December 24 is celebrated annually in India as National Consumer Rights Day, also called National Consumer Day, to commemorate December 24, 1986, when the Consumer Protection Act received assent from the President of India. The purpose of the day is to make consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Who is a consumer:
A consumer is anyone who purchases goods or services and pays for them in return.
Consumer Rights in India:
Consumer Protection Act guarantees six basic rights to consumers: the right to choose the product; right to be protected from all kinds of hazardous goods; right to be informed about the performance and quality of all products; right to be heard in all decision-making processes related to consumer interests; right to seek redressal, whenever consumer rights have been infringed; right to complete consumer education.
Events on National Consumers Day:
Each year, the day is celebrated under a specific theme. The Union government, in partnership with the state government, conducts events on consumer awareness. Often, such events feature skits and play highlighting a customers’ rights. In 2019, a virtual seminar was organised by the Department of Consumer Affairs to explain the Consumer Protection Act 2019. Just like last year, this year’s celebrations, too, will take place in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What is the punishment for the manufacture or Sale of Adulterated/Spurious Goods?
A competent court may suspend any licence in case of first conviction issued to the person for a period of up to 2 years. And in case of second or subsequent conviction, the licence may be cancelled permanently.
Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi also highlighted the importance of consumers by saying, “Customers are the most important visitor on our premises, they are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them.”
The main objective of this day is to protect the rights of consumers and ensure that the consumer’ are not subjected to market abuse. The day underlines the importance of the consumer movement and the need to make consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities.
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