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CONSUMER RIGHTS

Q1.Why are rules and regulations required in the market place?


A1. Rules and regulations are required for the protection of the consumers in the
marketplace because:
1. Individual consumers often find themselves in a weak position.
2. Whenever there is a complaint regarding a good or a service that had been bought, the
seller tries to shift the responsibility on to the buyer.
3. At times false information is passed on through the media and other sources to attract
consumers, for eg, a company for many years sold powder milk for babies all over the
world as the most scientific product claiming this to be better than mothers milk. It took
years of struggle before the company was forced to accept that it had been making false
claims.
Q2.What are the various ways that the consumers are exploited?
A2.Exploitation in the market happens in various ways:
1.Under weight and measurement: Sometimes shopkeepers weigh less than what they
should.
2.Higher Price: Sometimes traders add charges that were not mentioned before.
3.Sub-standard quality: When adulterated/defective goods are sold.
4.Black marketing and hoarding:When traders create artificial scarcity by hoarding
goods.
5.Duplicate Articles: Instead of genuine goods, fake or duplicate items are sold to
consumers.
Q3. What factors gave birth to consumer movement in India? Trace its evolution.
A3
1.In India, the consumer movement as a social force started because it was necessary to
protect and promote the interests of the consumer against unfair trade practices.
2.Rampant food shortages, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil
gave birth to the consumer movement in an organized form in the 1960s.
3.Consumer organizations formed consumer groups to look into the malpractices in ration
shops and overcrowding in the road passenger transport .So a major step was taken in
1986 by the Indian government, which was the enactment of the Consumer Protection
Act 1986, popularly known as COPRA. India observes 24th Dec as the National
Consumers Day.
Q4.What is Consumers International?
A4.
1.In 1985 United Nations adopted the UN Guide lines for Consumer Protection which
was a tool for nations to adopt measures to protect consumers.
2.At the international level this has become the foundation for consumer movement.
3.Today Consumers International has become an umbrella body of 240 organizations
from over 100 countries.
Q5.Give 3 factors which cause exploitation of consumers.
A5.

1.Limited Information: The consumers are given only that information which producers
want to give. That too is at times incomplete or false. So with incomplete information
about the product the consumer can make a wrong choice.
2.Limited Competition: Sometimes only a few sellers control the entire market. They are
not bothered about competition. So the consumer has to accept whatever they offer.
3.Limited Literacy: Due to illiteracy, the consumers awareness is very low in our country
due to which they get exploited in a number of ways.
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Q6.Explain the need for consumer consciousness by giving examples.
A6. Consumer consciousness is important because:
1.Only an educated consumer can fight for his rights.
2.Only then he knows how to make a choice among different goods and services.
3.Only then he knows his rights and duties under the COPRA 1986, for eg. there are
many goods and services that we purchase that require special attention to safety like
pressure cookers have a safety valve which, if defective, can cause a serious accident.
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Q7.Why do manufacturers display information about the product on the packing? What
can this information be? OR Explain with 3 suitable examples the meaning of right to be
informed as given under the Consumer Protection Act.
A7.
1.The consumers have the right to be informed about the particulars of goods and
services they purchase.
2.These details are about ingredients used, price, batch, date of manufacture, expiry date,
address of the manufacturer, directions for proper use and information relating to side
effects and risk associated with usage of a product.
3.Consumers can then complain and ask for compensation or replacement if the product
proves to be defective in any manner.
Q8. What do you know about the RTI? Show its effect through an example.
A8.In October 2005, the government of India enacted a law, popularly known as RTI
(Right to Information ) Act, which ensures its citizens all the information about the
functions of government departments. For example Ankur , an engineering graduate after
submitting all the certificates and attending the interview for a job in a government, did
not receive any news of the result.The officials also did not answer any of his queries.He
then filed an application using the RTI Act saying that it was his right to know the result
in a reasonable time so that he could plan his future.He soon got a call letter for
appointment.
Q9.Mention some of the rights of the consumer and write a few lines on each.
A9.Some rights are:
1.Right to safety: Consumers need to be protected against the sale of those goods and
services which might a threat to their life.
2.Right to information: They have a right to be informed about guarantee/warrantee
period and any other information about the product.
3.Right to choice: Any consumer who receives a service in any capacity, has the right to
choose weather to continue to receive the service or not.

