Consumer Rights in India

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Consumer Rights

For most of us who love shopping, it is important to decipher the real essence of the word ‘Consumer’. In simple words, a consumer is any individual who purchases a good or service for their personal use. But in the contemporary world, you might have come across many instances of consumer exploitation. This can range from food adulteration, wrong information and defective products to skyrocketing prices, the improper weight of a product, etc. This is why it becomes important to become an aware and informed consumer. This blog brings you a detailed analysis of consumer rights, their different types and other related features.

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Historical Overview of Consumer Rights

Consumer rights are designed to protect the interests of consumers and secure them from malpractices such as rampant black marketing and hoarding. As a consumer, it is important that you stay updated with the information regarding the quality, potency, quantity, purity, price and standard of goods or services. 

Since the exploitation in the market faced by consumers is going on for ages, a popular movement started throughout the country in the 1960s to challenge such consumer exploitations. It took a robust shape in the next decade with many articles were published and protests happening. Finally, in the year 1986, the ‘Consumer Protection Act’ was passed by the Government of India also known as COPRA. Earlier in 1985, the United Nations had issued guidelines to protect consumers which were followed by many countries. It resulted in the creation of National consumer Protection organizations headed by Consumers International which is an amalgamation of many consumer organizations of 115 countries. 

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List of Consumer Rights

Consumer Rights

As per the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, a consumer has a right to participate in a transparent marketplace. Let’s take a look at the main 6 Consumer Rights in India:

  • Right to Safety
  • Right to be Informed
  • Right to Choose
  • Right to be Heard
  • Right to Seek Redressal
  • Right to Consumer Education

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Right to Safety

The Right to Safety elucidates the protection of consumers against the marketing those goods and services which might be harmful to life and property. In order to ensure your own safety while purchasing a product, you have the right to ask about the quality of the products including its guarantee and quality mark and certifications. It is one of the prominent consumer rights that aims to bring quality and transparency in the market and the Consumer Court has also introduced quality marks for different products like ISA, AGMARK, etc. to encourage consumers to buy quality marked goods. 

Right to be Informed

A consumer has a right to know about the nuances of the product while purchasing it. In order to do away with the unfair practices, this right aims to help every individual inquire about the quality of products apart from its quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods. It is quintessential that all sort of information related to a particular product is provided to you, before buying the product wisely. Amongst the different consumer rights, this one assists the consumer in acting wisely and responsibly thus protecting them from falling for any high-pressure selling techniques. 

Right to Choose

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 also provides you with the essential right to make your own choice in terms of buying goods and services. Any seller can never force their consumer to buy a specific product or service and if this happens, then the consumer has the right to report the Consumer Court. Amongst the key consumer rights, this one is better executed in markets with higher competition amid a variety of goods that are available on a range of prices or simpler terms where bargaining power is more. It is referred to as the right to be assured and gives the buyer a choice to buy any goods and services as per their preferences and interests.

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Right to be Heard

It means if any seller violates a consumer’s rights then the consumer can reach the forum to voice their concerns. Every consumer is given the right to be heard in Consumer court and other organisations which are solely meant to save consumer rights. This particular right emphasises on empowering the Indian masses to present their opinion fearlessly against any malpractice in the marketplace. 

Right to Seek Redressal

Every consumer has the right to put forward their genuine grievances and plights against unscrupulous exploitation. You have the right to seek redressal of your problems and get your queries resolved. On an everyday basis, a large number of cases are being heard at district levels and redressed accordingly. 

Right to Consumer Education

As a consumer, you need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities. This right aims at empowering every consumer about their rights. For this purpose, consumer associations, educational institutions as well as Governmentpolicymakers play a crucial role in consumer education by informing every individual about the duties, responsibilities and reliefs available to them.

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Consumer Protection Act

Source: Tutorials Point (India) Ltd.

The Consumer Protection Act aims at providing protection to the consumers and to provide a timely solution to their problem which is effective. It protects the consumers against deficiencies and defects in goods and services. Securing the rights of consumers against restrictive or wrongful trade practices is an important part of the Consumer Protection Act. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 9th, 1986 in Lok Sabha while the Rajya Sabha passed it on December 10th, 1986. Assented by the President of India on December 24th, 1986, the Consumer Protection Act is one of the most important Acts.

Consumer Responsibilities 

Here are a few responsibilities that you, as a consumer, must take up when consuming any goods or services. This must be done to ensure that your rights are not being exploited.

Ask Yourself

  • Have you faced any issues as a consumer?
  • Have you ever approached the authorities when faced with this issue?
  • Are you aware that you could seek help from a consumer group to protect your interests?

Critical Awareness

It is your responsibility to be critically aware and question more- about prices, quantity and quality of the goods and services purchased.

Be Involved

It is your responsibility to assert your opinions and ensure that you are given a fair deal as a consumer. If you are passive, then you could be exploited.

Organised

It is your responsibility to come together and raise your voice along with other consumers and fight collectively. This would develop the strength and promote the interest of the consumers.

Sustainable Consumption

You must be aware of the impact that your consumption has on other citizens. The disadvantaged or powerless groups must be kept in mind while consuming. Needs should be given more weightage as compared to wants.

Environmental Protection

It is your responsibility to be aware of the impact your consumption is having on the environment. It is our social responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect the Earth.

We hope this blog has helped you understand what Consumer rights are all about. Aiming to study Law? Sign up for an e-meeting with our Leverage Edu and let us help you pick the best course and university that can equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to build a thriving career in Law!

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2 comments
  1. It was quite good of you to write on “Consumer Rights in India”. I really appreciate your work. It was a very informative article.

    1. Hey Bhavin!

      Thank you for the comment. We are happy to help! If you want regular updates about our latest blogs then subscribe to our newsletter!

  1. It was quite good of you to write on “Consumer Rights in India”. I really appreciate your work. It was a very informative article.

    1. Hey Bhavin!

      Thank you for the comment. We are happy to help! If you want regular updates about our latest blogs then subscribe to our newsletter!

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