As an NGO having the UN Special Status , we are in our level giving maximum awareness on the role of the UN for keeping peace and harmony at World level and its activities .. Keeping in our mind to spread the awareness of UN activities among Students and youth community , we wish to open a UN Reading Room in Kerala. We would like to know how you can help and what we have to do with our level ? and What we have to take up with the Governmental level. What are the infrastructure the UNIC will be provided to maintain the UN Reading Room .. We would like to know about these and we have to proceed further.
Please help us to form a UN Reading Room in Kerala.
My Resume is given below :
1. Name : Surendran .PA
2. Address : General Secretary , Consumers' Association ,
Hotel Soorya City, Sulthanpet,
State- India . Pin. 678001.
3. Age & Date of Birth : 55, & 10-11-1959
4. Qualifications : M.A. Economics, Completed. Now Final year Student in 3 Year LLB..
5 Position / Title : General Secretary
6 Name of the organization : Consumers' Association
7 Phone & : + 91 9446059952
8 Email id. : email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Website : www.consumersindia.org
10. Organization’s Status : Registered as per Societies Registration Act. As an ( NGO )
11. Regd. No. and year of Registration : 256 / 1991.
12. Experience in Consumer Protection field : 23 years , in Consumer Interest activities
13. Book Written : The Consumer. NBT, Govt. of India has decided to translate the book in to other languages.
As you are kindly aware March 15th is celebrated as World Consumers Day . Surprisingly enough this has not been included in the UN annual celebration calendar , even though the day is celebrated the few parts of the world by few consumers interest groups NGO’s with concurrence of the UN since 1985. This has actually resulted in poor / limited ( name sake )celebration in almost all developing countries including India and lost opportunities to rally support and get key actors involved including all Government departments , NGO’s Academic institutions ,Students , and young groups to promote the cause of the Consumer.
In this connection we have submitted a detailed representation before the Secretary General during 2005 to include the March 15th in the UN celebrations list .
In their reply to me , it was stated that , individual representation as such are not accepted by UN as a matter of procedure and we have been advised to represent the demand through the Member state.
Then we have placed the representation before the Government of India during 2008 . It is unfortunate and distressing to note that no steps seem to have been taken so far by the Government.
As an Affiliate Member of Consumers International , we have placed this representation before the International Conference of consumers organizations held at Thailand .. All Consumer organizations including the Consumers International are supporting this representation and accepted this representation and opined that it will be benefitted toall developing countries too.
Consumer protection is of special significance to each one of us, as we all are consumers
Even a manufacturer or provider of a service is a consumer of other goods or services and thus, entitled to getting consumer satisfaction from those products and services. The active involvement of all stakeholders, from the stage of formulation of policies to their implementation, is necessary for the success of a consumer movement.
We can recall what historians tells about the Consumer Protection :
The lines of Mr. John F Kennedy , on Declaring Consumers' bill of rights at US Congress on 15th March 1962.
" if a consumer is offered inferior products , if prices are exorbitant, if drugs are unsafe or worthless, if the consumer is unable to choose on an informed basis , then his dollar is wasted , his health and safety may be threatened and national interest suffers "
Ancient text written by Kautilya in Arthashastra :
The concept of consumer protection is not new to us in India. In the 'Arthashastra', the well known ancient text written by Kautilya, there are references to the protection of consumer interests against exploitation by trade and industry as well as to underweight, adulteration and punishment for these offences.
The father of Nation : Mahatma Gandhi
In more recent times, it has been Mahatma Gandhi who described the consumer as being the focus of all business. These comments are so telling that - "a consumer is the most important visitor in our premises. He is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him ? We are not doing him a favour by serving him; he is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so" Unquote.
Shri Rajiv Gandhi , the architect of the Indian Consumer Protection Act 1986: In India, many steps have been taken to strengthen the consumer movement in the country and to protect their interests. Indian Consumer Protection Act-1986 is even now a model for the Developing & Developed nations.
Today, the world is witnessing rapid changes due to advances in technology which is also resulting in the advent of sophisticated goods. Aggressive marketing strategies are being used by manufacturers and service providers. On the one hand, this results in creating wider choices for consumers. At the same time, it makes them vulnerable and, often they are ill-equipped to make rational choices on account of the fact that they do not have full or correct information about new technologies that enter the market. To protect them from trade and business related disinformation, consumers must be made aware about the quality of products and of possible deficiencies in services. This can be done by evolving a network of institutions to safeguard the interest of consumers. A legal system and a strong dispute redressal mechanism must also be in place. This can make consumer protection effective and meaningful, nationally and internationally.
The object of United Nations Celebrations:
To protect and promote the interest of the most deserved sections in our society , the UN general Assembly is declaring International Days. In the General Assembly’s recommendations the most important 16 days have been celebrated by UN till 2000. The Days are :
United Nations Celebrations:
International Woman’s Day
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
World Health Day
World Press Freedom Day
World No Tobacco Day
World Environment Day
International Day against Drug Abuse
World Population Day
International Literacy Day
International Day of Older Persons
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
24 October United Nations Day
International Day for Tolerance
Universal Children’s Day
World AIDS Day
Human Rights Day.
Further few more important days are also been inserted in the UN Celebrations by the General Assembly .
The days are :
October 2nd India’s Representation at UN General Assembly:
12 th August
International Youth Day
1 st October
International Day for Older Persons
3 rd October
World Habitat Day
12 th October
International Day for National Disaster
16 th October
World Food Day etc.. are celebrating every year.
# # Considering the importance of the Non-violence and the role initiated by our father of nation Mahatma Gandhi , October 2nd also included in the UN celebration list since 2007, based on India’s representation before the UN General Assembly.
The declared world / International days are celebrated to mark the Significance of the day and stress the need of strengthening all level the particular sections .
