Presentation on theme: "RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION"— Presentation transcript:
1 RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION BYAdv. Shirish V. DeshpandeMumbai Grahak Panchayat
2 UN GUIDELINES FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION UN Guidelines recognize following 8 consumer rights :Right to Basic NeedsRight to SafetyRight to InformationRight to ChoiceRight to RepresentationRight to RedressalRight to Consumer EducationRight to Healthy Environment
3 What does Right to Representation mean to Common Man? The right to be heard and to be assured that consumers’ interest will receive due consideration at appropriate forums.The Right to Representation is the right which the consumers can assert in a collective or representative manner or even in an individual capacity.This Right has application at Macro and Micro level.
4 How far Right to Representation Has Succeeded in India? India, one of the first countries to adopt UN Guidelines.CPA enacted in 1986 recognized Right to Representation.CPA created Consumer Protection Councils at District, State & National levels for promoting and protecting consumer rights.
5 Role of Consumer Protection Councils Provides platform to assert consumer grievances in presence of service providers, manufacturers / producers and govt. officials / minister.Can lead to change in policies, formulation of new consumer oriented policies or decisions.Can lead to grievance redressalCan lead to system correction
6 Consumer Courts & Right to Representation Opportunity for consumer activists to be appointed on Forum / Commissions.Opportunity to represent consumers before Consumer Courts.One consumer can represent numerous consumers.
7 Right to Representation under Electricity Act 2003 Representation to consumer groups on CERCRepresentation to consumer groups on SERCsRepresentation to consumer rep on CGRF
8 Right to Representation in Telecom Sector TRAI issues consultation papers and invites suggestions / objections from stake holdersSeveral consumer groups actively participate in consultation process and make their voice heardRecent decision of TRAI to restrict TV ad duration is proof of successful consumer representation
9 CUTS / IDCG SURVEYOnly 23 % consumers surveyed aware about process of consultation or consumer representationOnly 28 % of such consumers participated in public hearing / consultationComparatively western and southern India has higher level of awarenessIn rural areas, awareness was as low as 18 %
10 Hurdles in Consumer Representation Lack of Consumer AwarenessLack of fundingLack of expertiseLack of training facilities
11 Effective Consumer Representation A Way Forward Consumer groups to focus on specific areas / issuesTo ensure adequate training for consumer representationTo ensure adequate “Consumer Funding” for consumer groups by amending policies / lawsConsumer bodies to share and pool know-how and expertise
12 Effective Consumer Representation A Way Forward (contd.) Make concerted efforts to activate Consumer Protection Councils at District, State and National levelMake changes in CPA to ensure speedy, simple and inexpensive redressal of consumer complaintsCreate wide spread consumer awareness for their active participation