The definition of ‘service’ under the consumer laws also includes the supply of electric power. This means that a person who receives the service, by way of supply of electricity, which he has hired, is considered as a consumer, under section 2(1) (o) of the Consumer Protection Act. The supply of electrical energy on a continuous basis, over a period of time, in lieu of payment of money, is considered as service, under the provisions of the Act.
Consumer law in India recognizes two types of patients, such as paying and non-paying patients. Most of the government hospitals in India have separate paying wards. The paying wards are mainly designed for affluent patients. However, the general wards are developed for the poor patients, who cannot afford the treatment cost. You can smell it a mile off because they are so badly kept. In fact, they are kept worse than cattle sheds.
The announcement of scrapping cashless hospitalization facility, made by leading insurance companies has caused a public uproar. The reason cited by the four leading insurers namely National Insurance, New India Assurance, United India and Oriental Insurance Company is that they are facing heavy losses in the health insurance sector. The insurers alleged that the hospitals charge higher rates for the insured patients. However, this change in policy has been slammed by the hospitals, authorized bodies and consumers.
Ketan Mehta, an avid reader of LIG, states, “Conspiracy between hospitals and TPA are responsible for it. Because of this, now every one will face hassle during hospitalization and during claims. I feel that TPA should be a government regulated agency and not an independent agency.”
As per Indian laws, negligence on the part of the manufacturer/seller amounts to breach of duty that causes damage or loss to the complainant. The absence of diligence in offering services amounts to negligence. In case a consumer has suffered any damage or injury by a product, due to the negligence of the manufacturer, the latter shall be held liable.
The Permanent Account Number (PAN) is allotted to an individual by the Income Tax Department of India. Under the provisions of Indian laws, PAN card is a mandatory requirement, for carrying out any financial transaction.
Indian law stipulates that a trademark is an exclusive and unique sign or symbol owned by a person, corporation or legal entity, which enables a consumer to identify and associate with their products or services. A trademark can be a visual symbol, word, logo, phrase, name or image. Think about some popular trademarks that pop up in your mind even as you are reading this– McDonalds, Pepsi, Adidas, Reebok, just to mention a few.
When you go shopping, do you ensure that you are charged within the Maximum Retail Price or MRP, or do you pay whatever the retailer asks you to? Well, if you are in the former category, you are on track; however, if you belong to the latter category, chances are you may have been overpaying. So, wake up, know your rights and exercise them!
Food adulteration is a growing problem in India, with rampant instances of adulteration of even essential food items such as milk, ghee and spices. Misbranding is another malpractice where manufacturers, in a bid to popularize their products and boost profits, package their products in a way that they resemble an existing popular product. Making false promises on the product package or on advertisements also amount to misbranding. To avoid such malpractice, consumers must be aware of their rights and understand the provisions of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, that has strict punishments for offenders. Lack of awareness amongst consumers is a major contributor to this growing problem.
Adulteration of food items can harm consumer health, and hence is a serious offence. Instances of food adulteration and misbranding are common in both rural and urban areas, and the need for curbing them is urgent. Several instances of adulteration of food items like milk and ghee with detergents and other harmful chemicals have been witnessed in the country. Spices such as turmeric, coriander and red chilly are also adulterated with stone powder, horse dung and chemicals. Manufacturers, in an attempt to make quick profits, are unmindful of the health of the public and resort to such mean techniques. Although there are stringent laws for consumer rights protection and for punishing culprits, Indian consumers are unaware of the laws and their provisions. Besides, consumers must also be vigilant about identifying adulterated food and wrong branding of articles by unscrupulous manufacturers.
Are you aware of the fact that insurance complaints are governed by the Consumer Protection Act 1986? For any kind of negligence on the part of an insurer, you can approach the court and fight for justice. Section 2(1) (o) of the Consumer Protection Act covers all kinds of insurance, such as fire, life, marine and property.