National Consumer Day 2021: Know history, and Significance of the day here

National Consumer Day 2021: It is observed on 24 December annually to highlight the importance of the consumer movement and spread awareness about the rights and responsibilities of every consumer. Let us read in detail about the day here.
National Consumer Day
National Consumer Day

National Consumer Day 2021: It is observed on 24 December in India. As, on this day the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 received the assent of the President. Every year on 15 March, World Consumer Rights Day is also observed.

In August 2019, the Consumer Protection Act 2019 was passed by parliament. It came into force in July 2020 and replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Who is a consumer?

A consumer can be anyone who purchases goods or services and pays for them in return.

What are the Consumer Rights in India?

6 basic rights are guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Act namely Right to Safety, Right to be Informed, Right to Choose, Right to be Heard, Right to Seek redressal, and Right to Consumer Education.

About Consumer Protection Act, 2019

It was passed by Parliament in 2019 and came into force in July 2020. It replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The Act includes the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers.

Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) empowered to:

- Conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints/prosecution.

- Order recall of unsafe goods and services.

- Order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.

- Impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements.

Rules for the prevention of unfair trade practices by e-commerce platforms are also covered under this Act. The government notifies the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 under this Act, and its broad provisions are cited below:

Commerce entities are required to provide information to consumers, relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty, and guarantee, delivery, shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, security of payment methods, charge-back options, and country of origin.

All these are important for enabling consumers to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage.

The receipt of any consumer complaint has to be acknowledged by these platforms within 48 hours and redress within one month from the date of receipt. A grievance officer also has to be appointed for consumer grievance redressal.

The Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 are mandatory and are not advisories.

Also, sellers can't refuse to take goods or withdraw services, or refuse refunds, if such types of goods or services are defective, deficient, delivered late, or if they do not meet the description on the platform.

The rules are also prohibited by e-commerce companies from manipulating the price of goods or services.

Liability of the Product

It will be the responsibility of a manufacturer or product service provider or product seller to compensate for injury or damage caused due to defective product or deficiency in services.

Product liability action (basis)

- Defect in manufacturing

- Defect in design

- Deviation from manufacturing specifications.

- Not conforming to express warranty.

- Failing to contain adequate instructions for correct use.

- Service provided-faulty, imperfect or deficient.

What is the punishment for the manufacture or Sale of  Adulterated/Spurious Goods?

A competent court may suspend any licence in case of first conviction issued to the person for a period of up to 2 years. And in case of second or subsequent conviction, the licence may be cancelled permanently.

About Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism of Mediation

- Consumer Commission for Mediation refers to complaints wherever the scope for early settlement exists and parties agree to it.

- The mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells and established under the ages of the Consumer Commissions.

- No appeal against settlement through mediation.

 Consumer Dispute Adjudication Process (Simplification)

- Empowers the State and District Commissions to review their own orders.

- It enables a consumer to file complaints electronically and in consumer commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence.

- If the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days, then there will be video-conferencing for hearing admissibility of complaints.

Some other Rules and Regulations

- According to the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rule, no fee for filing cases up to Rs. 5 lakh.

- The credit for the amount due to unidentifiable consumers will go to the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF).

- The information will be furnished by the State Commissions to the Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, the pendency of cases, and other matters.

- There are also Central Consumer Protection Council Rules apart from these general rules. It provided for the constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC).

- On Consumer issues, it will be an advisory body, headed by the Union of Ministers of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields.

- Also, it will have a three-year tenure. It will have a Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and North-East Region.

READ| Important Days and Dates in December 2021







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