A brief history : Consumer Protection at the UN Intervention . The UN General Assembly adopted guidelines for consumer protection by consensus on 9th April 1985 (General Assembly resolution 39/248). The guidelines provide a framework for Governments, particularly those of developing countries, to use in elaborating and strengthening consumer protection policies and legislation. They are also intended to encourage international co-operation in this field. The object of the legislation and Guidelines in the preamble proclaims , is for better protection of the interests of the consumers .
India’s Role : After 9th April 1985, many Nations including India, have initiated legal legislation for Consumer Protection , and Consumer Protection Act –1986 came into existence in India under the leadership of Sri. Rajiv Gandhi . The year 2014 sequentially represents the 28th year after the Consumer Protection Act was legislated and came into force ..
The Consumer Grievance Redressal Machineries are functioning not fruitful in all developing countries. Consumer Awareness and educational programmes are very poor . Food adulteration, pesticides contamination in soft drinks are severe health concern . The process of development along with expanding globalization and liberalization has increased in banks, insurance and many other sector a number of consumer related issues . Thus “ Consumer Protection “ has earned an important place in the political, economic and social agendas of many developing nations including India..
The performance of the Consumer Protection Machineries are not grown up till the date to the world standard due to the wested group’s intervention not only in India but also in each and every Developing countries . Lack of political will may be one of the main reason in addition to the powerful and organized traders & unfair service providers .
I am sure that if the Awareness and Educational programmes could have been strengthen widely the exploitations can be reduced up to 50% . If the UN insert the World Consumers Day Celebration in the UN the Celebrations , Consumer awareness and educational programmes can be strengthen widely at world level and it will help the poor / economically back ward civil society who are majority of the world population.
We believe that the Govt .of India appreciates the special significance of the movement and effects on each one of us .The active involvement of all stakeholders ,from the stage of formulation of policies to their implementation ,is necessary for the success of the consumer movement world wide. The recollections of world statesmen in this contest may please be taken into cognizance to protect and promote the interest of the most deserving sections in our society.
We are confident that, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs takes a collective decision to bring this important Consumer issue before the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi , he will take a proactive role in the United Nations General Assembly to get included the 15th March World Consumers Rights Day in the UN’s day Celebrations :
May we expect a reply in favour of the contemplated action at the earliest Sir.?
Thanking you ,
- sd / -
Dated at Palakkad/ Kerala / the 27th day of September ,2012
General Secretary , Consumers' Association ,
Hotel Soorya City, Sulthanpet , Palakkad, Kerala State- 678 001.
Phone : +91 491-2803467, Fax : +91 491 2569952. Mobile :+ 91 9446059952.
e-mail : email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our web site: www.consumersindia.org
HE.Sri. Pranab Mukherjee
The President of India,
Rashtrapathy Bhavan , New Delhi -110004
Sub: Kind Appeal to Save Consumer Protection Act- 1986 from “ Mercy Killing ”
Ours is a regd. NGO having office at Palakkad / Kerala engaged in Consumer Protection activities for the last 21 years .Our dedicated and meritorious services were recognized by granting 5 State awards , 2 National awards , CI’s Affiliate Membership and the prestigious United Nations Special Consultative Status accreditation.
In recognition of our relentless service rendered to the Consumer Community for the last 21 years, we are happy to bring before you that , the Govt. of India- Ministry of Consumer Affairs , Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) , Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB ), Bureau of Indian Standards ( BIS COPOLCO ) and the Government of Kerala have nominated us into their respective newly constituted various advisory and technical committees at national & state level and we are doing our level best through these committees without any remuneration..
Sri. Rajiv Gandhi the architect & the Soul the Consumer Protection Act-1986
During 1986 three most important Acts have been enacted under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Sri. Rajiv Gandhi. Consumer Protection Act- 1986 , is one of the most important Act among them. All the Acts except Consumer Protection Act -1986 are functioning fruitfully. The other Acts are The Environment (Protection )Act -1986,The Muslim Woman Protection of Rights on Divorce Act–1986.
Several studies have shown that rural consumers are generally ignorant and they are also unorganised. Under these circumstances, the sellers or the manufacturers, or the Service providers exploit the consumers. The provided various safety measures against their exploitation were either very poor or not accessible to the consumers.
Rural markets are flooded with sub-standard and spurious goods as there is no check on production and sale of such products. Drinking water is unsafe , vegetables & fruits are contaminated with harmful pesticide . Milk & Meat flooded with badly affected chemicals. The problems of spurious products, misleading advertisements , adulteration and lack of safety and quality control are other major concerns. There is no guarantee for any product but they assure warrantee which are beyond the reach of common men especially the Rural Consumers..
With poor knowledge about their rights and lack of skills to take a rational decision based on information , the Consumer continues to be exploited in many ways.
The role of NGOs in the field :
The advertisements pertaining to goods and services in Television, News papers, and Magazines influence the demand for the same by the Consumers though there may be manufacturing defects, imperfections or short comings in quality , quantity and purity of the goods or services ..
The NGOs in this field can empower the public through their awareness creation and educational programmes , with their news letters , and publications of books . Also they can bring the issues of such service deficiencies and imperfections before the Government authorities and corrective steps can be taken or insist upon the government to prevent the sales of such products or services and safeguard the consumers from exploitations.
The dedicated NGOs in this field are playing a pivotal role by doing these noble services towards the welfare of the consumers community . Considering their role in consumer protection , the framers of the Act , included them in Section 2 (b) ( ii ) of CPA- 1986. Hence the NGOs can represent before the Forum or Commissions on behalf of the Consumers.
Also they are nominated to Consumer Protection Councils at District , State and National level and various advisory as well as recommendatory committees constituted by different departments to ensure consumer welfare..
The establishment of Consumer Councils in Chapter ll section 4 to 8 (a) & 8(b) of CPA-1986:
The Consumer Protection Act- 1986 seeks to provide better protection of the Consumer interest . For this purpose the establishment of Consumer Councils in Chapter ll section 4 to 8 (a) & 8(b) and grievance redressal system for settlement of Consumer disputes in section 9 to 27 a in Chapter lll are incorporated in the Act-1986.
