Today the subject of Consumer Protection is of vital concern and importance for every citizen of the country. The provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 are compensatory in nature and it applies to all goods and services. The Consumer Protection Act is an important Act in the history of the consumer movement in the country. Most consumers are ignorant of their rights. A consumer simply means a person who uses goods and services. All of us use several goods and services to meet the needs of our daily lives. Therefore, we are all consumer from birth to death.
Rights and Responsibilities of every consumer: Every consumer needs to be aware of his/her rights and responsibilities in order to protect and promote his/her welfare. Every right has its corresponding responsibilities. As a consumer in exercising one’s right should maintained two duties i.e duties with regard to the enforcement of one’s own right and duties in relation to other consumers.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 there are six Consumer Rights such as;
I. Right to safety: the right to protected against the marketing of goods, products or services which are hazardous to life property;
ii) Right to information: the right to get informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products or services so as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against the abusive & unfair practices;
iii) Right to choice: the right to be assured, wherever possible, access to a variety of goods, products or services at competitive prices;
iv) Right to be heard or right to representation: the right to be heard and to be assured that consumer’s interests will receive due consideration at appropriate fora;
v) Right to seek redressal: the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or a restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers; and
vi) Right to consumer awareness.
CONSUMER RESPONSIBILITIES FOR EXERCISING THEIR RIGHTS:
• Obtain full information regarding quality and price before making any purchase.
• Be careful about false and/or misleading advertisements.
• Purchase goods having ISI marks, Agmark, etc., as and where available for safety and quality.
• Obtain proper receipt/cash memo for purchases made and guarantee/warranty card duly stamped and signed by the seller, wherever applicable.
• Approach District Commission, State Commission or National Commission for redressal of consumer grievances against sale of defective goods or deficient services or adoption of unfair or restrictive trade practices.
WHO CAN FILE A COMPLAINT?
• A consumer
• Any Voluntary Consumer Organisation, registered under the Society Registration Act, 1860 or the Companies Act, 1956 or under any other law for the time been in force.
• The Central Government
• The State Government or Union Territory Administration.
HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT?
• The complainant or his authorized agent can present the complaint in person.
• The complaint can be sent by post to the appropriate Forum/Commission.
• A complaint should contain the following information:-
(a) the name, description and address of the complainant;
(b) the name, description and address of the opposite party or parties, as the case may be, as far as they can be ascertained;
(c) the facts relating to complaint and when and where it arose;
(d) documents, if any, in support of the allegations contained in complaint.
(e) The relief which the complainant is seeking.
The complaint should be signed by the complainant or authorized agent.
RELIEF AVAILABLE TO CONSUMER:
Depending on the nature of relief sought by the consumer and facts, the Redressal Commission may give order/orders for one or more of the following reliefs:-
• Removal of defects from the good(s);
• Replacement of the good(s);
• Refund of the price paid, or
• Award of compensation for the loss or injury suffered.
Nagaland State Consumer Helpline with Toll Free No. 1800 – 345 – 3701.
This is an alternate consumer dispute redressal mechanism which is functioning through a Toll Free telephone No. 1800-345-3701 where a citizen can call and seek information, advice or guidance for his day to day consumer problems. This helpline has been receiving calls concerning the problem faced by the consumers such as banking, telecom, insurance, national food security, LPG, postal, courier, transport, MRP, labeling, price-rise, sub-standard goods, shortage of weights and measurement, expiry goods including medicine, etc.
*Presentation by President, Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation(NVCO) and Assistant Professor, Kohima Law College Adv. Kezhokhoto Savi during the State-Level Webinar on Consumer Awareness on the topic – Consumer Awareness: Rights and Responsibilities in the Context of Global Pandemic, organised by the Department of Economics. Dimapur Government College, on October 16.