(a) The Consumer Protection Act 1986 was enacted by the Government of India for the following reasons:
1. Large companies with huge wealth, power and reach often manipulated the markets in various ways and false information was often passed on through media and other sources with the motive of attracting customers.
2. The need for protecting and promoting the interests of the consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices arose significantly. Rampant food shortages, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil gave birth to the consumer movement in an organized form to counter these problems in a systematic and legal manner.
(b) It is compulsory for the manufacturers to display the necessary details of the particular products they sell ranging from product to product. For example- In case of food products, ingredients used, price, batch number, date of manufacture, expiry date and the address of the manufacturer is to be mentioned.
1. Consumers have the provision of complaining and asking for compensation or replacement if the product proves to be defective in any manner. For example- if we buy a product and find it defective within the period of expiry, we can ask for a replacement. Also, if people sell medicines that have expired, severe action can be taken against them.
2. A consumer can also protest and complain if someone sells a good at more than the printed price on the packet i.e. the MRP – Maximum Retail Price. In fact, the consumers can bargain with the seller to sell at less than the MRP.
3. The enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act in October 2005 by the Government of India is an important measure to ensure that the citizens can obtain all the information about the functions of government departments.
NOTE – The consumer who buys goods and services in the marketplace has the right to be informed about the things he/she buys. Exploitation of consumers is a common practice adopted by various companies and therefore the protection of the consumers is necessary.
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