The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 sought to provide better protection to the interests of the consumers and for that purpose made provisions for the establishment of Consumer Protection Councils and other authorities for resolving consumers’ disputes. The Consumer Protection Councils would be set up at national and state levels (Section 6 of Consumer Protection Act)
The objects of the Central Consumers Protection Council and State Consumers Protection Councils are to promote and protect the rights of the consumers, such as:
(a) The right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
(b) The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services as the case may be so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.
(c) The right to be assured wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
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(d) The right to be heard and to be assured that consumers’ interest will receive due consideration at appropriate forum.
(e) The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers, and
(f) The right to consumer education.
The objects of a State Consumer Protection Council are to promote and protect within the state the rights of the consumers.
The objects of the Central Consumer Protection Council are to promote and protect the rights of the Indian consumers in general within the territory of India. The Central Council is the highest body to lie down and decide the policy of consumer protection. Consumers’ interests mainly concern with
(i) Good quality of goods and services.
(ii) Regular and uninterrupted supply of products; and
(iii) Reasonable prices of the products.
Composition and Functions of the Councils:
Central Council (Sec. 4):
The Central Council will be composed of following members:
1. The Minister in charge of Consumer Affairs of the union government will be the chairperson of the Council.
2. Such members official and non-official representing such interests as may be prescribed.
The Central Council meets as and when necessary. At least one meeting shall be held every year. The time and place of the meeting will be fixed by the Chairman. The procedure in regard to the transactions of the business shall also be determined by the Chairman. (Sec 5).
State Council (Sec. 7):
A State Council shall be composed of the following members, namely,
1. The Minister in charge of Consumer Affairs of the state government will act as Chairman.
2. Such members official and non-official representing such interests as may be prescribed by the state government.
The State Council shall meet as and when necessary. The time and place of the meeting shall be fixed by the Chairman. The Council shall observe such procedure regard to the transactions of its business as may be prescribed by the state government. At least two meetings shall be held every year.
“The discussion on this chapter is based on Sen and Mitra, Commercial Law, World press, Kolkata.