Six Rights including the Right for Consumer Education are provided in the Act .( Right to Safety, Choice , Information , Redressal , Representation and Consumer Education are the Rights).
The essentiality of the Act in the beginning :
The industrial revolution and the development in the international trade and commerce have led to the vast expansion of business , trade & services . As a result a variety of consumer goods have appeared in the market to cater to the needs of the consumers.
The advertisements of goods and services in television, news paper & magazines influence the demands by the consumers though there may be manufacturing defects, on the goods with poor quality , quantity & purity. For stringent action against the adulterated and sub-standard products even through different enactments have been made years before . But they were expensive and time consuming to the laymen consumers.
The Consumer Protection Act-1986
As a result of the collective thoughts of our Parliamentarians to protect and safeguard the consumers from exploitation and to save them from adulterated and sub-standard goods & services the Consumer Protection Act- 1986 was enacted by both the Houses of the Parliament and received the assent of the President of India on 24th December 1986.
The importance of this Act:
The unfair service providers, unfair Merchants / traders , & unhealthy goods manufacturers are liable to pay compensation to the aggrieved Consumer for his financial loss, physical difficulties including mental agony .
The essence of the Consumer Protection Act- 1986 was speedy ,simple & inexpensive ..
After getting the assent from the President of India, in the beginning itself, the Act has faced many hurdles from its enemies such as the Bureaucrats, unfair traders, Service providers and unhealthy goods manufactures. As a result the complete system have been paralyzed till 1991,and the Supreme Court intervened…
After the intervention of the Supreme Court the Consumer Affairs authorities were forced to function as per the Act. Since 1991 to 2001 under the leadership of the former Ministers like Sri A.K. Antony & Shri. P.Santhakumar , the country witnessed a tremendous progress in speedy settlement of disputes and spreading consumer awareness .
But soon after the organized unfair traders ,service providers &manufactures having muzzle and money power, influenced the bureaucrats in the Ministry and Department of Consumers Affairs, Krishi Bhavan Govt. of India, New Delhi to roll back the corrupt practices prevalent before 1991..
To satisfy the whims & fancies of the unfair traders ,SPs & manufactures the Department of Consumer Affairs, brought in a number of ‘ Negative Reforms’ . Their ultimate aim was to freeze the complete consumer protection activities throughout India and safeguard the interest of the unfair traders and unfair service providers who are the enemies of CPA-1986. ( The present status shows that they have succeeded in their mission)
As a result they have imposed minimum Rs.100 .00 as fees in the Consumer courts. .The Act was altered against the interest of the common man without the consent of the Parliament .
As a result they have imposed minimum Rs.100 .00 as fee for filing a case like the dispute of cost of Rs. 50.00 or even below. The Dept. of Consumer Affairs was justifying their action by saying that it will prevent the flow of illegal complaint, from the consumers.
But ,section 26 of the CPA-1986, has provision for the dismissal of frivolous & vexatious complaints and punishment is also provided .Then why they have imposed fee is a question still to be answered. ( In spite of the above provision in the Act the dept. has imposed fee without the consent of the Parliament ) The Dept. of Consumer Affairs also says that they have exempted the fees for the poorest of the poor such as Anthiodaya and Annayojana category people
The facts related to the exemption of the Anthiodaya and Annayojana category people :
The 99.9% of this particular community included the literacy state of Kerala, do not know about the Consumer Protection Act and their rights as per this Act. For the last 25 years the dept. of Consumer Affairs has failed to spread the potential and the importance of the Act among the rural level .? Then how will Anthiodaya and Annayojana category people be benefited by the mercy of the department .?
By information through RTI Act -2005 the department has failed to give the details of “ flow of illegal complaint, from the consumers as well as the Anthiodaya and Annayojana category people benefited so far ”.
A number of other steps: The Councils activities have been frozen.
The Councils activities have been ice-covered through out India to prevent the NGOs who are in Consumer Protection field .
In Chapter II Section 4 to 8 (a)& 8(b)provides for the Central, State and District Consumer Protection Councils .
The dedicated NGOs in this field activities have to be included as per the Act & Rules. It will provide an opportunity to the dedicated NGOs & activists as a social service to strengthen the Act and its machinery .
To dishearten the NGOs in this field the bureaucrats decided to delay and freeze the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) activities from 2003 onwards . As a result no CCPC Meeting at Central level. No State Consumer Protection Council Meetings in States, and UT”s and no District Consumer Protection Council meetings at district levels throughout India. It has affected adversely, the NGOs in this field and in turn the awareness and educational activities. (This is what the bureaucrats expected by freezing these Councils.).
To discourage the NGOs and sincere officials in this field ; They have done the following :
(a)The Department of the Consumer Affairs has Suspended National Awards instituted by the Minister Sri. P. Santhakumar in the name of “ Swamy Vivekananda ” for the best NGOs in this field. The decision to suspend the prestigious Award was without the knowledge of CCPC or the Ministry..?.
(b) They suspended “ UPABHOKTA JAGARAN “ a monthly magazine publish ed by the dept. of Consumers Affairs covering news, latest verdicts of Consumer Courts/ Commissions , policy decisions of the Consumer Affairs , and NGOs activities. It was very informative and is a mouthpiece publication of the dept. of Consumers Affairs. ( Every department has the Magazine to day in India , except the most important department dealing the day to day affairs of the millions of the consumers ?.
(c) Chilled Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC) and no action &follow up to State Consumer Protection Councils( SCPC’s) at state levels and District Consumer Protection Council ( DCPC’s) at district levels through out India as per Section 7, 8(a) & 8 (b) of the CPA-1986 aimed to remove the teeth & nail of the NGO’s in this field and the Act..
