The consumer protection acts of 1986 are compensative in nature. These acts are planned to give simple, prompt and economical reprisal to the consumers' complaints, award relief and recompense wherever suitable to the user. The act is ameliorated in 1993 both to expand its exposure and scope and to increase the powers of the reprisal system.
The consumer protection act 1986 gives the following rights to the consumers:
- Right to choice wherever possible, access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
- Right to consumer education
- Right to be protected against the marketing of goods and overhaul that is risky to life and property.
- Right to seek reprisal against unfair trade practices corrupt utilization of consumers.
- Right to be informed about the quality, amount, effectiveness, purity, regular and price of goods or services so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.
- Right to be heard and to be assured that consumers' interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums.
- Right to clean and healthy environment.
The consumer protection act 1986 is structured under the following in three tier quasi judicial machinery at the national, State and District levels;
- National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission - known as "National Commission" deals with complaints involving costs and compensation higher than Rs. 1 Crore
- State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions - known as "State Commission, deals with complaints involving costs and compensation higher than Rs. 20 Lakhs and less than Rs. 1 Crore.
- District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums - known as "District Forum, deals with complaints involving costs and compensation less than Rs. 20 Lakhs.
The consumer protection act 1986 has the following coverages:
- The Act conceives of organization of Consumer Protection Councils at the Central and State levels, whose main objects will be to endorse and defend the rights of the consumers.
- The Act applies to all goods and services unless particularly exempted by the Central Government.
- The provisions of the Act are compensatory in nature.
- It covers all the sectors whether private, public or cooperative.
- The provisions of this Act are in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.