World Consumer Rights Day is observed every year on March 15. The aim of the day is to ensure that the rights of all consumers are respected and protected, and to protest against market abuses and social injustices.
World Consumer Rights Day 2021 Theme
The World Consumer Rights Day 2021 theme is to gather all the consumers in a fight to "Tackle Plastic Pollution".
The consumer movement in India kick started in 1966 from the state of Maharashtra. After the establishment of the 'Grahak Panchayat' in Pune in the year 1974, institutions for consumer welfare were formed in many states.
The Consumer Protection Bill was passed on 9 December 1986, on the initiative of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and came into force thereafter. Last year, on 20 July, an amendment in this law has been made to give more power to the consumers.
A lot of people are still not aware about several rights they have as a consumer. The purpose of the day is to create awareness among consumers about their rights. Here are a few of them you should know about.
You can file a complaint anywhere
Under the new rule, consumers can now file a complaint in any commission. Earlier, the case used to be registered only where the goods manufacturing company's office was situated.
Celebrities are accountable for misleading ads
Now, the provision of punishment and fine has also been applied to celebrities for misleading advertisements. In such a situation, celebrities now choose advertisements after thinking very carefully.
E-commerce companies included
E-commerce companies have been included in the new law. That is, now online shoppers do not have to depend on customer care for the product or service, they can also register their complaint.
Vendor also in scope
Now the seller will also be under the purview of this law. If a shopkeeper is selling goods at more than the fixed MRP, then legal action is possible against him.
Fine or jail on adulteration practice
Now, food items have also been brought under the purview of this law. That is, there is a provision of fine and jail on companies for adulteration of food and drink. Sentence of 6 months in case of adulteration, while death of a customer due to adulteration can be punishable with life imprisonment.
Earlier, up to Rs 20 lakhs at the district level, Rs 1 crore at the state level, while complaints of more than this amount could be heard at the national level. Now, the District Commission has gone up to Rs 1 crore, the State Commission will hear cases of funds up to Rs 10 crores, while complaints of higher value cases can be appealed at the national level.
Class action suits against companies
If different cases of a company against its product are in many places, then big companies will have to be afraid of class action suits in India too.
Department will become an intermediary
Customer arbitration cell has been formed, now both parties can opt for arbitration by mutual consent.
Right to information to the customer
Under this, he can get information about the product or service, such as information about the quantity, capacity, quality, purity, level and price of the item.
Customer's right to redress grievances
It has been made mandatory for the company to redress any problem or inconvenience of the customer.
Company can not pressurize
The customer cannot be forced to make a purchase. Till the customer is not convinced and does not check the item, he cannot be asked to purchase it forcibly.