(d)Removing the teeth and nail of the Consumer Protection Act resulted in undue delay for orders and unfavorable orders ( orders against consumer ) are given frequently in Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (CDRF) throughout India.
It resulted the Consumers losing faith in the Consumer courts ( which aimed speedy, inexpensive and simple grievance redressel system ) and reluctant to take up their disputes before the CDRF through out India.
(e)The dept. of Consumers Affairs has spent crores and crores of rupees through the CWF for their favorites on behalf of strengthening Consumer protection and awareness . But only for their favorite NGOs and their firms. It only helped to fill pockets of their relatives. There is no transparent and competitive tenders ..
The awareness and educational activities conducted voluntarily by NGOs in this field have been considerably reduced or stopped throughout India due to the negative approach of Consumer Affairs Department. There is no encouragement from the Consumer Affairs Department for the noble cause, hence no new NGOs or activists come forward in this field to promote and protect the interest of the consumers and strengthen the awareness , except their paid favorite NGOs..
The Act is now 25 years old: ( 1986-2011 )
The Act is now 25 years old, yet majority of the consumers / people do not have proper & practical information about their rights and the procedures involved to understand these consumer rights. A recent study has conducted by CUTS International, with the financial support of the department of Consumer Affairs Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi, has revealed that 65% of the rural people do not know about the Consumer Protection Act, and 90% of the people do not know about their rights as Consumers. This is the crucial situation facing this important Act.
The need of the hour:
The need of the hour is to remove the obstructions that have frozen the system .Give opportunities to more NGO’s & Consumer activists in this field to strengthen the Consumer Protection Act and its machinery throughout India for the future generation..
Hence, I takes this privilege to submit few suggestions before HE. President of India for suitable directions and proceedings to save the Act from Mercy Killing ;
1)Retain the essence of the Consumer Protection Act-1986 which are speedy ,simple & inexpensive.
Direction may please be given to the Department of Consumer Affairs to ensure the consumer confidence on the Consumer Grievance Redressel systems. All disputes are settled within 3 months. Except where technical results are needed. If technical results are needed the disputes must be settled within maximum 6 months. (This may be helpful to retain the confidence of the consumers on the CDRF & Commission) Thus it can retain the essence of the Consumer Protection Act- 1986 as speedy ,simple & inexpensive ..
(2) Direction may please be given to Department of Consumer Affairs to withdraw the fee of Rs.100/-impossed in Consumer Forum since 2003. If the Consumer Affairs Department is not able to withdraw it , it should be brought before the Parliament. Because it established without the consent of the Parliament .To make this system really meaningful and fruitful as a popular court , implement the RTI Act-2005 model fee structure as a simple model for new consumer case / disputes registrations .
(3) Observance of the National & World Consumer Rights Day widely :
Direction may please be given to Department of Consumer Affairs to Observe these days with the active participation of the Students, youth, labour force and office staffs.
The Observance of the National Consumer Rights Day on 24th December and World Consumer Rights day on 15th March being conducted by the NGOs in their field has been considerably reduced because of the anti NGO activities of Consumer Affairs department. It adversely affected the spreading of consumer awareness and educational activities throughout India.
(4) Steps to include the National & World Consumer Rights days in the celebration lists.
Direction may please be given to the Department of Consumer Affairs to include the day in the list of National & World Day Celebration.
The evidence received through RTI Act shows that the National Consumer Rights day on 24th December has not been included in the list of National Day Celebration in India. As a result the observance is limited to some pockets. The observance requires wide publicity, to strengthen Consumer Protection & Awareness through Colleges & Schools and industry sector as one way or other way all are consumers.
(5)Steps to include Consumer Education in Upper Primary & High School curriculum:
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and Department of Consumer Affairs to include Consumer Education in the Upper Primary and High School levels both in CBSE and State curriculum. That no concrete step has been taken for the last 25 years , to include the Consumer Education in the Upper Primary School and High School Curriculum is a major concern. As a result , the present generation is not in a position to assert their basic rights as a consumer while purchasing any good or availing any service..
Bargaining is the birthright of a Consumer since the Government has no control over fixing Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on a product. They never had an opportunity to study consumer education through their curriculum. As a result they never ask tickets while traveling in Bus, they never demand to operate meter, while traveling in an auto rickshaw, they never ask for the bills while purchasing goods or services at the same time they will pay the price that the shops or service provider demand.
(6) Questions on Consumer Protection Act -1986 in the competitive examinations & tests :
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of the Consumer Affairs to include questions on Consumer Protection for at least 5 to 10 marks in all competitive examinations conducted by UPSC, PSC, Banking , Defense, Insurance and other tests & examinations.
This can act as an incentive for the job seekers / youth /candidates and indirectly create awareness on Consumer Protection Act-1986.
(7) Separate paper for Consumer Protection Act-1986 in Law Colleges:
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to include a separate paper on Consumer Protection Act-1986 in all Law Colleges .In many of the Law Colleges in India, Consumer Protection Act-1986 is not included in their curriculum as a single paper. Some of the colleges have included it for just 20 marks along with the Law of Torts. So immediate policy level decision is required to include the subject since one way or other we all are Consumers .
(8) Awards as a token of encouragement for Social service: Swami Vivekananda or other
highest National level honor :
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to reconstitute a National level Awards in this field of activities and consider their contributions to be included for highest civilian awards. This may attract more dedicated NGOs and activists to this field and help to spread Consumer Education and awareness even at rural level. Awards are always a token of encouragements for the dedicated NGOs & activists in this field .No encouragements for the NGOs from the Department of Consumer Affairs or Govt. of India since 2002 .
To promote the NGOs & Consumer Activists the National Awards with Cash and Citation have been introduced in the name of Swami Vivekananda during 2000 by Minister Shri. P. Santhakumar. After his tenure during 2003 the National Award for the best Consumer Organization/ NGOs / activists/ has been stopped without any valid reason by the department of Consumer Affairs .
