Redressal Machinery under the Consumer Protection Act 1986


By Anish Bachchan

Published on: 01 August 2022 at 08:30 IST

Introduction: Understanding Consumers

Consumers are the most significant facet of the country’s economy. They are the ones who buy the product from the seller. In case the seller is being dishonest about the product. Then it could affect the consumers. Furthermore, it could affect the seller’s business as well.

There are many cases where the sellers and businesses commit anti-consumer practices. When the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Scandal broke out, many people accused the publisher Electronic Arts of their anti-consumer practices. The audience pointed out jeopardized progression system and the arduous hours to unlock a hero. To add insult to injury, they implemented a monetization system that is akin to an online gambling system. As a result, the Dutch court fined Electronic Arts 10 million Euros for the said implementation. Belgian followed suit by banning the aggressive monetization system, the loot box system. Lastly, the US representative called the said game an online gambling system that lures kids to pay real money.

In India, people have little to no education on consumer protection. They are too simple-minded to fall prey to sellers who sell subpar products. For instance, a clothing store sells an article of clothes, that is not only tight but contains harmful chemicals. Those chemicals might have affected the health of the consumers.

Rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986

The Indian judiciary needed a better solution to counter such anti-consumer practices. So, they came up with the Consumer Protection Act 1986. The said Act protects against the exploitation of consumers. There are six rights that the consumers can use as deterrents against exploitation:

  1. Right to Safety: In layman’s terms, the safety of the consumer is a top priority. The seller must not jeopardize the life and property of the customer. It means that the former must be providing safer products. For instance, a pharmacist must sell better quality cough syrups that aim to cure cough rather than fake ones, thus putting the person’s life at risk.
  2. Right to Information: The seller must provide the information of the product to the consumer. They must minute the product’s quality, quantity, potency, purity, etc. For instance, the GameStop shopkeeper named Ryan must tell the customer Jake about the quality and quantity of the PlayStation 5.
  3. Right to Choose: The customer has the right to choose the products. A similar product will cost different prices depending on the seller. The difference in the price ranges reflects the competition in the market. It is up to the customer to have access and privileges to the product they choose. For example, if a person wants to buy an iPhone 12 from the Apple Store, the price will be Rs 70,000. However, should they want to buy the said phone from other stores, they’ll get the same product at Rs 40,000. The problem is the latter is prone to malfunctions. The choice is up to the customer to buy it.
  4. Right to be heard: The consumer’s voice matters. After all, they are the ones who are buying the products. If the seller suppresses or ignores the consumer’s plight, then the consumer may never purchase products from them again. For example, a consumer rightfully calls out the video game developer for their lack of responsibility for fixing the game. Instead of listening to the consumer, the developers ignore their plight. So, in return, the consumer refuses to buy their game.
  5. Right to Redressal: There are times the seller may not be honest with the consumer. In most cases, they may commit acts of exploitation against the latter. For example, the seller sells a non-vegetarian food product, without notifying the consumer. The consumer who is a vegetarian consumes the product is unaware of the contents of a food product. If the person is aggrieved by such acts, then they can seek redressal.
  6. Right to Consumer Education: Lastly, every citizen of India has a right to know everything about consumer protection. The reason for the rising exploitation is the lack of education on consumer protection provided to them. If the consumers are aware of such rights, then they can easily tackle such exploitations and can seek remedies through redressals.

Redressal Mechanism

As previously said, a consumer can seek redressals in India if the seller violates their consumer protection right. The redressal mechanism takes the role of providing the remedy of the consumer. Under the Consumer Protection Act, Chapter III provides the implementation of the redressal agencies. On the other hand, Section 9 of the said act mentions the establishment of the said agencies, which includes:

  • District Forum (State government establish it in each district of the state by notification)
  • State Commission (State government establish it in each state by notification)
  • National Commission (Central government establish it by notification)

Redressal Agencies

District Forum

State Commission

National Commission

District Court Judge as the president. There must be two other people not below 35 years of age. The members must have a university degree and know industry, commerce, public affairs, administration, and economics.

High Court Judge as the president. Must have two members not about 35 years of age. The members must have a university degree and know industry, commerce, public affairs, administration, and economics.

Supreme Court Judge as the president (Appointed by the Central Government, appointment can also be made with the consultation of the Chief Justice of India. They must have four members, not above 35 years of age. They must have a university degree and must know industry, public affairs, economics, commerce, and administration.

The jurisdiction of such forums must not exceed Rs 20 lakhs.

The jurisdiction of such cases can exceed Rs 20 lakhs but must avoid exceeding Rs 1 crore.

The jurisdiction of such cases must exceed Rs 1 crore.

It is the faster way of disposing cases because the amount claim is less than National/State redressal forums.

It also entertains appeals district forums and pending cases of the said forums in the state. The commission can decide on the grounds of the flaws in the District Forums.

It entertains appeals of the state commission. It can decide the matters regarding the flaws made in State Commission.

The three agencies will not look into a case which was filed two years post occurrence of the case, unless the parties pardon themselves for such delay filing over a special period. This provision was brought up to boost the accuracy of the agencies’ functions and they can provide fast deliverance of the solutions to the parties.

Powers of the Redressal Agencies

In terms of jurisdiction, all of the redressal forums have different powers. Among them are the following:

  • Examining, enforcing, and summoning the witness under oath;
  • locating and producing any physical evidence;
  • Receiving affidavit evidence;
  • Requesting reports or test results from the appropriate authorities and laboratories;
  • Creating a commission to examine the witness;
  • Enforcing any other powers delegated to the Central or State Governments.


It is pretty clear that in a consumer society, there are bad actors that will take advantage of the consumer’s needs, to make a profit. When the Star Wars Battlefront 2 Scandal was first mentioned in the research paper, it highlights how corporations will take advantage of the people’s love for the Star Wars franchise to profits.

It is also worth mentioning that their impressionable audiences like children whose canvases can change anytime. In other words, they can exploit children in the online gambling schemes they call loot-boxes.

The situation is the same in India, except the masses are not aware of the education of consumer protection. There is a reason why people want to seek justice and remedy against such exploitation. The reason is the Consumer Protection Act 1986.

If the sellers disregard the reason for profits, then not only does it affect the law but it can create two dangerous outcomes. The life and property of the consumer will be at risk, and the seller’s business itself will be in jeopardy.

So, the redressals must serve as deterrents against consumer exploitation so that it creates a healthy market. Most importantly the literacy rate of the country is increasing. The responsibility of knowing and implementing consumer rights must also fall on the shoulders of the masses. That the tagline “Jaago Grahak Jaago” will live up to its name.

About the Author

My name is Anish Bachchan and I’m a 5th Year Law Student at Amity Law School, Noida. I have published my various writings on The Los Angeles Times, The Times of India, Live Wire, Youth Ki Awaaz, Legal Service India, and Law Corner. I have also published two books i.e.

  1. Patent 101 Level 1: Understanding Patent of Aggressive Monetization of Video Games
  2. Contempt of Court with References to Media Trials.


Related Post