1. Grievances Redressal System of Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 1986 in the present form safeguards the interests of the rich cheating real estate builders, goods manufacturers and traders though meant for stopping unfair trade practices and unscrupulous exploitation of consumers. Besides quicker disposal of the cases at all three levels (District, State and National), CPA urgently needs amendment in Appeal Clause (Section 15, 19 and 23).
2. Section 15 of the CPA provides, “No appeal by a person who is required to pay any amount in terms of an order of the District Forum, shall be entertained by the State Commission unless the appellant has deposited in the prescribed manner fifty percent of that amount or Twenty Five Thousand Rupees, whichever is less”. Against the State Commission award, (or) the amount is thirty five thousand (Section 19) and against the National Commission award, (or) the amount is fifty thousand only to be deposited in the Supreme Court of India.
3. This is the freedom of cheating and harassing the victimized consumers given by the CPA, 1986 to the rich real estate builders and goods manufacturers.The award of Rs. 50 Lakhs to one crore at State Commission level and a few crores award by the National Commission need not be paid. Instead paying just Rupees 35 or 50 thousand, cases can be prolonged for years together.
4. Please remove this anti-consumer provision of “or Rupees …….thousand, whichever is less” from the Consumer Protection Act and let the UPA-II show that it really wants to give justice to the Aam Aadmi.
Dr. Hari Dev Goyal
Indian Economic Service (1968 batch)
Ex-Professor of Economics, LBS National
Academy of Administration, Mussoorie (U.P.)