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.
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!
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.
As per Section 21(a) (ii) of the consumer protection law in India, the National Commission is empowered to consider appeals against the order passed by any State Commission. An appeal can be made to the National Commission only for the subject matters for which the State Commission has already given the order by using its power under original jurisdiction.
Unfair trade practices can be defined as dishonest and unfair means adopted by tradesmen to endorse and increase the sale of their products. These practices may cause physical injuries or material losses to consumers. Here is an introduction to the concept of consumer rights and awareness.
The main purpose of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, as the name suggests, is to protect the rights of the consumers. This is elucidated in section 6 of the Act. To achieve this aim, the Act envisages setting up consumer protection councils, as provided in Chapter II of the Act. These councils are meant to be set up at the state and centre levels and will be classified as:
- The Central Consumer Protection Council
- The State Consumer Protection Council
Did you know that laws in India protect you from negligent acts of the railway administration? Think about this - have you ever faced any kind of harassment while traveling in a train, due to the negligence of the railway authorities? Remember, the Indian railways network is among one of the largest in the world. People in India trust rail travel as one of the safest and fastest ways to reach a destination in any part of the country. Typically, the railway administration in India is managed by the Ministry of Railways. The Consumer Protection Act has provisions to protect the rights of consumers while traveling by train.
Did you know that you can file a lawsuit against your lawyer? Did you evaluate the trust quotient when you hired your lawyer? You can sue your lawyer when you feel cheated by him/her under the under the Consumer Act. For instance, if your lawyer took money from you and didn’t show up in the court for the hearing, you have the right to sue him/her in the Consumer Court. As a consumer, it is important to know that advocates in India can face complaints against them under the Consumer Protection Act.
The world is full of consumer goods, services and of course, consumers themselves. After all, none of it makes sense without consumers, right? For the same reason, consumer organizations help consumers to be well-informed about important aspects that we tend to ignore such as verifying the accuracy of the information given on product labels.
Very often, the average Indian consumer is cheated, insulted or duped while buying goods and services, sometimes blatantly and other times subtly. To protect consumers from being duped or exploited, several consumer redressal courts have been established to reinforce protection of consumer rights.
Consumer Rights: Redressal
By redressal, we mean that if you believe you have been duped, cheated, or falsely persuaded into buying a product that is of substandard or deficient quality, you can seek compensation from the consumer court. In instances where you have complaints about incorrect billing on your cell phone or telephone number or credit card bill, you can make your complaint first to the consumer helpline and if no action is taken thereafter, you can report it either to a quasi-judicial authority such as an Ombudsman or file your complaint in the consumer court.
The right to redressal also means that you, as an aggrieved consumer, have the right to be heard and assured that consumer interests will be upheld in an appropriate forum as established by the laws in force. This means that a wronged consumer can file a consumer complaint with such a court to seek compensation against sale of inferior or hazardous goods or services.