The Consumer Protection Act of 1986's Highlights

An Introduction

As consumers or users of any goods or service, we are all consumers. We are entitled to redress in the form of adequate compensation if there is any flaw or inadequacy in the product purchased or service sought for which payment has been paid. The Customer Protection Act of 1986 encapsulates the necessity for every individual to be informed of his rights as a consumer and to be able to express them. This Act was primarily enacted to safeguard the interests of consumers. Despite a promising start, the 17-year-old Act has revealed several flaws and weaknesses over time. Both consumers and consumer activists were becoming increasingly concerned about these issues. The Consumer Protection Act (Revision) Act of 2002, which went into effect on March 15, 2003, made a major amendment to the Act in order to make it more practical and useful. The Amendment Act of 2002 addressed the shortcomings. A total of 30 revisions to the CPA, 1986 were made with the goal of facilitating faster complaint resolution, strengthening redressal bodies with additional powers, streamlining procedures, and broadening the scope of the Act to make it more effective and purposeful.

The Consumer Protection Act of 1986's Highlights

Unless specifically exempted, the Act applies to all goods and services in India, save in the state of J&K, and to all sectors – private, public, and cooperatives. A complainant could be anyone.


ii) any consumer organization that is registered under the Companies Act of 1956.

iii) the federal government or state governments

To fulfill its goals, the Act establishes a complex apparatus. The Act is divided into two sections, one dealing with the creation of consumer protection councils and the other with the creation of consumer dispute resolution organizations. It establishes the following bodies, each with different powers and jurisdiction:

1) Councils: 

1) The Central Consumer Protection Council; 2) The Consumer Protection Council; 3) The Consumer Protection Council; 4) The 2) Consumer Protection Councils in each state

2) Dispute Resolution Organizations: District Forum No. 1 2) Commission of the State 3) Commission National

The Central Consumer Protection Council is a government-run organization that works to protect consumers

The Central Government has the authority to create the Central Consumer Protection Council (hence referred to as the Central Council), which must meet at least once a year. The following rights will be protected by the council:

The right to be protected against the marketing of things that are harmful to one's health or property.

The right to know about the items' quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard, and price so that customers are protected from unfair commercial practices.

The right to have access to a wide range of goods at reasonable rates whenever possible.

The right to be heard, as well as the assurance that consumer interests will be taken into account in suitable forums.

The right to seek remedies in the event of unfair trade practices or consumer abuse.

Consumer education is a legal right.

The Consumer Protection Councils of each state

The State Council shall convene whenever needed, but not less than twice a year. Every State Council's mission is to promote and safeguard the rights of consumers in their respective states.

Consumer Dispute Resolution Organizations

a) District Forum-The District Forum's jurisdiction extends to cases involving compensation claims of less than one crore rupees: The District Forum has approved the following approach for resolving complaints:

Upon receiving a complaint,

) A copy of the complaint was sent to the other party.

3) Provide a response within thirty days

4) The opposing party may deny or contest the allegations/fail to represent the case within the time frameset.

After then, the District Forum can resolve the consumer case. If the service accusations are proven, the District Forum will issue an order to the opposing party instructing him to do one or more of the following:

To fix the problem with the goods or services at hand.

To replace the goods with new ones that are similar in nature.

Return the price or charges paid by the complainant to the complainant.

To pay any amount it may award as compensation for any loss or injury suffered by the consumer as a result of the opposite party's negligence.

To refrain from engaging in unfair or restrictive trade practises or to refrain from repeating them.

The hazardous goods should not be sold.

To ensure that parties' costs are covered. Any person who is aggrieved by a District Forum order may file an appeal with the State Commission within thirty days of the date of the order, in the form and manner prescribed by the State Commission.

b) The State Commission—The State Commission's jurisdiction includes:

Where the compensation sought does not exceed one crore rupees and does not fall below twenty lakhs rupees appeals from any District Forum's orders within the state

c) National Commission-The National Commission's jurisdiction includes: I complaints in which the compensation sought exceeds one crore rupees; and ii) complaints in which the compensation sought surpasses one crore rupees. ii) within a thirty-day period, appeals against any State Commission's orders.

Any person who is aggrieved by a National Commission order has thirty days from the date of the order to file an appeal with the Supreme Court. If no appeal has been filed against a District Forum, State Commission, or National Commission order under the provisions of this Act, the order is final.

2) Evaluation

If a product or service acquired has a flaw or deficiency for which payment has been made, the consumer is entitled to remedy in the form of suitable compensation. The commodity might be anything from a screw to an automobile, while the service could be anything from saree dry cleaning to airplane travel. With the passage of this Act, India's consumer culture has matured.

Positive Qualities

The Consumer Protection Act has a number of appealing qualities that set it apart from other laws, including a straightforward procedure, prompt restitution, and the fact that a plaintiff does not need to hire a lawyer.

ensures that customers are protected from unfair trade practices by establishing consumer protection councils, commissions, and forums at the federal, state and local levels to promote and safeguard consumer rights.

With the modification, the redressal agencies' pecuniary jurisdiction has been greatly expanded, resulting in the consumer not having to travel too far for justice with most cases being filed in district forums. The revisions have relieved the enormous strain on all three tiers of consumer courts, particularly the State and National Commissions, which can now quickly deal with their massive backlog.

The Act further states that unless there is compelling justification, the court will not typically grant an adjournment (the reason for grant of adjournment is to be recorded in writing by the court). In the event of a postponement, the costs will be awarded to the opposing party. λ Timeframe for swift justice: The complaint will be heard as soon as possible, and every effort will be made to resolve the complaint within 90 days of the opposite party's receipt of the notice. The issue is likely to be resolved within 150 days if product analysis or testing is required. Advocates' appearance is restricted. The rationale behind this rule is to provide a level playing field for consumers.

Orders are now easier to carry out: the most significant revisions are Sections 25 and 27, which are considered as the Consumer Protection Act's teeth. The change now allows the courts to seize a person's property on their own.

who disobeys their temporary restraining order If the person does not comply with the order within three months of the attachment, the property will be sold and the complainant will be awarded damages from the revenues.


Our district forums aren't set up to handle the extra workload. Hundreds of cases are outstanding, and the added strain might cause the forum to collapse unless the government improves facilities and staff without relying on the no-fund justification.  Despite the fact that the Act sets a deadline for swift justice, the mounting backlog of cases in the three tiers of consumer courts demonstrates that delivering justice to the aggrieved consumer is not as simple as the legislators anticipated.


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