in central council objectives.

Jurisdiction[edit]

Jurisdiction of District Forum[edit]

  1. 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.
  2. 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 jusridiction over matters where services or goods were bought for a commercial purpose.[3]

Jurisdiction of State Commission[edit]

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 which is pending before or has been decided by any District Forum within the State, where it appears to the State Commission that such District Forum has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested or has acted in exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity.

Jurisdiction of National Commission[edit]

The National Commission has jurisdiction[4]

(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 Commission; 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.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kumar, Vineet. "An Analysis of Consumer Protection Laws in India". iPleaders. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "CONSUMER PROTECTION AND NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION". NCDRC. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Meera Industries, Howrah vs. Modern Constructions, Howrah
  4. ^ "Section 21 in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986". indiankanoon.org. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 
  5. ^ "Jurisdiction of National Commission under Revision Application is limited". Consumer Law India. 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2017-01-28. 

External links[edit]