Explain the ways and means of Consumer Protection.
The prevailing judiciary system is not sufficient enough to protect consumers, therefore,
there are various ways and means of consumer protection. They are as follows.
- Lok Adalat:
Lok Adalat is an effective and economical system for quick redressal of the public grievances.
It can also be referred to as 'People's Court'. It is established by the government to settle disputes by compromise.
The aggrieved party can directly approach the Adalat with a grievance, and issues are discussed on the spot, and decisions are taken immediately. Resolution of disputes by Lok Adalat gets statutory recognition. e.g. MSEDCL, MSRTC.
- Public Interest Litigation (Janahit Yachika):
Public Interest Litigation means a legal action initiated in a court of law regarding a matter of general public interest. It is a legal facility under which any person can approach the court of law in the interest of society. Its aim is to provide a legal remedy to unrepresented groups of society. The party which is not related to grievance can also file public interest litigation. It is filed in the High Court as well as Supreme Court directly in some cases.
- Redressal Forums:
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, a system has been set up to deal with the consumer grievances and disputes at the district, state, and national levels. Any individual consumer or association of consumers can file a complaint with respective commission depending on the value of goods and claim for compensation. The main aim of these commissions is to provide for simple, speedy, and inexpensive redressal of consumer's grievances.
- Awareness Programme:
To increase the level of awareness among the consumers the Government of India has initiated various publicity measures. State and Central Government regularly publishes journals, brochures, booklets, and various posters depicting the rights and responsibilities of consumers, redressal machinery, etc. Several audio-video programs on consumer awareness are broadcasted on various channels and through social media.
- Consumer Organizations:
Consumer Organizations have been active in India to promote and protect consumer interests.
The consumer movement is well settled in India and helping individuals to seek quick and adequate redressal of their grievances. It is necessary to strengthen consumer movement throughout the
- Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF):
Department of Consumer Affairs has created a consumer Welfare Fund for providing financial assistance to strengthen the voluntary consumer movement, particularly in rural areas. This fund is used for training and research in consumer education, complaint handling, counseling and guidance mechanisms, product testing labs, and so on.
- Legislative Measures:
A number of laws have been enacted in India to safeguard the interest of consumers and protect them from unethical practices of a businessman. Some of these laws are as follows:
● Sale of Goods Act, 1930
● Essential Commodities Act, 1955
● Standard of Weights and Measures Act, 1956
There are a number of laws to safeguard the interests of consumers, but these acts could not provide complete and fair justice to consumers. Therefore, an exclusive Act has been advocated in the form of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
Concept: Need and Importance of Consumer Protection
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