Free Press Journal

Consumer is King 


This is a very useful reference book which will benefit the common man, lawyers and professionals.

Consumer is King: The Definitive Legal Guide for Students, Lawyers, Businessmen and the Smart Consumer

Rajyalakshmi  Rao

Publisher: Universal Law Publishing

Pages: 436; Price: Rs 595

Justice D K Jain, former Judge of the Supreme Court in his Foreword to the book under review states, “A lot needs to be done in terms of the effective implementation of the Consumer Protection Act as well as increasing consumer awareness. In such a scenario, a book as the present one, shall go a long way in providing consumers and lay persons a healthy insight into how they can approach the various consumer disputes redressal agencies, the procedure followed by them as well as understanding the latest views of these agencies with respect to key sectors such as Housing, Insurance, Medical, etc.”

​The Consumer is treated as the King as all business related activities have a single cardinal principle which is to provide utmost satisfaction to the end user – the Consumer. In this context consumer education is a must and in its absence consumers are susceptible to violation of their rights.

The author of this book is a Member of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for over a decade. She has been actively associated with the Consumer Protection Movement in our country for the last eighteen years in several capacities. She has taken keen interest in bringing awareness to consumers of their rights and duties as also the relevant case laws on the subject.

The Consumer Protection Act was passed in 1986 and due to this today we observe the fortification of protection of book reviewconsumers with a considerable shift in business ethics. The policy of liberalization ushered in by the Government has led to a spawning of both Indian and Foreign companies releasing daily new products and brands. But there has been a woeful lack of attention being paid to quality of the products. Satisfaction of the consumer took a back seat. It has been found that tall claims have been made of high quality of products and rarely has there been satisfactory after-sales service. Defects in such services covered availability of facilities relating to banking, insurance, healthcare, electricity, housing, etc.

The Consumer Protection Act ensured promotion of welfare of society by enabling consumers to participate directly in the market economy. It removed the helplessness of the consumer who found himself engulfed in a network of rackets.

A resolution passed by the United Nations declared that “Consumer education” is one of the basic rights of the small man. Rajyalakshmi Rao has helped accomplishing this aim by her exposition of the problems in simple and lucid language. She has written in an easy manner that not only professionals dealing with the intricacies of law but also non-professionals and ordinary citizens can follow. The book offers an insight into the development of Consumer Law.

This volume has three main aims. Firstly, it impresses upon all that consumer forums provide quick and speedy redressal in an inexpensive and simple manner. Secondly, it guides the consumers as to the precautions they should exercise while purchasing goods or availing of services. Thirdly it provides a sampling of the judgments given by the different for a with regard to various sectors such as airlines, banks, insurance, transport sectors, telecom services, tourism, healthcare services, housing sectors, etc.

Consumer Law is an evolving process and this volume provides relevant judgments up to date with the case numbers. Rajyalakshmi Rao provides a brief history of the Consumer protection movement in the country. The Parliament passed the Consumer Protection Act in 1986. A three-tier structure of the district Consumer Forum, the State Level Commission and the National Commission for Redressal of consumer Grievances were instituted by 1988. In the last thirty years the Consumer Courts have passed judgment on a variety of consumer grievances like unfair trade practices, supply of defective goods, and most importantly in the area of services being provided by various agencies. These judgments have afforded relief to the troubled consumers.

This book is meant for the ordinary citizen and his day-to-day concerns. For example, an unscrupulous builder, a grossly negligent doctor, a harassing insurance agent who delays in clearing our claims, an unresponsive housing board, even an insensitive tour organizer. It provides the basic information about the procedural aspects in filing a complaint with the Consumer Forum and explains how the remedy can be made simple.

The book is a step-by-step guide as to how to seek help from the Consumer Forum. It gives details of cases already decided in Consumer Forum. It helps consumers to file their own complaints. It provides solutions to the problems that harass the consumers. This is a very useful reference book which will benefit the common man, lawyers and professionals.