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Officers-in-waiting taught fine points of Consumer Protection Act

By EMN Updated: Apr 14, 2019 12:21 am

Dimapur, April 13 (EMN): The Administrative Training Institute in Kohima conducted an “intensive study of half-day programme” (sic) on consumer rights, for the 2019 batch of new civil service probationers, on April 10.
The programme was based on consumer rights as given in the provisions in the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, updates from the organisers informed on Saturday.
The president of the Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation (NVCO) Kezhokhoto Savi was the resource person of the event, the organisation stated in a press release to the media on Saturday.

During the sessions, Savi told the civil officers that consumer protection was a group of laws and organisations designed to ensure the rights of consumers besides fair trade, competition and accurate information in the marketplace.

“The laws are designed to prevent businesses that engage in fraud or specified unfair prices from gaining an advantage over competitors,” the NVCO stated of Savi’s discourse.

“They may also provide additional protection from those most vulnerable in society. Consumer Protection laws are a form of government regulation, which aim to protect the rights of consumers.

According to the updates, the probationers were taught some of the salient features of consumer rights that safeguard the interest of the consumer.

The eight consumer rights are defined by the UN Consumer Bills of Rights, the updates stated.
The Consumer Rights

Right to Safety offers safeguards against goods that are hazardous to life and property; Right to Information ensures that consumers have the right to be informed regarding the price, quality, and quantity etc., of the products they buy; Right to Choice provides that consumers should be provided with a wide variety of goods to choose from.

Likewise, the Right to be heard is the right of consumers to have their complaints heard; the Right to Satisfaction of Basic needs is the right for people to have access to basic essential goods and services, adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water, and sanitation etc.

Further, the Right to Redress ensures that consumers have the right to seek redress regarding their complaints; Right to Consumer Education is the right of consumers to be educated about their rights; and Right to a Healthy Environment is the right to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.

The Act applies to all goods and services whether in private, public or co-operative sector. Now a consumer can initiate an action under the Consumer Protection Act, the updates stated. They can initiate action against defective goods supplied or deficient services rendered even by public sector or government undertakings such as railways, telephone, electricity boards, and postal authorities etc.

The scope of most of the provisions of the Act depends on the reach of the terms ‘goods’ and ‘services,’ the officers were told.

“The question of fraud, cheating and conspiracy cannot be satisfactorily resolved and adjudicated under the summary procedure laid down in Consumer Protection Act, since these issues require thorough scrutiny including an examination of various documents and supporting oral evidence,” Savi stated.

Nagaland State Consumer Helpline is an alternate consumer dispute redress mechanism which functions through a toll free telephone number 1800-345-3701.

Citizens can call and seek information, advice and guidance for his day-to-day consumer problems, the NVCO activist stated. The mechanism is a project granted by the ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. It is run jointly by the department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Protection and the NVCO, the updates stated.

“However, the success of any consumer movement depends on the consciousness and awareness of the masses of the state including rural consumers,” the NVCO president added.

Consumer Protection Act of 1986

The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India. The act was passed in Assembly in October 1986 and came into force on December 24 1986. The day is celebrated as consumer protection day.

This statute is regarded as the ‘Magna Carta’ in the field of consumer protection for checking the unfair trade practices and ‘defect in goods’ and ‘deficiencies in services’ as far as India is concerned.

It led to the establishment of a widespread network of consumer forums and appellate courts all over India.
It has significantly impacted how businesses approach consumer complaints and empowered consumers to a great extent.
(Source: Wikipedia)

By EMN Updated: Apr 14, 2019 12:21:55 am