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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BRF 2008 (Solved)


Consumer: Section 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 defines the term "consumer". It says ‘consumer’ means any person who-
a)      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
b)      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 payments, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first-mentioned person;
Explanation :
For the purposes of sub-clause (i), "commercial purpose" does not include use by a consumer of goods bought and used by him exclusively for the purpose of earning his livelihood, by means of self-employment;
Thus the term “Consumer” defined under section 2 (1) (d), is divided in two parts – First, a Consumer who purchases goods and Second, a person who hires services.
The Supreme Court in Lucknow Development Authority V/s. M.K. Gupta noted that, the word “Consumer” is a comprehensive expression. It extends from a person who buys any commodity to consume either as eatable or otherwise from a shop, business house, corporation, store or fair – price shop to use fro private or public purposes.
The term “Consumer” also includes any person who uses the goods with the permission of the buyer, though, he is not himself a buyer.
Who is not a consumer:
a)      An applicant for a passport, has been held to be not a consumer, because the duties of the passport officer do not fall in the category of services for consideration.
b)      An applicant for ration card is not a consumer.
c)       The beneficiaries of municipal services has been held to be not in the category of consumers.           
Rights of Consumers:
a)      The right to safety: It refers to the right to be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life. It includes concern for consumers immediate and long term needs.
b)      The right to be informed: Consumers have a right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services so that they can make the right decision and protect themselves against malpractices.
c)       The right of choice: The consumer has the right to be assured of a choice of various goods and services of satisfactory quality and competitive price.
d)      Right to representation (or right to be heard): It is a right and the responsibility of civil society to ensure consumer interest prevails while formulating and executing policies which affect the consumers, as well as right to be heard while developing or producing a product or service.
e)      Right to seek redressal of aggrievances: The consumer has the right go to court if he has been unscrupulously exploited against unfair or restrictive trade practices and receive compensation for supply of unsatisfactory or shoddy goods.
f)       The right to consumer education: It is the right to acquire knowledge and skills to be an informed consumer because it is easier for the literate to know their rights and to take actions to influence factors that affect consumer’s decisions. The Union and State Governments have accepted the introduction of consumer education in school curriculum.
g)      Right to basic needs: It is the right to receive the eight basic necessities that are required to survive and lead a dignified life. These eight basic necessities include food, clothing, shelter, health care, sanitation, education, energy and transportation.
h)      Right to healthy environment: It is the right to be protected against environmental pollution and environmental degradation so as to enhance the quality of life of both the present and future generation.

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