After the Implementation of C.P. Act, 2019, “Caveat Emptor” Doctrine Renders Ineffective

LI Network

Published on: December 25, 2023 at 00:49 IST

In a recent consumer protection case, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRC) in Cuttack imposed penalties on a seller for retailing expired products.

The presiding bench, led by President Debasish Nayak and Member Sibananda Mohanty, heard the complaint where the purchaser bought a 1 kg Bikano All Time mixture packet for Rs. 202 from the respondent’s shop. Upon realizing the product had expired on May 15, 2023, the complainant sought a refund of the purchase amount and compensation of Rs. 1,00,000 for mental distress.

The central issue before the bench revolved around whether there was a deficiency in service by the seller (O.P) and if unfair trade practices were adopted. The O.P contended that the product might have been purchased on an earlier date, presenting an unverified assumption.

The bench, however, dismissed this claim, emphasizing that the wrapper clearly indicated a use-by date of May 15, 2023.

The Court accused the seller of negligence, asserting that the O.P knowingly sold expired products to the public, intending to gain illicit profits.

The court rejected the O.P’s reliance on the “Caveat Emptor” and “Best Use” policies, stating that after the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, these doctrines hold no ground.

It affirmed that it is the seller’s responsibility to ensure the product’s quality and efficacy, and the “Best Use” policy does not apply when a product has a specified expiration date.

Consequently, the bench directed the opposite party to refund the complainant the sum of Rs. 202 paid for the expired mixture packet.

Case Title: Dr. Sunil Kumar Rath v. The Manager,

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