Free Press Journal

Bengal to set up legal assistance cells for consumers


Kolkata: The West Bengal government along with NGOs is in the process of setting up Consumer Assistance Bureaus across the state to help tackle unfair trade practices and initiate legal proceedings, a minister said here Friday.

“The Consumer Assistance Bureaus will be providing legal assistance, funds and expert advice to aggrieved consumers to initiate legal proceedings against the companies,” Consumer Affairs Minister Sadhan Pandey said.

“The objective is two folds – spreading awareness about consumer rights and to deter companies from indulging in unfair practices,” Pandey said at a seminar on consumer rights organised by the FICCI.

Pandey said the project will be launched in Kolkata, Howrah, Durgapur, Barasat, Siliguri and later extended to all the districts of the state.

“So far, we have tied up with 10 NGOs to start the project on a pilot basis. Once the Lok Sabha polls are over, the process will be implemented expeditiously,” he added.

The consumer affairs department has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the city based National University of Juridical Sciences for providing legal expertise.

Expressing concern over consumer related pending matters in various legal forums, Pandey said the government was working on transferring the cases to consumer forums for speedy adjudication.

He also emphasised the need for a legal framework for penalising companies resorting to misleading and fraudulent advertisements.