Consumer Rights in India
The definition of Consumer right is 'the right to have information about the quality, potency, quantity, purity, price and standard of goods or services’, as it may be the case, but the consumer is to be protected against any unfair practices of trade. It is very essential for the consumers to know these rights.
However there are strong and clear laws in India to defend consumer rights, the actual plight of consumers of India can be declared as completely dismal. Out of the various laws that have been enforced to protect the consumer rights in India, the most important is the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. According to this law, everybody, including individuals, a firm, a Hindu undivided family and a company, have the right to exercise their consumer rights for the purchase of goods and services made by them. It is significant that, as consumer, one knows the basic rights as well as about the courts and procedures that follow with the infringement of one’s rights.
In general, the consumer rights in India are listed below:
· The right to be protected from all kind of hazardous goods and services
· The right to be fully informed about the performance and quality of all goods and services
· The right to free choice of goods and services
· The right to be heard in all decision-making processes related to consumer interests
· The right to seek redressal, whenever consumer rights have been infringed
· The right to complete consumer education
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and several other laws like the Weights, Standards & Measures Act can be formulated to make sure that there is fair competition in the market and free flow of correct information from goods and services providers to the ones who consume them. In fact, the degree of consumer protection in any country is regarded as the right indicator of the progress of the country. There is high level of sophistication gained by the goods and services providers in their marketing and selling practices and different types of promotional tasks viz. advertising resulted in an increasing requirement for more consumer awareness and protection. The government of India has realized the condition of Indian consumers therefore the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has incorporated the Department of Consumer Affairs as the nodal organization to protect the consumer rights, redress the consumer grievances and promote the standards governing goods and services provided in India.
If there is infringement of rights of consumer then a complaint can be made under the following circumstances and reported to the close by designated consumer court:
· The goods or services purchased by a person or agreed to be purchased by a person has one or more defects or deficiencies in any respect
· A trader or a service provider resort to unfair or restrictive practices of trade
· A trader or a service provider if charges a price more than the price displayed on the goods or the price that was agreed upon between the parties or the price that was stipulated under any law that exist