Consumer protection

The enactment of the Consumer protection Act 1986 was an important milestone in the history of the Consumer movement in India. The Act was made for the better protection and promotion of consumer rights through the establishment of Consumer Councils and Consumer Disputes Redressal Agencies. These agencies include Consumer Forums at district level, State Commission at state level and National Commission at national level.

These agencies attempt to provide simple, inexpensive and speedy justice to the consumers with complaints against defective goods, deficient services and unfair and restrictive trade practices. In comparison to the proceedings in normal civil courts the proceedings before these agencies are faster and less technical. Many consumers prosecute their matters even without the assistance of advocates before these agencies. In Karnataka, the Bangalore Urban District Consumer Forum is located at Cauvery Bhavan and the State Commission is situated at Basava Bhavan near Chalukya Hotel.

Complaints where the value of goods or services and the compensation does not exceed Rupees twenty lakhs shall be filed before a District Forum and those between 20 lakhs and one crore shall be filed before the State Commissions and those exceeding 1 crore shall be filed before the National Commission.

Appeals against the order of District Forums have to be field before State Commissions and appeal against the orders of Sate Commissions have to be field before the National Commission.