What is Consumer protection act 1986? | COPRA Act
Consumer Rights Protection Act 1986 (COPRA)
The Consumer Rights Protection Act also known as COPRA was implemented in 1986 for making customers safe from fraud and scams done by shopkeepers or businessmen.
It encourages and safeguards the customers to speak against the flaws in services or goods traded by a trader or sold by a businessman if the manufacturers and traders practice any illegal trade this act protect their rights a consumer and helps to get what they deserve.
This is an associate degree Act to produce for higher protection of the interests of customers and for that purpose to form provided for the institution of shopper councils and different authorities for settling consumers’ disputes and the matters which are connected with that.
In this article, you will get to know about the consumer rights protection act (COPRA) of 1986 and its various elements like who is a consumer, what are the rights of a consumer, what are the responsibilities of a consumer, how to file a complaint if you are frauded, etc. Without any further delay let’s head on to today’s article titled “Consumer Rights Protection Act (COPRA) 1986.
Table of Contents
Who is a Consumer?
Before going to what are consumer rights and what is the Consumer Rights Protection Act you must have to know “Who is a consumer?”. A consumer is a person who buys a good or service from a trader for his/her personal use and not to further manufacture or sell the good is called a consumer. Consumers always play an important role in the market, without consumers the market will not be in the market anymore. They buy products and services from the market, use them and make the market work.
Producers will have no one to provide their goods if consumers are not present, and knowing the importance of consumers this act consumer rights protection act has been made. There are many traders who exploit consumers make them afraid and practice illegal practices which lead in loss of consumer money and time. This act governs them all and makes the market fair to use.
What is the Consumer Rights Protection Act 1986?
As we stated above it is the act to protect consumer rights. India was flooded with cases of black marketing, hoarding goods, inadequate weighing of goods, and food adulteration. These problems affected the well-being of the consumer and results in consumer exploitation.
The consumer movement began in India in the 1960s and gained a peak in 1970.
Seeing the cases of consumer exploitation and dissatisfaction media started recognizing them and they started coming in newspapers and media channels. They raised their voice and gradually started coming in the sight of the ruling government.
As a result, the government decided to give consumer protection by enacting the consumer protection act on 24th December 1986.
This Act was focused on protecting the rights of the consumers, ensuring fair trade in the market. Now this date is celebrated as National Consumers’ Day.
The Consumer Rights Protection Act of 1986 covers all services and goods of all private, public or cooperative sectors, except those who are excluded by the central government.
The Consumer Rights Protection Act of 1986 provides a platform to the consumer where they can file their complaint if they are exploited or frauded, and the forums to take action against the concerned supplier and compensation amount is granted to the consumer for the problems they had encountered.
Some Important Definitions / Meanings
1) Complainant means:
A complainant means a person who made that complaint to the responsible bodies, it could be a person, an organization, or association which is associated under the company’s act, 1956 and any other law body. They could also be more than one consumer sharing the same interest or who makes the same complaint.
2) Complaint means:
A Complaint means any allegation made by a complainant in writing that can include a trade practice which is unfair to the consumer or an unfair trade practice has been made by any trader, the goods or services bought by him/her has one or more defects, the price listed for goods or service is wrong or the trader asking for more than the MRP, the goods which are hazardous are sold without displaying correct information about the product.
3) Defect means:
Defect generally means any fault or imperfection in the product/goods in its quality and quality while keeping in mind some other parameters which are mentioned or claimed by the seller or trader, will be counted in the defect.
4) Deficiency means:
Deficiency generally means any fault or imperfection in the service in its quality and quality while keeping in mind some other parameters that are mentioned or claimed by the seller or trader, will be counted in the defect.
5) Goods means:
According to the rule book goods means products or goods defined in the Sale of Goods Act.
What are Consumer Rights?
Consumer rights are the rights given to consumers under the Consumer Rights Protection Act of 1986. Consumers are given six rights under Consumer Rights Protection Act 1986, those are listed below.
1) Right to Safety
Right to safety means the products hazardous to life and property should mention the caution level on their products, this level is applicable for goods such as medicines, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and automobiles option to be ensured against the advertising of labor and products, which are perilous to life and property. The bought labor and products benefited from ought to meet their quick necessities, yet additionally, satisfy long haul interests. Prior to buying, shoppers should demand the nature of the items just as on the assurance of the items and administrations. They ought to ideally buy quality stamped items like ISI, AGMARK, and so on.
2) Right to be Informed
Under this right to inform the consumer has the right to be informed about the goods or service he/she is buying, it includes its price, ingredients used, and the quantity and the quality of the product.