The main reason was to discourage the NGOs & the Consumer Activists in this field and to stop their contributions was the hidden agenda of the department..
The role of NGOs have been recognized by the framers of the Act .But the Govt. of India or the Department of Consumers Affairs is not ready to recognize their contributions .Their inputs to the government committees are helpful to take policy level decisions to safeguard the interest of the public/ the consumers. This is the reason to consider the role by the frames of the Act . In this special area of social service they are engaged in systematic Consumer Awareness and educational activities among students, youth, and the rural community and in return they are facing challenges and treats from the organized groups. They are also actively engaged in the District , State and National council activities in addition to other advisory committees constituted by the departments without any remuneration.
So it is the responsibility of the Government of India and the department of the Consumers Affairs to utilize their potential and encourage them by honoring their contributions towards the society instead of discouraging them.
(9) Upabhoktha Jagaran the mouthpiece of the Consumer Affairs Magazine
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to retain the “ Upabhoktha Jagaran Magazine ” the mouthpiece publication of the Consumer Affairs . It may strengthen the Consumer Protection Act, Consumer Movement, and the prestige & status of the Consumer Affair Department among other departments.
(10) Consumer Protection its rightful importance : World and National day celebrations :
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to initiate steps to include the World Consumer Day in the World celebration list.
During the celebration of World or National day, the government can conduct public discussions ,debate and information campaign in support of the day focusing the issues and how they can be addressed . Every year the celebration will give a boost to each and every body of the society including all governmental as well as private departments and educational institutions..
As all are aware March 15th is celebrated as World Consumers Day since 1983 in commemoration of the John F. Kennady’s declaration in American Congress on 15th March , 1962 .
Surprisingly enough this has not been included in the UN annual celebration calendar , even though the day is celebrated in some parts of the world by few consumers interested groups - NGO’s .The day is celebrated in connection with the promotion of Consumer Protection activities with the advise of the UN committee for Consumer protection since 1983 without the General Assembly’s concurrence. As a result the day was not celebrated widely through out the world .
This has actually resulted in poor / limited ( name sake )celebration in almost all developing countries including India and lost opportunities to rally support and get key actors involved including all Government departments , NGO’s Academic institutions ,Students , and youth groups to promote the Consumer awareness..
In this connection we have submitted a detailed representation before the UN Secretary General during 2005 to include the March 15th in the UN celebrations list .
In their reply to me , it was stated that , individual representation is not accepted by UN as a matter of procedure and we have been advised to represent the demand through the Member state. Then we submitted a detailed representation before the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India during 2005 . But the department of Consumer Affairs has neglected our representation .They have not even replied.
It can be brought before the UN General Assembly in which we - India have initiated to include October 2nd as the World Non - Violence Day. So a policy level decision is required to present before the United Nations General Assembly. ( Enclosed copy of the letter received us from the UN) (Exhibit –l )
(11)National Consumer Day Celebration on 24th December :
The National Consumer Rights Day on 24th December is also celebrated since 2001. Shri. P.Santhakumar the former Minister for Consumer Affairs , decided to strengthen the Consumer Awareness and Educational activities at grass root level to spread maximum consumer awareness and safeguard their interest. To give encouragement he has decided to celebrate 24th December as National Consumer Rights Day in commemoration of the assent being received for the CPA 1986 from the President of India.
But there was no further action to include the day in the list of National Celebration days in India after Mr. P. Santhakumar the former Minister. Hence the National Consumer Rights Day is celebrated only by the Consumer Affairs department within their limit with the government fund and few dedicated NGOs in this field. Majority of the Student community is not aware about these celebrations still.This is also another reason for the failure of Consumer Education and Awareness at Rural level .
This is the fate of the Consumer days celebrations in India. Every year passes by celebrating these days by spending lakhs & lakhs rupees by the department of Consumer Affairs. .There is no advantage to the deserving 85% of the total people in India. It has also adversely affected the Consumer Education in Rural as well as Urban India.
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to include day in the National Day Celebration list to strengthen the Consumer movement & awareness at grass root level .
(12) Grant of Special Leave to the Government as well as the Public & Private Sector Employees for participation in Consumer Protection activities :
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to ensure Special Leave to the Employees who are interested in Consumer Protection:
As an employee, many people who are having interest in Consumer Protection working for livelihood in Government offices & private sector , Banks / Insurance and factories & institutions are not able to participate in the activities even if they wish. Because there is no special leave provision to participate in National or World Consumer Rights Day or to attend DCPC / SCPC or the CCPC meetings . It affected adversely the employees community and affected Consumer Education & awareness among employees .
Considering the importance of the special leave for those who are working in Government or private services , we have submitted a detailed representation to Mr. Navin B. Chawla IAS the then Secretary for Consumers Affairs during 2004 . In the representation we have requested him to consider the feasibility of allowing special leave to Consumer activists to enable them to participate in International , National , State & District level meetings related to consumer Protection on the pattern allowed to Sports persons .
In principle he has admitted the representation and directed Ms. Satwant Reddy the Additional Secretary for Consumer Affairs for further action. She brought the same before the Secretary , Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions . But there was no further step from the Department of Consumer Affairs after Mr. Navin B. Chawla IAS. The Department of Consumer Affairs has failed to give satisfying reply to the Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions department after Mr. Navin B. Chawla IAS the then Secretary..
If the Special leave is granted for the employed it may attract more people working in Government & Private services through out India and contribute much more to disseminate Consumer Education & awareness without financial burden or budgetary support.( Enclosed copy of the records.) Exhibit -ll
13) Road accidents are ever growing : Accidents due to poor maintenance of the Roads
brought under CPA-1986. ( Amendment in the Act is required)
Road accidents death toll were ever growing . Majority of the reasons are poor maintenance of the Roads. At present the Road tax payer will not come under the ambit of the CPA 1986 . So the victims or their dependents are not able to bring the same before the Consumer Forum. Direction may please be given to the Ministry and Dept. of Consumer Affairs to include “ the Road accidents due to poor maintenance of the roads “ in the Consumer Protection Act-1986 with the proposed amendments .
