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Consumer Protection

Consumer Protection

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Consumer Protection

Issues Regarding Consumer Protection

Consumer protection measures help empower consumers by providing them  required  information so as to make important decisions about the purchases done by them. 

 

Consumer protection is one of the most important aspect of the modern economies, with an objective of protecting the rights of consumers against such unfair trade practices and thus, ensure fair and efficient mechanisms for dispute resolution.

 

India, as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, has taken significant steps in consumer protection, with Consumer Protection Act 2019, which provides for a strengthened  legal framework for consumer rights.

 

But, in spite of these policy efforts and mechanisms for grievance redressal, overall time taken in dealing with the consumer grievances in India still remains a challenge, with significant backlog of pending cases.

The pendency of dispute redressal system results in the mental, financial, as well as emotional hardships for consumers and would require the reimagining or redesigning the current dispute resolution structure. An urgent need is required to lessen the mediation of the procedural, proper, and process ...Read More

The pendency of dispute redressal system results in the mental, financial, as well as emotional hardships for consumers and would require the reimagining or redesigning the current dispute resolution structure. An urgent need is required to lessen the mediation of the procedural, proper, and process brokers in the system.

 

Why is Consumer Protection Important ?

 

To Empower the Consumers:

Consumer protection measures help empowering the consumers by providing them the required  information to make important decisions about the purchases done by them.  A consumer can exercise his or her rights of demanding quality products and services as well as demanding appropriate compensation in case they have received substandard products or services from the seller.

 

To Prevent Fraudulent Activities:

Consumer protection laws would help preventing fraudulent activities by the consumers, including those of false advertising, misleading labelling, as well as price manipulation. This shall not only protect the consumers but would also promote fair competition in the market.

 

Reduce the Health and Safety Risks:

Consumer protection measures would help reduce the health and safety risks related to using respective products or services. Say for example, regulations applied by the respective authorities on food products, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices would help ensure that they confirm with the minimum safety standards.

 

Helps Promoting the Economic Growth:

Ensuring protection to consumer will promote economic growth, as it would create a level playing field for various businesses ina fair manner. This shall increase the confidence of the consumer in the market, leading to increase in the spending, investment, as well as job creation.

 

Would Uphold Consumer Rights:

Consumer protection measures would help ensuring the basic rights of consumers, including the right to be informed about the product, right to choose, the right of safety, as well as the right to be heard. These rights are necessary in order to build a fair and just society.

 

What are the Obstacles with the Consumer Protection in India ?

 

  • Pendency of Cases:

  • A huge amount of consumer cases are pending in India at both the state and national levels.

  • This would result in long waiting period as well as delay in the dispute resolution.

  • Since,  December 2022, the state commissions had  around 1,12,000 pending cases, the  district commissions had 4,29,000 pending cases.

  • National commission has a pendency rate of 20.5% for 1,06,088 cases which are filed with it

  • Lack of Infrastructure:

  • Several consumer forums and commissions in the country lack necessary infrastructure as well as manpower to handle the huge number of cases in an effective manner.

  • This shall result in delay in the resolution of consumer complaints, which could be resolved quickly.

  • Inefficient Grievance Redressal Mechanisms:

  • Although several grievance redressal mechanisms have been provided by the respective authorities, they are generally inefficient and would not address the grievances of the consumer  effectively. Consumers are often unaware as to how to use these mechanisms or are completely unaware of them.

  • As per by a study by the National Council of Applied Economic Research, only 18% of the total consumers who filed a complaint with a company received a satisfactory resolution, while the rest either were dissatisfied by the resolution or did not receive any.

  • Lack of Awareness:

  • Consumers in India, mostly are not aware of their rights as well as the legal processes involved in seeking redressal. This shall make it difficult for them to approach the respective consumer forums and thus seek justice for the same.

Initiatives taken by the Government for Consumer Protection

 

  • Portal for Integrated Grievance Address Mechanism (INGRAM) 

  • Organisation of the national Lok Adalats in partnership with the National Legal Services Authority.

  • Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Steps to be taken to ensure the protection of consumer rights in India

 

Consumer Awareness:

  • Awareness of consumer would play an important role in protecting the rights of the consumer.

  • Consumers are required to be aware of their rights and responsibilities, and the government must conduct regular campaigns for creating awareness in order to educate consumers about their rights.

Product Quality Standards:

  • The government must establish and enforce a strict quality standard for various  products and services in order to protect them from substandard and hazardous products.

Redressal Mechanisms:

  • The government would have to establish an effective redressal mechanism to resolve consumer complaints in a quick and efficient manner.

  • Infrastructure and platforms such as the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for dispute redressal without having to go to the court

  • Establishing National Consumer Lok Adalat helpline will also help synchronise the efforts between complainants, companies, commissions, legal services authorities, etc. during the process of Lok Adalats.

E-commerce Regulations:

  • With an increase in the e-commerce business, the government has introduced regulations in order to protect consumers shopping through online platforms.

  • E-commerce platforms would have to provide an accurate information about products, pricing, and delivery times, and should have a robust system for handling consumer complaints.

Improving Data Governance:

 

  • Having made it mandatory to collect all KYC details of the parties involved with the  disputes, communication time can also be saved.

  • Institutional parties such as banks, e-commerce entities as well as large corporations would appoint nodal officers to ensure speedier communication, negotiations, as well as  settlements.

Why Sharks of Law ?

  • Single Platform- Sharks of Law offers you a single platform where affordable and easily accessible services for matters related to consumer protection.

  • Expert advice- A client would need expert guidance and advice for issues troubling them. Sharks of law offers experienced advocates who offer best guidance for proper procedure required.  

  • Specialised advice- We offer you required guidance and advice for your legal issues.

  • Highly qualified advocates- Sharks of Law offer you a team of most driven lawyers who have years long experience in their field.

  • Easily accessible legal services- Sharks of Law believes that legal assistance should be easily accessible as one may need it at any time of the day, hence you may contact us through any medium you are comfortable with.  

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