What do you understand by consumer protection:- Consumer protection refers to all such measures which protect the consumers from various types of exploitation by the sellers. In other words, consumer protection is to provide proper protection to the basic rights and interests of the consumer. In fact, consumer protection is a broad term that includes all those measures, which are helpful in protecting the rights and interests of consumers; Such as consumer consciousness, consumer education, statutory act and regulation, establishment of public distribution system, measures to prevent pollution etc.
According to Mrs. Ranganathan, “Consumer protection is a protest against commercial injustices and an attempt to rectify those injustices.” , It is clear that consumer protection protects consumers against exploitation by manufacturers, intermediaries and businessmen. It protects the basic rights and interests of the consumer.
Need or Importance of Consumers Protection Act in India
Most of the commodities in India have a ‘seller’s market’. Most of the sellers here are corrupt, dishonest, fraudsters and profiteers. The danger to the lives of the consumers is increasing day by day due to adulteration in the items used in our daily life, substandard medicines and electrical equipment and dangerous chemicals.
In fact, the unfair practices of the businessmen have increased the exploitation of the consumers to earn undue profit. The consumer of India is illiterate, unorganized, helpless and inexperienced. Therefore, it is imperative to implement the Consumer Protection Act to avoid consumer exploitation. Following are the major reasons for the need for Consumer Protection Act in India:
1.To protect the consumers from the tendency of exploiting the businessmen
Today businessmen have taken out different ways to exploit the consumers; Such as under-weighing, adulteration in consumption goods, creating artificial scarcity, black marketing etc. In a country like India, where the consumer is relatively more unorganized, illiterate or less educated and less aware of their rights, easily becomes a victim of the exploitative tendency of businessmen. Consumer Protection Act is also absolutely needed to save it from the attitude of doing this corrupt exploitation of businessmen.
2.To make consumers aware of their rights
Today the common consumer is indifferent to his rights. Either he is not aware of his rights or even if he has a little knowledge, he feels completely alone, helpless and inactive due to various reasons. From this point of view also there is a need for Consumer Protection Act.
3.To create awareness of social responsibility
The need of Consumer Protection Act has been felt from the point of view of creating awareness among the businessmen about their social responsibilities.
4. To provide necessary information
Consumer Protection Act is also needed from the point of view of providing necessary information to the consumers.
5. to settle complaints and complaints as soon as possible
consumers not only have the fundamental right to make complaints, but there should also be a system to settle their complaints as soon as possible. From this point of view also there is a need for Consumer Protection Act.
6. To provide freedom from the monopolistic attitude of business
The unorganized consumers have to fall prey to the exploitative attitude of monopolistic business organizations. Consumer Protection Act is also needed to protect the consumers from falling prey to this unfair monopolistic attitude of businessmen.
7. for human welfare
We are all consumers in some form or the other. Consumer Protection Act is also necessary from the point of view of human welfare.
8. other reasons:-
(i) to make the manufacturers and producers aware of the quality of the product;
(ii) to raise the level of consumption of the consumer
(iii) to encourage the manufacture and production of pure and quality goods.
(iv) To increase consumer awareness.
(v) To remove defects in distribution system and make it more robust.
(vi) to raise the standard of living of the consumers.
(vii) to understand the needs of the consumers.
(viii) To keep the government aware of the consumers.
Note- The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was implemented in India to protect the interests of consumers. This Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It has come into force from July, 1987.