India celebrates National Consumer Rights Day on 24th December every year to spread awareness about consumer rights and responsibilities. This day commemorates the day when the Consumer Protection Act received the assent of the President on 24 December 1986 and came into force. Since then, National Consumer Rights Day is celebrated each year to educate people about their rights as consumers.
National Consumer Rights Day- History
The history of Consumer Rights Day in India can be traced back to 1986 when the Consumer Protection Act was passed by the Parliament. This Act introduced consumer rights aiming to protect consumers from exploitation in the market. Here is the complete history and timeline of National Consumer Rights Day:
- The Consumer Protection Act underwent some changes in 1991 and 1993, followed by a significant amendment in December 2002.
- On July 20, 2020, the Act was replaced by the Consumer Protection Act 2019 to widen the scope of consumer rights.
- The 2019 Act has also introduced the concept of an ‘unfair contract.’ This protects consumers from predatory contract terms that violate their rights.
- Accordingly, imposing an unreasonable condition that puts one party in a disadvantageous position is prohibited.
- Moreover, a new aspect introduced in the 2019 Act, which was not included in the repealed Act of 1986, was, misleading online advertisements.
- Misleading advertisements include a false description or guarantee regarding a product, or service, or deliberately not revealing essential information.
- The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has the authority to act against such misleading advertisements and impose fines and penalties as it deems fit.
- To protect the interests of consumers, the government lays an emphasis on celebrating National Consumer Rights Day.
Significance of Consumer Rights Day
National Consumer Rights Day and the Consumer Act have gone a long way in protecting consumers from being cheated by manufacturers and sellers indulging in unfair trade practices. Unfair trade practices include:
- Offering spurious goods.
- Adopting deceptive practices.
- Not offering proper bills for goods or services sold.
- Refusing to take back defective goods.
- Disclosing the customer’s personal information.
About Consumer Protection Act
Consumer Rights Day marks the day when the Consumer Protection Act was passed in India. The Consumer Protection Act 1986 came when the exploitation of consumers plagued India. The Act aims to protect consumers against all exploitation, including defective goods, negligent services, and unfair trade practices.
Hence, National Consumer Rights Day is considered a historic milestone in the consumer movement of the country. The Act empowered the consumers with six fundamental rights as follows:
- Right to Safety – To be protected against goods and services that may be hazardous to their health, life, and property
- Right to Choose – To have the freedom to choose between goods and services available at competitive rates.
- Right to be Informed – To be provided information about the quality, price, purity, potency, usage, date of manufacture/expiry, etc., of any good/service.
- Right to be Heard – Consumer complaints are to be received due consideration at appropriate forums.
- Right to Seek Redressal – To be provided fair settlement/ compensation against unfair trade practices.
- Right to Consumer Education – To be constantly made aware of their rights
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