Activist highlights consumer rights and responsibilities
Dimapur, Oct. 18 (EMN): As most consumers are ignorant of their rights, a consumer activist Kezhokhoto Savi, who is also an assistant professor at Kohima Law College and president of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO), expounded that the subject of consumer protection is of vital importance for every citizen of the country today.
Savi stated this while speaking at the state-level webinar on the topic “Consumer awareness: rights and responsibilities in the context of global pandemic” organised by the Economics department of Dimapur Government College on October 16, an update from the NVCO stated on Sunday.
Savi stated that provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 are compensatory in nature and it applies to all goods and services. He added that the Consumer Protection Act is an important act in the history of the consumer movement in the country. He defined the consumer as a person who uses goods and services. As every person uses several goods and services to meet the needs of daily lives, he therefore said, ‘We are all consumers from birth to death.’
Savi also stated that every consumer should be aware of his/her rights and responsibilities in order to protect and promote his/her welfare. According to him, every right has its corresponding responsibilities. In exercising one’s right, Savi stated that a consumer should maintain two duties– duties with regard to the enforcement of one’s own right and duties in relation to other consumers.
Savi also highlighted and explained six consumer rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 namely Error! Filename not specified. Right to safety, (ii) Right to information, (iii) Right to choice, (iv) Right to be heard or Right to representation, (v) Right to seek redressal, and (vi) Right to consumer awareness.
In exercising their rights, Savi stated that a consumer should obtain full information regarding quality and price before making any purchase. He advised the consumers to be careful about false or misleading advertisements.
He also advised to purchase goods having ISI marks, Agmark etc. as and where available for safety and quality as well as obtain proper receipt/ cash memo for purchases made and guarantee/ warranty card duly stamped and signed by the seller, wherever applicable.
He also asked to approach the district commission, state commission or national commission for redressal of consumer grievances against sale of defective goods or deficient services or adoption of unfair or restrictive trade practices.
Who can file complaint
According to Savi, any aggrieved consumer; voluntary consumer organisation registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860 or the Companies Act, 1956; central and state governments or union territory administration could file a complaint.
Savi said a complainant or his authorised agent can present the complaint in person or can be sent by post to the appropriate forum/ commission.
A complaint should contain information such as name, description and address of the complainant; name, description and address of the opposite party or parties, as the case may be, as far as they can be ascertained; facts relating to complaint and when and where it arose; documents, if any, in support of the allegations contained in complaint; relief which the complainant is seeking.
He added that the complaint should be signed by the complainant or authorised agent.
Relief available to consumer
Depending on the nature of relief sought by the consumer and facts, the redressal commission may order for one or more reliefs such as removal of defects from the good; replacement of the goodError! Filename not specified.; refund of the price paid or award compensation for the loss or injury suffered.
Savi also highlighted on Nagaland state consumer helpline with toll free No. 1800 – 345 – 3701. The helpline, according to Savi, is an alternate consumer dispute redressal mechanism, where a citizen can call and seek information, advice or guidance for his day-to-day consumer problems.
He further stated the helpline has been receiving calls concerning the problem faced by the consumers such as banking, telecom, insurance, national food security, LPG, postal, courier, transport, MRP labelling, price-rise, sub-standard goods, shortage of weights and measurement, expiry goods including medicine, etc.