Remedies available to Consumers under Consumer Protection Act 2019
According to the Consumer Protection Act 2019, a Consumer is a person who buys any goods or avails any services for a consideration, which has been paid or promised to pay, or partly paid or partly promised, or under any scheme of deferred payment. A consumer also includes a person who is using the goods or beneficiary of service with the approval of the buyer and applies to both online and offline transactions through electronic means of teleshopping or direct selling or multilevel marketing. It is essential to protect these consumers and their interests from malpractices or unfair trade practices of businessmen, which gives rise to consumer protection. Consumer Protection is an act that provides adequate protection to the customers against any unfair trade practices, exploitative, and unscrupulous practices of the businesses (including manufacturers and service providers). To protect the consumers from unfair trade practices of businessmen, they are given various rights and reliefs or remedies.
Reliefs or Remedies available to Consumers on Complaints filed
1. A consumer has the relief of removing the defects in the service.
2. They can get the defective product replaced with the new one, which is non-defective.
3. The consumers can also get a refund of the price paid for the goods or charges paid for the service.
4. Consumers also have a relief to remove or withdraw hazardous goods from the market.
5. If the consumer suffers a loss or injury because of the negligence of the opposite party, then he/she has the relief of getting a reasonable amount of compensation.
6. Discontinuation of unfair or restrictive trade practices and reducing their repetition in the future.
7. A consumer has a relief of ceasing the manufacturer of the hazardous goods and scan top the service providers from offering hazardous services.
8. To pay extra compensation to the consumer as a corrective measure for the damage done to them by the other party. It is also known as to pay punitive damages in appropriate circumstances.
9. To pay the grieved party with adequate cost.
10. To stop and desist the manufacturers and advertisers from issuing misleading advertisements.
11. If a contract is unfair, then the District Commission, State Commission, and National Commission have the power to declare them null and void.
12. To stop the offering of hazardous goods for sale.
13. To compensate for the injury or loss suffered by the consumer under product liability action and cease hazardous goods from being offered by manufacturers, retailers, etc., for sale, and so on.
Role of Consumer Organisations and NGOs
In India, the task of Consumer Protection is being handled by about 500 consumer organisations. Some of the most popular organisations include Common Cause (New Delhi), Citizen Action Group (Mumbai), Consumer Guidance Society of India (Mumbai), Consumer Education and Research Centre (CREC) Ahmedabad, etc. The functions performed by these consumer organisations are as follows:
1. These organisations motivate people to ask for the quality of products, such as Agmark, Hallmark, etc. while making a purchase.
2. They take initiative by filing cases in the consumer court in the interest of the general public and villagers, instead of any individual.
3. To provide information to the consumers and to benefit them, the consumer organisations carry out comparative testing of the consumer products in accredited laboratories, so they can check and confirm the relative qualities of the competing brands, and publish them for the consumers.
4. These organisations help out government agencies in resolving consumer exploitation cases and carrying on the consumer awareness program.
5. They also file complaints in the consumer court on behalf of consumers.
6. The consumer organisations provide the consumers with legal assistance through legal advice, aid, etc., for seeking legal remedy.
7. These organisations encourage consumers to protest and take action against any unfair trade practices and exploitative activities of the sellers and manufacturers.
8. It is essential for the consumers to attain full knowledge of consumer problems, reliefs available, consumer rights, responsibilities, etc. It is the duty of consumer organisations to impart such knowledge to consumers through the publishing of periodicals and other publications.
9. Lastly, these organisations organise training programmes, workshops, seminars, etc., to educate the general public or villagers about their rights.
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