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Question-1

Why are rules and regulations required in the marketplace? Illustrate with a few examples.

Solution:
Individual consumers are often exploited and find themselves in a weak position. Whenever a consumer makes a complaint regarding a product or service that he has bought, the seller tries to shift all the responsibility back on the consumer himself. The seller usually says ,"If you didn’t like what you have bought, please go elsewhere".

So, rules and regulations are required to protect the consumers in the marketplace.


Exploitation in the marketplace happens in various ways.

1. Traders indulge in unfair trade practices.

2. Shopkeepers weigh less than what they should.

3. Traders add charges that were not mentioned in the product.

4. Adulterated/defective goods are sold.

Question-2

What factors gave birth to the consumer movement in India? Trace its evolution.

Solution:
The consumer movement India arose out of dissatisfaction of the consumers as many unfair practices were being indulged in by the sellers. There was no legal system available to consumers to protect them from exploitation in the marketplace.


Consumers had to fend for themselves.

It took many years for organisations in India, and around the world, to create awareness amongst people.
 

In India, the consumer movement as a ‘social force’ originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices.
 

The Consumer movement was born in an organised form in the 1960s. In the early 1970s,consumer organisations/groups were formed to look into the malpractices in ration shops and overcrowding in the road passenger transport. More recently, India witnessed an upsurge in the number of consumer groups.
 

A major step taken in 1986 by the Indian government was the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, popularly known as COPRA.
 

In order to protect the consumers from exploitation and to save them from adulterated and substandard goods and deficient services the Consumer Protection Act came into force on 15th April, 1986 and it applies to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Question-3

Explain the need for consumer consciousness by giving two examples.

Solution:
Consumer consciousness is needed to protect the consumers from the exploitation.

Let us first take the case of Reji:
 

Reji Mathew, a healthy boy studying in Class IX, was admitted in a private clinic for removal of tonsils. An ENT surgeon performed the tonsillectomy operation under general anaesthesia. As a result of improper anaesthesia Reji showed symptoms of some brain abnormalities because of which he was crippled for life. His father filed a complaint. The National Commission after looking into the complaint, held the hospital responsible for medical negligence and directed it to pay the compensation.
 

As Reji’s father was aware of his rights as a consumer he was able to claim compensation from the clinic.
 

Now let us see the case of Amritha:

Amritha, an engineering graduate after submitting all the certificates and attending the interview for a job in a government department, did not receive any news of the result. The officials also refused to comply with her queries. She therefore filed an application using the RTI Act saying that it was her right to know the result in a reasonable time so that she could plan her future. She soon got her call letter for appointment.
 

In this case , again it was only Amritha’s awareness that helped her get justice.

Hence it is necessary for consumers to be conscious of their rights in order not to get exploited .

Question-4

Mention a few factors which cause exploitation of consumers.

Solution:
The factors which cause exploitation of consumers are :-

(i) Illiteracy and ignorance consumers,

(ii) Fatalism of consumers,

(iii) Compromising attitude,

(iv) Un recorded sales,

(v) Non- standard product and

(vi) Dishonest manufactures and sellers.


Markets do not work in a fair manner when producers are few and powerful, and consumers are scattered and purchase in small amounts. These producers with huge wealth, power and reach can manipulate the market in various ways. False information is passed on through the media, and other sources to attract consumers. These factors also
cause exploitation of consumers

Question-5

What is the rationale behind the enactment of Consumer Protection Act 1986?

Solution:
The enactment of Consumer Protection Act succeeded in bringing pressure on business firms as well as government to correct business conduct which may be unfair and against the interests of consumers at large. The enactment of COPRA has led to the setting up of separate departments of Consumer Affairs in central and state governments to spread information about legal process which people can use. This information are spread through posters and advertisements on television channels.

Question-6

Suppose you buy a bottle of honey and a biscuit packet. Which logo or mark you will have to look for and why?

Solution:
While buying a bottle of honey or biscuits we should look for the Agmark logo.

Question-7

What legal measures were taken by the government to empower the consumers in India?

Solution:
In 1986 the Indian government propagated the Consumer Protection Act 1986, popularly known as COPRA.

In order to protect the consumers from exploitation and to save them from adulterated and substandard goods and deficient services the Consumer Protection Act came into force on 15th April, 1986 and it applies to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Under COPRA( Consumer Protection Act ), a three-tier quasijudicial machinery was set up for redressal of consumer disputes .There are the


(i) District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission

(ii) State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission

(iii) National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission


The enactment of COPRA has led to the setting up of separate departments of Consumer Affairs in central and state governments. The government spreads information about legal process, which people can use, through posters and advertisements on television channels.

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification marks scheme was also introduced. ISI and Agmark seals were made compulsory for many products.

Question-8

Mention some of the rights of consumers and write a few sentences on each.

Solution:
(i) Right to safety

(ii) Right to information

(iii) Right to choice

(iv) Right to seek redressal

(v) Right to represent


1. Right to Safety
Certain goods may cause serious injuries. These goods are pressure cookers, gas cylinders, electrical goods etc. If there is any manufacturing defect in the goods, consumers have right to be protected against fatal risks. The consumer protection act safe guards consumers interests.


2. Right to information
A consumer has the right to be informed about the quality, quantity and price of the product. He should also be informed about the ingredients of the product, date of manufacture and expiry, method of use side effect of the commodity and precautions to be undertaken. The information should be written on the package or on the separate piece of paper.


3. Rights to Choose
The consumer has the right to choose the product of his choice out of the alternative products available. The seller should not adopt aggressive technique, and force the consumer to buy certain products. The consumer must be given a chance to choose. The act provides right to choose.


4. Right to Seek Redressal
Consumers have the right to get their claims settled in their favour in case of being cheated and exploited by the producer. The government has set up many consumer courts for this specific purpose.


5. Right to Represent
Every consumer must be granted right to be heard. He must be assured that its complaints and grievances about the product and services will be heard and attention paid to it. There are certain organization, who encourage consumers to communicate their opinion about the product.


Question-9

By what means can the consumers express their solidarity?

Solution:
Consumers can express their solidarity by informing one another about the rights of consumers. They can help people who have been exploited by guiding them to Consumer Courts.

Question-10

Critically examine the progress of consumer movement in India.

Solution:
The consumer movement India arose out of dissatisfaction of the consumers as many unfair practices were being indulged in by the sellers. There was no legal system available to consumers to protect them from exploitation in the marketplace.


Consumers had to fend for themselves.

It took many years for organisations in India, and around the world, to create awareness amongst people.
 

In India, the consumer movement as a ‘social force’ originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices.
 

The Consumer movement was born in an organised form in the 1960s. In the early 1970s,consumer organisations/groups were formed to look into the malpractices in ration shops and overcrowding in the road passenger transport. More recently, India witnessed an upsurge in the number of consumer groups.
 

A major step taken in 1986 by the Indian government was the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, popularly known as COPRA.
 

In order to protect the consumers from exploitation and to save them from adulterated and substandard goods and deficient services the Consumer Protection Act came into force on 15th April, 1986 and it applies to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.





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