The consumer protection legislation in India has so far not been able to effectively protect the consumer interests and redress their grievances. Discuss.

The consumer protection legislation in India has so far not been able to effectively protect the consumer interests and redress their grievances. Discuss.

Approach:

  • Introduce with The Consumer Protection Act, 1986
  • Enumerate the reasons why it hasn’t been very effective
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides for a three-tier structure for consumer disputes redressal in the shape of Consumer forums at the District, State and National levels. However, due to various reasons these courts are not living up to their mandate.

These reasons include:

  • The final disposal in many cases takes a long time, due to various factors like long drawn out traditional procedures, inadequate infrastructure, frequent adjournments given by the judges at the behest of lawyers etc.
  • In the process, the consumers cannot afford to approach the consumer fora, considering the time, money and efforts involved in seeking consumer disputes redressal.
  • Inordinate delays in the appointment of members of the adjudication panel by state governments have often brought the working of these tribunals to a halt.
  • Miserly compensation awarded by the courts have also put a low price on consumer suffering, thereby discouraging many from approaching these forums.
  • The evaluation report published by Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) said the complicated procedure forced the consumers to engage a lawyer and this made the entire process of dispute resolution very expensive.

The united Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (UNGCP) have called upon the Member States to formulate consumer protection policies aimed at fair, affordable and speedy consumer dispute redressal. To better safeguard the interests of consumers and provide them with simple, quick and inexpensive’ redressal mechanism, the government is looking to bring in the new Consumer Protection Bill 2017.

Subjects : Yojna summary

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