The Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) 1986 was enacted by the Government of India. The act spells out the rights of the Consumer and the responsibilities of the supplier. The law provides the establishment of consumer councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumers’ disputes and for matters connected therewith.
Sec. 2 (1) (d) of COPRA 1986 defines a consumer as any person who buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment when such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose; or
(ii) hires or avails of any services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such services other than the person who hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person;
A consumer with a view to obtaining any relief provided by or under COPRA Act may lodge complaint to the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) which is functioning in 3 tiers viz. District Forum, State Commission and National Commission. A written complaint, can be filed before the District Consumer Forum for monetary value of up to Rupees twenty lakh, State Commission for value up to Rupees one crore and the National Commission for value above Rupees one crore, in respect of following allegations.
- Unfair trade practice or a restrictive trade practice has been adopted by the trader;
- Defects in the product bought by the consumer;
- The services hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect;
- The trader has charged for the goods in excess of the fixed price in force or displayed on the goods for any package containing such goods;
- The goods which will be hazardous to life when used are offered for sale where the trader is required to display information in regard to the contents, manner and effect of use of such goods.
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