Features of consumer protection Act, 1986: Key Highlights

Features of Consumer Protection Act, 1986: Key Highlights
By:- Nidhi kumari

Introduction 

The consumer protection Act, 1986 was passed in year 1986 and was enforced from July 1st 1987. The aim and purpose of this Act is to provide better and all round protection to the consumers and also effective safeguards against different types of exploitation faced by them. Exploitation such as defective goods, defective services and unfair trade practices.

Who is consumer?

According to section 2 (1)(d) of the consumer protection Act, 1986, a consumer is one that purchase good for consumption and not for resale or for the commercial marketing. The consumer also hires services for consideration..

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Some of the important features of the consumer protection Act, 1986, are:-
  • This Act applies to all kinds of goods, services and unfair trade practices unless there is specific exemption made by the central government.
  • All the sector whether they are private, public or cooperative is covered under this Act.
  • This Act gives consumer three tiers redressal system. There is redressal forums at centre, state and District levels for providing justice to the victim consumer. Three tiers are:-
  • National commission :- Section 20 to 27A of the Act talks about the composition of the commission, applications of the complaint, procedures, appeal etc. These sections says that the national commission should be formed which consists of the president and four members. The complaint must exceed amount of one core. The goods if found defective after testing are asked for replacement or compensation for that defects. If any party is dissatisfied by the order of national commission then can file an appeal to supreme Court within thirty days.
  • State commission ( Section 16-19A) :- State commission is formed by each state which consist of two members and president. The complaint should be at least amount of 20 lakh and not exceed more than one core. If the goods are found defective after testing then assured party are asked for replacement and compensation. If any one is not satisfied with the decision then can appeal in front of national commission within thirty days.
  • District Forum ( Section 9-15) :- This forum is set up by the state at District level which consists of two members and a president. Among these members one should be woman and is appointed by the state government. The complain should not be entertained if amount exceed twenty lakh. After testing if the goods are found to be defective then the accused party should compensate and an appeal to state commission within thirty days is any dissatisfaction is there.
  • This Act is an umbrella of legislation covering goods and services but excluding all the transactions undertaken by the person not coming under the ambit of section 2(1)(d).
  • The legislative intention of consumer protection Act, 1986 was to provide inexpensive, simple and timely redressal of all consumer complaints.
  • This Act also talks about setting up of the consumer protection Council at Central, state and District level. Which act as advisory bodies to protect and promote the right of the consumer. Section 4 to 8 deals about consumer protection Councils.
  • Thus, it is clear from the above mentioned features that the consumer protection Act, 1986 aims to promote and protect the right of consumer by providing safeguards against different types of exploitation faced by the consumers.