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.
The act was passed in:
Lok Sabha on 9th December,1986 and Rajya Sabha on 10th December, 1986 and Assented by the President of India on 24th December, 1986 and was Published in the Gazette of India on 26th December, 1986.This act was enacted in the 37th year of the Republic of India and was amended from time to time in the following years i.e. 1991, 1993 and 2002.
Why protect the consumers?
Reasons for Enacting the Act
- Collective Bargaining: Sellers Lobby; Forming cartels; Artificially keeping prices high
- Multiple Laws : India Contract Act; Sale of Goods Act; Essential Commodities Act
- Hurdles in the Litigation: Going to regular court; Expensive & Time Consuming
- Remedy: Punishment
- To provide better protection
- The right to be informed
- The right to be assured
- The right to be heard
- The right to seek redressal
- The right to consumer education
In India, the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is the law governing consumer protection. Under this law, Separate Consumer Dispute Redressal Fora have been set up throughout India in each and every district in which a consumer [complaint can be filed by both the consumer of a goods as well as of the services] can file his complaint on a simple paper with nominal court fees and his complaint will be decided by the Presiding Officer of the District Level. Appeal could be filed to the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and after that to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). The procedures in these tribunals are relatively less formal and more people friendly and they also take less time to decide upon a consumer dispute when compared to the years long time taken by the traditional Indian judiciary. In recent years, many effective judgement have been passed by some state and National Consumer Forums.