ROLE OF CONSUMER AWARENESS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION IN INDIA BY DEVANSHI SAXENA@LEXCLIQ

ROLE OF CONSUMER AWARENESS IN IMPLEMENTATION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION IN INDIA

Our lives on a daily basis rotates around purchasing the goods and services to lead a comfortable life. This has contributed to the people’s improved quality of life.When we utilize these goods and services, we become ‘consumers’.The term‘consumer’ conclusively means that we consume the assets around us. People are often deceived by sellers in everyday purchases which leads to the dissatisfaction of consumers.To safeguard the interests of consumers, Consumer Protection Act was passed by the Parliament in 1986 as welfare legislation in the interest of consumers which is now repealed and replaced by Consumer Protection Act, 2019.It has broadened the definition of ‘consumer’ to include persons who engage in offline or online transactions through electronic means or by tele-shopping or direct selling or multi-level marketing. The Act features focuses on giving customer more power by taking transparency to another level. A draft declared by government gives customers protection from the fake reviews of products or services which are given by paid celebrities to fool consumers. This draft is known as advertising code which is applicable on all mediums of communication including social media.The definition now provides consumers with a remedy in case all entities involved at various stages of production and marketing that is at each level of multi-level marketing can be made   liable under CPA 2019.

The new act puts more teeth in ensuring better protection of the consumer’s interests.The laws are formulated to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or unfair practices. The role of these laws to protect the interest of consumers has not been satisfactory. This is due to the fact that the consumer is not aware of the different rules and laws in force. He does not really know that there are laws for consumer welfare. When a consumer is aware about these laws and other provisions and when he exercises them as when and where needed then it is very difficult for any business or seller to exploit them. In a country like India it is very important to enforce consumer protection laws strictly to check malpractices.

The Government of India has initiated various steps to introduce dispute redressal mechanism by way of Consumer Protection Act, but still a lot more has to be done to create awareness on the part of the consumer. This will help consumers in seeking suitable remedy whenever there is a need. This is more important in the rural areas, where majority of the population is illiterate.

Consumer awareness programme Jaago Grahak Jaago was launched by the department of food under the Government of India the aim of this program was to help Indian customers know about their rights and duties as consumers. Government used various methods as a part of this program like printing, media advertisement, posters etc. More such awareness programmes are needed to so that Indian consumers can be made aware of their rights. Promoting general awareness of the rights of the consumer by encouraging consumer education and periodic interaction with electronic and print media about success stories of consumer can also be used as a tool in raising awareness. It is important for Proper enforcement and implementation of the consumer protection laws that the people are aware of their rights as consumers. They have the right to information, right to choose, right to safety.Being aware of these laws will help them in making right choices and decisions.

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