Presentation on theme: "RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION BY Adv. Shirish V. Deshpande Mumbai Grahak Panchayat."— Presentation transcript:
RIGHT TO REPRESENTATION BY Adv. Shirish V. Deshpande Mumbai Grahak Panchayat
UN GUIDELINES FOR CONSUMER PROTECTION UN Guidelines recognize following 8 consumer rights : Right to Basic Needs Right to Safety Right to Information Right to Choice Right to Representation Right to Redressal Right to Consumer Education Right to Healthy Environment
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.
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.
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 redressal Can lead to system correction
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.
Right to Representation under Electricity Act 2003 Representation to consumer groups on CERC Representation to consumer groups on SERCs Representation to consumer rep on CGRF
Right to Representation in Telecom Sector TRAI issues consultation papers and invites suggestions / objections from stake holders Several consumer groups actively participate in consultation process and make their voice heard Recent decision of TRAI to restrict TV ad duration is proof of successful consumer representation
CUTS / IDCG SURVEY Only 23 % consumers surveyed aware about process of consultation or consumer representation Only 28 % of such consumers participated in public hearing / consultation Comparatively western and southern India has higher level of awareness In rural areas, awareness was as low as 18 %
Hurdles in Consumer Representation Lack of Consumer Awareness Lack of funding Lack of expertise Lack of training facilities
Effective Consumer Representation A Way Forward Consumer groups to focus on specific areas / issues To ensure adequate training for consumer representation To ensure adequate “Consumer Funding” for consumer groups by amending policies / laws Consumer bodies to share and pool know-how and expertise
Effective Consumer Representation A Way Forward ( contd. ) Make concerted efforts to activate Consumer Protection Councils at District, State and National level Make changes in CPA to ensure speedy, simple and inexpensive redressal of consumer complaints Create wide spread consumer awareness for their active participation