Consumer Protection Act,1986,by Shivani Singh Sengar@Lexcliq

Consumer Protection Act

CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 1986

In order to provide for better protection of the interests of the consumer the Consumer Protection Bill, .1986 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 5th December, 1986. • The Consumer Protection Act 1986 is a social welfare legislation which was enacted as a result of widespread consumer protection movement.

Objective

•The main objective of CPA is to provide speedy and simple redressal to consumer disputes. •It is one of the benevolent pieces of legislation intended to protect the consumers at large from exploitation

Who is a Consumer?Sec. 2 (1) (d) Any person who: • Buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or will be paid. • Hires or avails any service for a consideration which has been paid or will be paid. • It does not include a person who obtains goods for resale or any commercial purpose

Rights of Consumer Right to Safety Right to Consumer Education Right to be Informed Rights of Consumer Right to Redressal Right to be Heard

Redressal Agency The aims and objectives of the Act are achieved by District Forum State Commission National Commission.

District Forum • It shall consist of a person who is or has been or is qualified to be a District Judge as its President,2 other members, one of whom shall be a woman • Every member of the District Forum shall hold office for a term of 5 years or up to the age of 65 years which ever is earlier • It shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed does not exceed Rs.20 Lacs.

A District Forum shall have the powers I. To remove the defect pointed out by the appropriate laboratory from the goods in question II. To replace the goods with new goods of similar description which shall be free from any defect III. To return to the complainant the price, or as the case may be, the charges paid by the complainant IV. To pay such amount as may be awarded by it as compensation to the consumer for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer due to the negligence of the opposite party

State Commission •It is established by SG by notification •It shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed exceeds Rs. 20 Lacs but does not exceed Rs.1 Crore and appeals against the orders of any District Forum within the State.

National Commission • It shall consist of a person who is or has been a Judge of the Supreme Court, as its President. Not less than 4 and not more than such number of members as may be prescribed and one of whom shall be a woman • Every member of the National commission shall hold office for a term of 5 years or up to the age of 70 years which ever is earlier. • It shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, the claim exceeds Rs. 1 Crore and appeals against the orders of any State Commission.

Councils Central Council State Council District Council

The District Consumer Protection Council • It shall consist of the following members, namely:- (a) the Collector of the district (by whatever name called), as its Chairman; and (b) such number of other official and non-official members as may be prescribed by the SG • The District Council shall meet at least twice in an year. • The procedure will be set by SG

The State Consumer Protection Council • It shall consist of the following members, namely: (a) the Minister in-charge of consumer affairs in the SG as its Chairman; (b) such number of other official or non-official members as may be prescribed by the State Government. • The State Council shall meet at least twice in an year. • The procedure will be prescribed by the SG

The Central Consumer Protection Council • It shall consist of the following members, namely • (a) the Minister in charge of Consumer Affairs in the CG as its Chairman, and (b) such number of other official or non-official members as may be prescribed. • The Council shall meet at least once an year.

Case Studies CASE I • Chetanprakash vs. MET Institute of computer Science CASE II • Krishnan Kumar Bajaj vs. PepsiCo. CASE III • Dharamdas Pritiani vs. HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Ltd.

Chetan Prakash vs. MET Institute of computer Science

• Prakash was in final year of BSc when he sought admission in the institute for MCS • The institute had stipulated that in order to pursue the MCS course, student has to clear III year exams • He deposited the fees before declaration of result • Seeing that he had failed in exams, he tried to withdraw the admission and requested for a refund, to which the institute did not responded • Finally, he sent a legal notice to the institute, and then complaint in the consumer forum. lodged a

Judgement • The institute had to pay the complainant, Chetan Prakash, Rs 32,000 as compensation for harassment along with the course fee of Rs.62,200.

Krishnan Kumar Bajaj vs. PepsiCo.

• Bajaj, a resident of Ahmedabad, had purchased a Lay’s packet on 28 June 2010 and sensed its being underweight. • He wrote twice to the manufacturer. While the first letter got no response, in reply to the second, it offered Bajaj gifts hamper which he refused. • Bajaj approached CERS, who wrote to PepsiCo.

• Company refused to accept their fault and gave several unsatisfactory clarifications • CERS took the issue to the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, which also gave a favourable ruling • The company asked for the bill of purchase which Bajaj could not produce

Judgement • The Court overruled the argument of his not having a bill • CERS requested the court to direct PepsiCo to deposit Rs.2,00,000 in the Consumer Welfare Fund and award Rs.2,75,250 as punitive damages. • And also to give Rs.75,000 as costs of litigation.

Dharamdas Pritiani vs. HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Ltd.

• Complainant was advised by the doctors to undergo treatment upon suffering from a heart ailment in 2008-09. • He then underwent a rare treatment called Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP). • The treatment was completed in 45 sittings, cost Rs 118,000. • HDFC Ergo rejected the complainant’s claim saying the treatment was experimental and not recognized by the insurer.

• The insurance company also claimed that a policy holder must be hospitalized for at least 24 hours for reimbursement. • The complainant claimed that the treatment was recognized by the United States, and 40 hospitals in India use EECP method to treat heart patients. • The forum said the documents furnished by Pritiani support his claim. Complainant was a heart patient, who underwent a treatment, which did not require hospitalization, thus he should be reimbursed Rs 118,000.

Judgement • Consumer redressal forum of India’s financial capital Mumbai has directed HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Ltd to pay Rs 118,000 towards compensation for refuting a policyholder’s claim. • The forum has also directed the insurer to pay an additional compensation of Rs 5,000 for mental agony.

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