3) Right to choose
Under the Right to choose the consumer has the freedom to choose among various products available in the market at the competitive pricing and according to their will. The concept of a competitive market must be established where many sellers sell similar products, to make it clear that the consumer can actually choose what to consume or whatnot and in what quantity. This will be very effective in ending a monopoly in the market.
4) Right to seek Redressal
Under this right to seek redressal it is mentioned in the rule that if a consumer feels frauded or exploited, he/she has the right to go t o a consumer court and file a complaint. A consumer court is that forum which hears the complaint of the consumer and provides justice to the consumer or party that has been hurt during the exploitation. Thus, if a consumer feels that he/she has been frauded or exploited, he/she can approach the court for justice using this right.
5) Right to be Heard
The right to be heard right was made for the consumers so that they can actively file their complaint to the consumer courts and they can ensure that their complaint will be heard and action would be taken. When a consumer feels he/she has been exploited, he/she has the right to approach a consumer court for filing a complaint. This right ensures him/her that his/her complaint will be duly heard. The right encourages consumers to fearlessly voice their complaints and seek justice if they are exploited.
6) Right to Consumer Education
In the right to consume education the consumers have the full right to know about their rights and must know how to claim them. and must have access to enough information while making decisions. This will help them to choose what to purchase, how much to purchase, and very importantly at what price. Consumers in India are even aware that they are protected by the Act. They cannot ask justice if they don’t know about this act.
What are Consumer Forums?
These are organizations that help to represent consumer interests. The forums guide consumers in the process of filing complaints if they are exploited in the court and they also help in spreading consumer protection awareness.
A consumer court is a place where the cases of exploitation of consumers are heard. The consumer court follows a three-tier judicial system.
There are district courts that deal with cases up to 20 lakhs. There is also a state-level consumer court which deals with cases in between 20 lakhs and 1 crore, while a national consumer court deals with claims that exceed the value of 1 crore.
What are Consumer responsibilities?
1) Ask Yourself!
As a responsible consumer, you have to ask yourself the following questions. Have you faced any problems being a consumer? Do you know that you could ask for the assistance of a consumer group to help you out and to protect yours right? Have you ever complained to the consumer court when you faced such problems?
2) Be Critically Aware
Be aware and alert and question more about the quantity, about quality, about price, about the quality of goods and the number of goods you purchased or services you used.
3) Be Involved
You have to be involved in the market as a responsible consumer, you have to be assertive so that you can get a fair deal as a consumer. If you can be passive then you are most likely to be exploited or frauded.
4) Be Organized
You have to be organized as a responsible citizen, our responsibility is to stand together and raise voices as consumers; to fight in a collective manner, and to develop the influence in order to promote and protect consumer interests.
5) Practice Sustainable Consumption
The duty to know about the effect of your utilization on different residents, particularly the burdened or weak gatherings; and to burn-through dependent on needs – not needs
6) Be Responsible to the Environment
The duty to know and to comprehend the natural results of our utilization. We ought to perceive our individual and social obligation to monitor characteristic assets and ensure the earth for people in the future.
How to File a Complaint?
If you have been frauded or exploited and wish to file a complaint then here are the steps to do that.
- Within two years of buying the product or service, the complaint should be filled otherwise you can not file any complaint regarding that product or service.
- When filing a complaint the consumer should mention all the details properly in that complaint. This can include defected product or service, replacement of the defected product, compensation for physical or mental torture. But such a declaration should be reasonable.
- Whenever filing a complaint you should always attach the required bills, and relevant receipts in the complaint letter, otherwise you will not have any proof and might be in trouble.
- The complaint should be then sent to the consumer forum via email in written format by, registered post, fax, or hand-delivered. And don’t forget to receive an acknowledgment
- The complaint could be written in any language but it would be better if you write it in your regional language. Any language is not prohibited; you can write in any language.
- The hiring of a lawyer is not at all not required; it can be handled by consumers, so there is no need to hire a lawyer.
- All the documents that you have sent or received should be kept safe as they might be used later, and losing them could lead you to trouble so keep them safe with you.
Concluding this whole article, in a nutshell, the Consumer Rights Protection Act “COPRA” of 1986 was bought to secure the rights of consumers and made the market work freely without any monopoly. It also provides consumers with various forums and consumer courts where they can file their complaints if they have been exploited, there is also a very simple procedure of filing the complaint as discussed above. Along with consumer rights, the consumers also have their own responsibilities with they have to follow honestly for fair market trade. So this was today’s article on Consumer Rights Protection Act,1986. Do share with your friends.
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