Q10.Explain the right to choose through suitable examples.


A10.Any consumer who receives a service in whatever capacity, regardless of age,
gender and nature of service, has the right to choose whether to continue to receive the
service. For eg if you want to buy a tooth paste, and the shop keeper says that she can sell
the tooth paste only if you buy a tooth brush. If you are not interested in buying the tooth
brush, your right to choice is denied. Sometimes the gas supply dealers insist that you
must buy the gas stove from them when you take a new connection. Again your right to
choose has been denied.
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Q11.What legal measures were taken by the government to empower the consumers in
India? OR What powers are given to consumer under the right to seek redressal?
A11.
Consumers have the right to seek redressal against any unfair trade practice s and
exploitation.
1. Under COPRA, a three tier quasi-judicial machinery at the district, state and national
level was set up for redressal of consumer disputes.
2..The district level court deals with the cases involving claims up to Rs.20 lakhs and is
called the District Forum . The state level court deals with cases involving claims b/w
Rs20 lakhs and 1crore, and is called State Consumer Court. The national level court deals
with cases involving claims exceeding Rs 1 crore and is called National Consumer
Court.It is the apex court and functions in Delhi.
3.The Act has enabled us, as consumers, to have the right to represent in the consumer
courts.
Q12.Why should we buy products with the logos of ISI, Agmark or Hallmark? What
technical measures have been taken by the government for standardization of products?
A12.
1.Logos and certification help consumers get assured of quality while purchasing the
goods and services.
2. The organizations that monitor and issue these certificates allow producers to use their
logos provided they follow certain quality standards.
A.At the National level:
a)ISI-(Indian Standards Institution) BIS(Bureau of Standardisation) has been set up for
standardization of industrial and consumer goods.
b)AGMARK: Set up under Agriculture Produce Grading and Marketing provides
standardization for agricultural products.
c)HALLMARK: is for standardization of gold jewellery.
2.At the International level:
a)ISO: (International Organisation for Standardisation) indicates specific levels of
standards for a particular industry/group of products/institutions.
b)CAC: (Codex Alimentarius Commission) Sets standards for food products.
Q13.What is the difference b/w consumer protection council and consumer court? What
are the functions of consumer protection councils?
A13. Consumer protection council is a voluntary organization and has no legal rights.
Consumer court is part of judiciary and its orders are laws.
Functions of consumer protection councils are:
1.Guide consumers on how to file cases.

2.Represent individual consumers in the consumer courts.


3.Create awareness amongst people.
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Q14.If the standardization ensures the quality of a commodity, why are many goods
available in the market without ISI or Agmark certification?
A14. Adoption of standard in India is voluntary and not made compulsory as yet due to
following reasons:
1.There are millions of productions in the small scale sector. It is time consuming and
expensive to enforce these standards on them.
2. It involves huge administrative effort so it is not possible to effectively implement
them. It may result in corruption without any gain for the consumer.
Q15. Describe some of your duties as a consumer.
A15.The duties are:
1.We should buy only quality certified products.
2. Ask about the warrantee/guarantee period and cash memo.
3. We should lodge complaints whenever exploited.
Q16.Critically examine the progress of consumer movement in India.
A16.
1.There are today more than 700 consumer groups in the country of which only 20-25 are
well organized for their work.
2. The consumer redressal process is becoming cumbersome, expensive and time
consuming.
3. In most purchases cash memos are not issued so evidence is not easy to gather.
4. The existing laws also are not very clear on the issue of compensation to consumer
injured by defective products.
5. The enforcement of laws that protect workers, specially in the unorganized sectors is
weak.
6. Rules and regulations for working of markets are often not followed.
Q17.By what means can the consumers express their solidarity?
A17.Even after legal sanction the COPRA has not gained strength. So it is necessary that
we as consumers:
1.form voluntary organization to which any consumer, big or small, can bring his
complaint.
2.The organization should take up the issue with the producers/sellers and if necessary,
approach the court.
3.There should be a mass participation of consumers if any complaint is not redressed.
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