The Consumer Protection Act 1986 was brought into being to protect the rights and interest of the consumer. The Act provides for the establishment of the consumer councils and other authorities to settle the consumer disputes. The Act provides for the effective remedies if any damage caused to the consumer as the result of unfair trade practices.
With the time Act was given the wider scope and included activities like medical, banking and many more under the head of service.
The consumer is at the center of the business world. The nature and quantity of the product produce depends upon the demands of the consumer. Regardless of the fact, the rights of the consumers are denied and are subjected to exploitation by false advertisement, misrepresentation, poor quality, quantity and many more. But after the implementation of CPA it’s the consumers who rule the market.
There were certain legislations which were formulated to protect the interest of the consumers like sale of goods act 1930, Grading and Marketing Act 1937, Drugs and Cosmetics act 1940 etc. These legislations provide for the lengthy, costly remedies to consumer. The cost of compensation too does not match the time, money and compensation claimed.
The CPA provides for the quick, cheap and easy remedy to consumer under three tier quasi-judicial redressal agencies. The Act gives the formation of redressal agencies at State Level, District Level and National Level. With the time the Act has been amended to widen the scope and to enhance the power of the redressal machinery.
India is a developing country. Every sector is computerize and into new technologies making the life of consumers more easy and relax. Technology has taken over the economy which is from one perspective is good but if we see the other side the consumer is ignorant and not much aware about their rights which lead to their exploitation. There have been instances when without going through terms and conditions consumer enters into e-contact which later proves to be a problematic. With the change in trends there should be change in the society so that they are not exploited in the hands of ultra-smart hackers.
The government should make certain new laws according to the changing trends in the society so protect the interest of the innocent consumers. Technology as well the cyber-crime simultaneously has hit the society so fast that somewhere it becomes difficult for new legislation to take place. There should be more strict laws so that retailer should think twice before entering into nay unfair trade practices.
Every other day we get spam calls asking for bank details, money for medical help, Aadhar number, one being ignorant of such calls gets easily trapped. There is a need to amend the legislature with the changing trends and consumer behavior. Some of the challenges which CPA could not cope up are:
- With the changing trends CPA fails itself to keep updated with the new market dynamics, ecommerce, misleading advertisement, marketing machinery, multi-level marketing,.
- Under CPA the liability of the manufacturer restricts to only the consumer (who file complains) not the consumers. Only effected consumers become the beneficiaries.
- The manufacturers, producer, seller must be make personally liable for any death, damage resulting from defects in manufacturing, formula, design, testing, packaging, instructions, warning of the product.
- More and enhance power should be given to the adjudicating agencies like taking Suo Moto of the case after learning if any person is involved into unfair trade practices.
- The time is the witness; producer can never be loyal to its customers. A producer produce goods to earn profit where he fails to keep the quality of the product and intentionally or unintentionally he enters to the trade practice and it’s just like a legacy which will continue so there should be mediation cells to decide the matters so that commission do not burdened with the cases .
- The CPA fails to recognize the transactions which take place electronically. In the current Act the consumer can initiate the legal action against a seller only at the place where transaction has taken place.
- Consumer is a monkey; he will purchase what he sees. So, not only the manufacturers but the actor and actress who advertise and catch the public attention should also be held equally liable.
- There should be penalty for fraudulent complainants.
- And the last and most important challenge is the consumer awareness. No legislation can be proven to be effective until and unless our consumer will be educated and alert. The government should start the programs to teach the consumers safest way to use the technology and protect themselves against the fraud. There have been many cases where people being ignorant gave their bank account pins on the fraud calls, fake transactions, fraud insurance etc.
- “The views of the authors are personal“
Frequently Asked Questions
Is legal representative is necessary to argue its case?
No, legal representative is not necessary to argue ones case. An aggrieved person himself can argue his case in the consumer court.
Does CPA cover e-commerce?
No, CPA does not cover e-commerce activities. This is for the main reason in year 2019 the act was amendment and widens the scope of consumer courts.
Does the CPA 2019 covers if the case has fallen outside India?
Yes, now the amendment has brought and relaxes the rule that case can be filed in the consumer court if only they fall in its jurisdiction. Now, the case can be filed no restriction to the location of the seller. The new concept of video conferencing has also introduced.