National Consumer Rights Day – 24 December: Rights, History, Significance
“Jaggo Grahak Jago“
National Consumer Rights Day
Every year in India, 24 December is celebrated as National Consumer Rights Day with a particular theme. On that day, the 1986 Consumer Protection Act earned the President’s approval.
In the consumer movement in the world, the implementation of this Act is considered a significant milestone. This day offers an opportunity for people to demonstrate the value of the consumer movement with the need to make their rights and obligations more conscious of each consumer.
The new Consumer Protection Act 2019 entered into force in India on July 20, 2020, replacing the previous 1986 enactment. The new Act revises the administration and resolution in India of consumer disputes. It imposes stringent punishments, including prison sentences for adultery and false advertisement.
The Consumer Protection Act 2019 is a statute intended to protect consumers’ interests. To settle a large number of unresolved consumer complaints in consumer courts around the nation, this act was unavoidable.
It has tools and means to easily settle customer complaints. An individual is called a customer who uses the services and buys any products for self-use, as per the act. It is worth remembering that if a person purchases any product and uses any service for resale or commercial purposes, he is not considered a customer. This description encompasses all forms of transactions i.e., online and offline.
As per Consumer Protection Act, 1986, “Consumer” means any person who buys or avails of any service for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised under any system of deferred payment etc. (for details refer to Section 2(1)(d) of CP Act, 1986)
What are the Rights of Consumers
Following are some Consumer Rights
- Right to Safety
- Right to information
- Right to Choose
- The Right to be Heard
- Redressal Right
- Right to education for customers
Right to Safety
The right to protection is referred to as the right to be secured from the advertisement of life-threatening products and services. It is primarily relevant in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and food processing industries. The law also extends to sectors which have an indirect effect on health, including vehicles, lodging, household appliances and travel.
Right to information
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, describes the right to knowledge as the right to be aware of the nature, quantity, power, purity, standard and price of products in order to protect the consumer from unfair trade practices. For example, customers need to be aware of the costs involved with using a loan, or the possible side effects of medications must be revealed by pharmaceuticals.
Right to Choose
The right to choose must be guaranteed, whenever possible, access to a selection of products at competitive prices is referred to as’ Did you know that the MRP can also be negotiated by a buyer, since it is not set by the government and, depending on the taxes, the real sale price may be lower?
The Right to be Heard
The Act describes the ‘right to be heard’ as ‘the right to be heard and to be assured that the interests of customers will be adequately taken into account in appropriate forums.’ The right guarantees that, without fear, customers come forward, file a complaint and lift their voice against any goods and services. There are websites that allow customers to submit their complaints that are later checked and referred for redress to the consumer courts.
The Right to Redress means the right to obtain redress against unfair commercial practices or unscrupulous consumer abuse. Consumer courts are implemented with the aid of the Consumer Rights Act in order for consumers to obtain recourse against unfair trade practices or exploitation. These courts are set at three tiers, namely county-level District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums, state-level State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, and state-level District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums.
Right to education for customers
The right guarantees convenient access to information systems and materials for customers in the country to assist them with a better choice when it comes to using any services. Knowledge can be provided by formal education by educational institutions or by awareness campaigns coordinated by government bodies.
The Act provides for the creation of the CCPA, which will preserve, encourage and enforce consumer rights. Cases related to unfair trade practices, false ads and consumer rights abuses will be governed by the CCPA. The CCPA shall be entitled to impose a penalty on the infringers and to order the removal of products or services, the termination of unfair market practices and the refund of the price paid by the customers. In order to enquire and prosecute such abuses, the Central Consumer Protection Authority will have an investigation wing. The director-general will head the CCPA.
The basic goal of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to save the rights of the consumers by creating authorities for timely and efficient administration and resolution of consumers’ disputes
The act provides for the establishment at the national, state and district levels of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs).
The CDRCs will have concerns relating to;
- Overcharging or dishonest charging
- Practices of unequal or restrictive trade
- Sale of harmful products and services which may be life-threatening.
- Selling of damaged products or services.
The requirements of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission were established in the act (CDRCs). Complaints worth over Rs. 10 crores will be heard by the National CDRC. When the amount is more than Rs 1 crore but less than Rs 10 crore, the State CDRC will hear complaints. When the value of products or services is up to Rs 1 crore, the District CDRC will send complaints.
The consumer protection observation is that, at the level of each district, state and region, there is a council. The customer has to know the terms and conditions of the commodity. The seller must be fair. Fake ads in TV and movie theatres are not right. At the consumer forum, the consumer courts, it can be questioned. Consumers have privileges when buying a commodity. Right to use, right to know, right to contest, right to access, etc.
Author- Sanya Chauhan