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Module 5 Module V: Consumer Protection Act 1986 Rights and duties of the consumer Tribunal forums and appellate authorities An understanding of significant.

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Presentation on theme: "Module 5 Module V: Consumer Protection Act 1986 Rights and duties of the consumer Tribunal forums and appellate authorities An understanding of significant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module 5 Module V: Consumer Protection Act 1986 Rights and duties of the consumer Tribunal forums and appellate authorities An understanding of significant cases and role of NGO’s. 1

2 Consumer Protection Act 1986 Any person who buys goods and services is considered to be consumer. In the earlier days the person who buys had to be careful while buying goods and services based on the legal principle “caveat Emptor” i.e. “Let the buyer beware”. The principle has been done away with now, as the Consumer Protection Act, 1986(CPA) has been enacted with the objective of protecting the consumers. By enacting this law, which is a socio—economic legislation to check the exaggerated claims and advertisements of the sellers, the law treats “consumer as a king” as per the CPA. 2

3 Scope of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 It is enacted with the objective of providing better protection of the consumers and their interest. The provisions of the Act are compensatory in nature. It intends to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal forums to address the consumer grievances, and remedies of specific nature and award of compensation. The Act has been amended i.e. in 1991,1993 and 2002, to extend the scope and coverage of the powers of the redressal forums and the rights of the consumers. 3

4 Salient Features of CPA It is applicable to all types of goods and services unless specifically exempted by the Central Government. The ambit of the Act covers all the sectors like public, private or co- operative societies etc. It is compensatory in nature. The forums are empowered to award even punitive damages. The amount of damages awarded can be recovered like the arrears of the land revenue. A three tier system of redressal forums have been created like District forum, State Commission and the National Commission 4

5 Who are Consumers The persons who buy goods and services are called consumers. The definition does not include persons who obtained goods and services for commercial purposes. The persons who buys and sells goods and services for resale or commercial purpose will fall outside the purview of the Act. But if something is bought for complying with statutory provisions of photo-copying registered documents for public, it can be considered to be for non-commercial use (State Government of Maharashtra V. Hindustan Computers Ltd.) 5

6 Complaint under CPA Any person who is aggrieved, has to file a complaint in writing to any forum based on the jurisdiction. Once a complaint is filed, the opposite party will be sent a copy of it within 21 days with a direction to give their response within 30 days. In case of requirement the forum may grant an extension of another 15 days. Complainant :will include the legal heir or representative of the consumer, in case of death of the complainant. Once the forum admits the case, it cannot be transferred to any other court or tribunal. 6

7 Jurisdiction The jurisdiction under CPA is pecuniary in nature. The pecuniary jurisdiction for awarding compensation has been increased after the amendments to lessen the burden of the appellate forums. The jurisdiction specified under the Act as per the lowest to higher forum are: (The organizer chart shows lowest to highest forum as per its pecuniary jurisdiction) After the decision of the National Commission an Appeal can be filed before the Supreme Court. Compensation amount upto Rs20 lakhs—District Forum Compensation amount >20 lakhs upto Rs1 crore—State Commission Compensation amount > Rs1crore—National Commission Appellate Authority: Supreme Court of India 7

8 Procedure for refusal of complaints The District Forum may refuse to accept a complaint for any of the following reasons:  Lack of Jurisdiction  Non- Payment of the prescribed fee  Frivolous or vexatious complaints  Dispute is not a consumer dispute  Lapse of time ( Limitation Period Two years from the date of the cause of Action))  If the same matter is already pending before another forum or court  After a complaint has being admitted, which has to be done within 21 days of a complaint been filed before the forum. Any complaint admitted by the forum must be decided within 3 months of its receipt.  Once the complaint is admitted then, the opposite party has to be served with a notice. The opposite party can either dispute or deny the allegations contained. Later the forum may dismiss or decide on merits. 8

9 Powers of the Redressal Forums The DF can pass interim orders. Order compensation Order to cease manufacturing Award general and punitive damages It can pass ex-parte orders Judicial Review Transfer of cases for convenience Enforcement of the interim orders Summary powers for disobedience of the order To try the offences under the Act summarily 9

10 Consumer Redressal Mechanisms It aims at providing simple, speedy, and in expensive redressal of consumer grievances. The Act envisages three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at the national, Sate and District levels. The procedure that is followed by the Civil Court has to be followed like summoning, attendance of defendants and examining witnesses, production of documentary evidence including reception of evidence on affidavits. In case of necessity the results of test conducted at laboratories, issuing commission for examination of any witness etc…. After the decision of the district forum, there is provision for appeal to State and National Commission within 30 days. If no appeal is filed within the prescribed period, the order of the particular forum would be final. The Act also provides the forums with powers of revision. 10

11 Other provisions Circuit Benches- New provisions have also been made for creation of circuit benches of the commission. The commission shall function in the State capital but may perform at such other places as notified in the official gazette. Manufacturer- Manufacturer to include the manufacturer of goods and parts; assembler of goods and parts and the person who puts or causes to be put, his mark on any product. The decisions have induced the manufacture to include the person who has lent his brand name for making them liable for defective goods. 11

12 Establishment of Consumer Protection Councils Under the CPA one of the objectives is to establish State and Central Councils which must work to promote and protect the rights of the consumers regarding availment of services as follows: Right of protection against unfair trade practices and restrictive trade practices. Right of assurance and access to services at competitive prices. Right to consumer education It has been made mandatory to establish these councils including the District CPC, whereas the Central Government is obliged and empowered to nominate officials and non-officials members. 12

13 Consumer Protection Act..\CPA Cases.docx 13

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