If it is brought under to this CPA Act -1986 the victims or the dependents can claim compensation through the CPA 1986. It may bring accountability to the contractor and the department of the PWD ,Municipality/ Corporation , National High ways and Panchayath Roads. It will help to save the life of the people and lead to strengthen the Consumer Protection Act-1986 and awareness.
(14)“ The right toin a healthy environment ” to be added as the 7th right .
( Amendment in the Act is required)
Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to include the Right to live in a healthy environment as the 7th Right of Consumer Protection Act-1986 to live and work in an environment which is non-threatening to the well-being of present and future generations.
Today Environmental pollution has become a burning problem in all the countries. Several industries are established on the banks of rivers. They release the industrial wastes into the river causing damage to people and animals. Several Writ Petitions have been filed before the Supreme court under Article 32 & High courts under Article 226 against the polluters . Due to industrial pollution, the people are not able to live in a healthy environment.
For one of the example from Kerala State : There are more than 50 Steel & Iron factories functioning in Kanjikode Palakkad / in Kerala State by neglecting all statutory precautions prescribed by the Department of Environment ,Power, Dept. of Labour, PF, and Factories & Boilers Inspectorate. Majority of its employees are from Bihar, Orissa and Bengal ..
Dust, along with carbon dioxide ,Carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide etc. are released with thick black smoke from each iron & steel factories spread nearby premises where hundreds of people live with their families. In addition to that the factories have been producing shocking sound, chemical wastages and, hazardous gases. Pregnant ladies, Children and elders are affected with Asthma , Allergies and many other lung diseases due to the Pollution . The “ Slag ” contained sulphur & Carbon a wastage of Iron thrown off to nearby places & fields result in contamination of drinking water.
At national level the other famous cases & example are :
Oleum Gas leakage of Sri Ram Foods and Fertilizers Industries ,Delhi on 4th December 1985, Bhopal Gas leak disaster case in 1984, Leather Industry Pollution case Vellore ,Tamil Nadu in 1991 and Textile industries pollution cases ..
If the right to live in a healthy environment becomes the 7th Right as per the Consumer Protection Act-1986 , the affected people can fight against these atrocities of industrialist / polluters and approach the Consumer Forum and ensure adequate compensation. This may lead to self control as well as legal accountability by the polluting industries. The employees were also exploited by the company owners without giving adequate salary and other welfare benefits and neglecting the basic right as a laborer..
Trade unions were keeping mum against these atrocities . If the right to live in a healthy environment is brought under the Consumer Protection Act-1986 , it will be a additional powerful tool to the Act as well as the common man. It will be helpful to safeguard the health of the people and lead to strengthen the Act as well as the Consumer Awareness & Education at rural level .Direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to include the Right to live in a healthy environment as the 7th Right of Consumer Protection Act-1986 ..( Amendment in the Act is required)
15) Judicial background is essential for the Presidents:
The importance of the Consumer Protection Act -1986 is Speedy & Simple redressal system. Undue delay for orders , and majority of the orders being against the aggrieved Consumers made the consumers loose faith in the Consumer court .The main one of the reason for this is the appointment of the Presidents in Consumer Courts were (CDRF ‘s ) without Judicial background.
Chapter 3 section 10 (a) of the Consumer Protection Act -1986 explains about the qualifications as “ a person who is , or has been or is qualified to be a District Judge who shall be its President “ Here “ is qualified to be a District Judge “ is the 3rd option. But in real practice , majority of the Presidents were appointed including in Kerala State by the 3rd option those who are without experience as a District Judge. This has caused for Undue delay of orders , and majority of the orders have been against the aggrieved Consumers ..
So direction may please be given to the Ministry and the Department of Consumer Affairs to remove the 3rd provision from the section 10 (a) of the Consumer Protection Act -1986 to uphold the dignity of the popular court.
The last but not the least : Retain faith in the Consumer Courts :
The new registrations of disputes in the Consumer Forums have been considerably reduced. The faith in Consumer Courts has to be retained. If we fail to retain the faith of the consumers in the Consumer Courts , it may question the existence of the Consumer Protection Act-1986 .The above mentioned are among the important factors facing the Consumer Protection Act-1986 .
If the bureaucrats in the department proceeds ahead in the same fashion and manner in the same track , the Consumer Protection Act 1986 may face a “ mercy killing “ in the nearest future.
At present the Department of Consumer Affairs is functioning for the enemies of the Consumer Protection Act- 1986 . They stand to execute the wish of unfair traders & goods manufactures and unfair service providers. It is the main reason why about 85 % of the people are still not aware about their rights as per Consumer Protection Act even after completing 25 years of the enactment of the Act.
The unfair traders have received a blank cheque to cheat the poor & illiterate people in any manner .If it continues in the same fashion it may adversely affect the growing Indian Economy as well as the soul of Rajiv Gandhi, the architect of modern India and guardian of the Consumer Protection Act – 1986..
If the Consumer Protection Act -1986 is inactive in India , it may directly affect the Consumer interest activities in Telecom, Banking, Insurance and all other public utility services in India. Hence , immediate steps are to be taken to save the Act from the “ Mercy Killing “.
Majority of these suggestions can be materialized by the commitment of the present Minister and the able officials in the Department of Consumer Affairs , without any financial burden or budgetary support....
I shall be pleased to furnish any other information you may need and highly obliged if you could take an early favorable action .
Assuring you of best Services.
Advt. Surendran.P.A. ( CCPC Member & General Secretary, Consumers Association from Kerala- 678001)
Copy to :
1)Smt. Sonia Gandhi , Chairperson, UPA, President AICC ,No.10,Janpath New Delhi.
