Who is responsible for the harm caused by defective goods that are sold after repackaging and the original manufacturer is not known?
Alex Pinto, Vasai
In case of repackaged goods where the manufacturer’s identity is not known, the seller or the one who repackages the goods steps into the shoe of the manufacturer. When you are sold repackaged products without disclosing the manufacturer in any manner, as per the
Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (CPA), a person who does such repackaging and one who sells such repackaged products is held responsible as if he is a manufacturer.
As per CPA, ‘manufacturer’ means and includes a person who assembles / packages / labels / markets / puts his own mark on any goods or parts thereof made by others; and is involved in placing such product for commercial purpose. Therefore, a person involved in such repackaging is liable for product liability action (complaint before the consumer disputes redressal commission) as a ‘manufacturer and seller’.
You can lodge a complaint against such person for causing harm, which as per Section 2(22) of the Consumer Protection Act means and includes personal injury, illness or death; as well as mental agony or emotional distress attendant to personal injury or illness or damage to property; caused due to such defective products. You can get relief in the form of refund along with interest and / or compensation for any loss or injury caused and / or direction to withdraw such goods from the market.
How do I make a will? Do I need to engage a lawyer?
Dinkar Patil, Murbad
Making a will is a smart move to avoid future bitterness among your legal heirs. A will is a legally valid document to gift / transfer your property and assets to your loved ones. It is not mandatory to appoint a lawyer for making your will.
You can make your will on a plain paper. There is no particular format required for writing the will. Make sure that you mention all your properties (immovable properties with complete addresses), assets, bank accounts, saving certificates, shares and debentures, etc. But it is advisable that in the case of movable assets, such as bank FDs, you don’t mention the FD receipt numbers, as that number might change after the renewal.
Your will should include the following details:
i) Your personal details: Full name, date of birth, residential address, date and place of preparation of the will;
ii) Specify that you are making this will out of your own wish and that you are not forced by
anyone or under any influence to prepare this will. You should also mention that at the
time of making this will, you are in good physical and mental condition;
iii) If you want to appoint an executor (a person to execute / implement your will), mention his/her details (name, age, address, your relationship with him / her, etc);
iv) Mental and physical fitness certificate from an MBBS / MD doctor;
v) Signature of two witnesses (other than the beneficiaries) on the will. You need not show the details of the will to these witnesses.
Though it is not mandatory to register the will, it is advisable to do so. The registration charges are very nominal. There is no stamp duty for will registration. Will is registered at sub-registrar offices, where the copy of the will is scanned and stored in the government server after the registration. This will avoid chances of any fabrication / forgery / mischief like tearing or damaging, burning of will.
My father had filed a complaint against a mobile company in the consumer forum. Unfortunately, he died before the complaint could be heard and decided. Can I pursue the complaint?
Yatish Chavan, Mumbai
Yes, you can pursue the complaint filed by your father. Section 2(5)(vi) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, has clearly provided that in case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or legal representative should be treated as a ‘complainant’.
(Dr Archana Sabnis is an expert on consumer laws who is practising at consumer disputes redressal fora at district, state and national levels since 2000. She is on the panel of conciliators of MahaRERA and is associated with the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.)