OBJECT OF THE ACT According to the preamble, the Act is to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers and for that purpose to make provision to make provision for the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer’s disputes and for connected therewith.
BASIC RIGHTS OF CONSUMERS [SECTION 6] The basic rights of consumers that are sought to be promoted and protected are;
a) The right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property:
b) The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, purity, standard and price of goods, or services so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices;
c) The right to be assured, wherever possible, access to variety of goods and services at competitive prices;
d) The right to be heard and to be assured that consumers’ interest will receive due consideration at appropriate forums;
e) The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers; and
f) The right to consumer education.
Complainant means –
(a) a consumer
(b) any voluntary consumer association registered under any law;
(c) the Central or any State Government
(d) one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest; or
(e) in case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative, Who or which makes a complaint.
An association of persons to have locus standi as consumer, it is necessary that all the individuals forming the association must be the consumer having purchased the same goods or hired the same services from the party.
In case the affected consumer is unable to file the complaint due to ignorance, illiteracy or poverty, any recognized consumer association may file the complaint as per the above clause (b). Thus, rule of ‘privity of contract’ or ‘locus standi’ , which permits only the aggrieved party to take action, has very rightly been set aside in the spirit of public interest.
Complaint means any allegation in writing made by a complaint that – (i) an unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by any trader; (ii) the goods bought by him or agreed to be bought by him be suffer from one more defects; (iii) the services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect; (iv) the trader has charged a price in excess of the price;
(a) fixed under any law; (b) displayed on the goods or any package containing such goods; (c) displayed on the price list exhibited by him; or (d) agreed between the parties. (v) goods which will be hazardous to life and property when used are being offered for sale to the public; (vi) services which will be hazardous to life and safety of the public when used, are being offered by the service provider. With a view to obtain any relief provided by law under this Act.