2) Dr. Man Mohan Singh , Prime Minister , South Block, Raisina Hill, New Delhi-110001
3)Sri .P.Chidambaram, Finance Minister , Govt. of India. North Block, New Delhi- 110001
4)Sri. A.K. Antony , Hon’ble Defense Minister , Government of India, New Delhi.
5) Sri.Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary, AICC, New Delhi.
6)Prof. PJ.Kurian ,Dy.Chairperson , Rajya Sabha , Secretariat, New Delhi.
7)Prof.KV.Thomas, Minister for Food & PD and Consumer Affairs,Krishi Bhavan, N-Delhi-1
8)Sri. OOmmen Chandi , Chief Minister , Govt. of Kerala.
9)Sri. Vayalar Ravi , Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Earth Science& S& T, New Delhi-29
10)Sri. Mullappally Ramachandran , Minister for State for Home Affairs , Udyog Bhavan, N.Delhi.1
11)Sri. KC.Venugopal , Minister of State of Power , Sharam Shakti Bhavan, N-Delhi-1
12) Shri.P.Santhakumar , former Minister for Consumer Affairs..
13)Sri. Anoop Jacob , Minister for Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs , Govt. of Kerala.
14)Sri. MB.Rajesh, MP, Palakkad.
15)Sri. PK.Biju, MP, Palakkad
16) The Chief Justice of Supreme Court
17) The Chief Justice , High Court of Kerala.
18) The President , NCDRC, New Delhi.
19) The President , SCDRC , Kerala,Thiruvananthapuram.
20)Director IIPA , as the Advisor of the Dept.of Consumer Affairs for the last 25 years.,
21) And all present CCPC Members..
1) Copy of the letter received from the O/o the UN Secretary General related to 15th March celebration
2) Copy of the letters received from the O/o the former Secretary Mr. Navin B. Chawla IAS & Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions related to Special leave…
Know About Your Food Campaign ( 07 / March / 2015 )
Telecom ( 3-March-2015)
Malayala Manorama Daily (Dated - 18 Nov 2014)
Malayalamanorama daily - Dated : 30-06-2012
Malayalamanorama daily - Dated :- 22-12-2012
The Indian Express Daily Dated: - 30-06-2012
The New Indian Express Daily :- 13-10-2011
Mathrubhumi Daily - Dated: 20-09-2012
Mangalam Daily - Dated: 22-09-2012
Madhyamam Daily - Dated: 21-09-2012
The Hindu-Daily- Dated: 21-09-2012
Deepika Daily - Dated: 21-09-2012
Janayugam Daily - Dated: 20-09-2012
SSLC A+ Awards 2014 - front
SSLC A+ Awards 2014 back
LATEST ACTIVITIES DURING THIS PERIOD
On Monday,17th March, 2016 at 10.00 A.M
Consumers Association in association with Consumer Voice And Google
Cordially invite you to
“ Workshop on Internet Safety ”
Cordially Invite You to
“WORKSHOP ON INTERNET SAFETY”
On Monday,17th March, 2016 at 10.00 A.M
VENUE: IMA Hall , Palarivattam , Kochin/ Kerala
Inauguration: Dr. Judy , Vice Principal & HOD of IT
Amrita School of Arts & Sceinces , Edappally Cochin-682024.
has kindly consented to inaugurate the Workshop
Sri. NP. Vijayaraghavan
Vice President , Consumers Association
has kindly consented to preside over the function
Adv. Surendran PA
General Secretary, Consumers Association Silver Jubilee Celebration
9.30 A.M -10.00 A.M – Registration and High Tea
10.00 A.M – 10.30 A.M – Inaugural Session – Lighting of Lamp followed by
- Welcome Address by Adv. Surendran PA , General Secretary Consumers Association
Inauguration: Dr. Judy , Vice Principal & HOD of IT
Amrita School of Arts & Sceinces , Edappally Cochin-682024.
10.30 A.M – 10.45 A.M – Subject introduction by Consumer Voice and Google Team
Mr. Ashis Khalsi – Google
Mr. Hemand Upadhyay – Consumer Voice.
10.45 – 11.00 A.M – Tea Break
11.00 A.M -12.45 P.M – The Role of Google in protecting the interest of the Internet Consumers in India by
12.45 P.M – 1.00 P.M – Open house Discussion and Valedictory
1.00 P.M Onwards - Lunch
Should you have any query, please feel free to contact:
Adv. SurendranPA email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
‘World Consumer Rights Day’ -- 2016
March 15 is observed as ‘World Consumer Rights Day’ globally. This was the day in 1962 which saw the culmination of the ceaseless campaign for consumer rights, initiated by Ralph Nader, the great consumer Activist, with the historic Declaration by the then President John F Kennnedy of USA: “Consumers by definition include us all. They are the largest group in the economy, affected by almost every public and private Division… but they are the only important Group whose views are often not heard.” He spelt out four basic consumer rights, ie, Right to Safety; Right to Information; Right to Choice and Right to Representation. More rights were added later by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985, but 15th March remains the historic day in the history of consumer movement.
We celebrated World Consumer Rights Day -2016 with a number of Awareness programmes at Udayam College Pudunagaram Palakkad . The programme was inaugurated by Kuzhalmannam Circle Inspector Mr. Dinraj and presided by Mr. NP.Vijayaraghavan Vice President. A seminar on “ Medical Negligence under Consumer Protection Act “ was also conducted , subject presented by Adv. Surendran PA General Secretary Consumers Association..
Consumers Association takes up complaints
Consumers Association takes up complaints from all over India mainly related to defective products and deficient services, including financial services. The main objective of Complaints Department is to bring about a just and fair solution to the complaints. It tries to settle them through mediation without court intervention.
On registration of the complaint, the details are stored in the computer through Complaints Handling System. After entering the complaint details, the first letter (generated though the program) is sent to the Opposite party (or the principal Company), followed by telephone calls. The Opposite Party is asked to respond within15 days.
If the Opposite Party does not reply within the given time frame, then the first reminder is sent after 15 days. In appropriate cases, we invite both the parties to CERC to discuss the matter across the table and try to find out an amicable solution.
If the mediation efforts fail, we resort to litigation.
Types of complaints CERC intervenes
Food (Excluding Dairy)
Finance (Excluding FD/Mutual Fund)
Housing / Flats
Why is the Consumer Protection Act Special?
If you have been sold a defective or sub-standard product or provided a deficient service, you can seek redressal – The Right to Seek Redressal is one of the six consumer rights as per the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
But how do you go about this? You can begin by writing a complaint to the manufacturer/service provider and/or post your complaint on social media. You can use sector-specific grievance redressal mechanisms. If you have exhausted all these avenues, your last resort is legal action. At any stage, you can take the help of a consumer organisation.
Here, we demystify the CP Act (which is currently in the process of being amended) and guide consumers on how to use it effectively.
Why a special Act?
Generally, consumers are pitted against powerful business houses with ample monetary and legal resources. The Government of India enacted the CP Act specifically to safeguard the interests of the common man. It envisages simple, low-cost and speedy resolution of consumer disputes.
- Only a nominal fee has to be paid while filing a petition.
- You don’t need a lawyer to file a complaint or argue a case since the procedure is fairly simple.
- Consumer courts are required to dispose of cases within three to five months. Additional time is given beyond 90 days if there is a laboratory test involved.
Legally, who is a consumer?
A consumer is a person who buys goods or hires services for a payment. The definition excludes a person who receives goods or services free or a person who buys goods or hires services for the purposes of manufacture or resale. You can file a complaint in the consumer court only if you are a consumer, not if the transaction is commercial.
Who can file a complaint?
The complainant could be: (i) an individual consumer (ii) in case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or representative (iii) a group of consumers having the same grievance who can file a joint complaint (iv) a registered voluntary consumer organisation (v) the Central or state government. A Power of Attorney holder cannot file a complaint under the Act.
Causes for complaints
A consumer can file a complaint for various reasons. The major ones are:
(i) if he has suffered loss or damage due to an unfair trade practice adopted by a trader
(ii) if the trader is charging more than the MRP for a product
(iii) if the goods purchased are defective
(iv) if the services hired are deficient in any way
(v) if the trader adopts a restrictive trade practice such as imposing conditions
(vi) if the goods or service is hazardous to life or property in any way
A complaint must be filed in a consumer court within two years from the date of cause of action. If the time limit has elapsed and you have a valid reason you have to file an application seeking condonation of delay. Also, an aggrieved party can file an appeal before the higher court within 30 days from the date of the order.
To which court to go
There are consumer courts at three levels. They are the District Forums, State Commissions and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in New Delhi.
Here stake refers to value of goods or services and the compensation claimed.
Up to Rs. 20 lakh.
Rs. 20 lakh and below Rs. 1 crore.
Over Rs. 1 crore.
The District Forum where the complaint can be filed is the one having jurisdiction over the area (i) where the cause of action partly or wholly arises as per the facts of the case (ii) the opposite party resides, carries on business or has a branch office (iii) in case of more than one party, where one party resides or carries on business with the consent of the others and the court.
Procedure for filing a complaint
Send a notice to the opposite party mentioning a time limit to settle the grievance.
Prepare the complaint and make a copy
Enclose copies of all supporting documents (such as bills, warranty card, brochures, insurance policy or housing contract)
Get an affidavit prepared saying the contents of the complaint are true and have it notarized.
Keep a demand draft from a nationalised bank ready to pay the nominal court fee.
Submit the complaint (in person or by registered post) and fee to the receiving clerk in the court who will give you the date for admission hearing and complaint reference number. Submit the Original + 2 copies + 1 copy for each of the opposite parties.
The case can be fought by you, a close relative (give a letter of authority) or a lawyer (enclose a vakalatnama). At the hearing, if your complaint is admitted, you will be given the date of the next hearing.
The court will send a notice with your complaint copy to the opposite party seeking reply within 30 days, and asking it to attend the hearing.
The hearings will continue till the matter is decided. Attend the hearings, or else the matter may be decided ex parte on the merits of the case.
A copy of the court order will be communicated to all the parties by registered post.
TO STENGTHEN THE CONSUMER MOVEMENT IN WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY
The buzz of an incredibly diverse range of public interest and citizens' issues at Consumers Association makes it a rich learning experience for young students of +2, Degree and PG / Equellant . We are delighted that dozens of students have found the experience enriching in terms of adding valuable work experience and an opportunity for personal, all-round growth. Interns at Consumers Association get a first-hand opportunity to learn from senior experts on diverse issues…
India’s role on Consumer Protection :
After 9th April 1985, many Nations including India, have initiated legal legislation for Consumer Protection , and Consumer Protection Act –1986 came into existence in India under the leadership of Sri.Rajiv Gandhi the late Prime Minister of India. We ,are an NGO ( Non-Governmental Organization ) functioning since 1991 for to protect the interest of the consumers having regd. office at Hotel Soorya City , Sulthanpet , Palakkad ,678001 . Kerala India.
We invite your kind attention on our activities of an NGO , functioning in the field of Consumer Interests & Welfare for the last 24 years, with 9 State awards , 2 National awards including the BIS registration and the United Nations Special Consultative Status accreditation’s . We are only in India having the UN Special Status functioning in the field of Consumer Protection activities...
Considering our relentless service , the Government of India , and the State Government have nominated us in to their Statutory as well as the Recommendatory committees constituted for the welfare of the society functioning at State and National level . The Central Consumer Protection Council ,( CCPC ) Govt. of India , The Consumer Advocacy Group Member TRAI , Govt. of India ,
The Petroleum and Natural Gas ( PNGRB ) Govt. of India ,the State Food Advisory Council Govt. of Kerala , etc.are among the important few ,. We are doing our best for the Welfare of the Civil Society through these bodies.