Consumer Rights Current Affairs

R K Agrawal appointed President of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed former Supreme Court Judge Justice R K Agrawal as President of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). He will succeed Justice D K Jain, who completed his term. Justice Agrawal was judge of Supreme Court from February 2014 to May 2018 and had served on bench of the apex court for four years.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)

NCDRC is quasi-judicial commission set up under Consumer Protection Act of 1986. It addresses grievances of aggrieved consumer for goods and services having value over Rs. 1 crore. It was established in 1988 and is headquartered in New Delhi. The commission is headed by sitting or retired judge of Supreme Court of India.

Statutory Provisions

Section 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 posits that NCDRC shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaint valued more than Rs. 1 crore and also have appellate and revisional jurisdiction from orders of state commissions or district fora as case may be.  Section 23 of Act provides that any person aggrieved by order of NCDRC, may appeal against such order to Supreme Court within period of 30 days.

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15th March: World Consumer Rights Day

The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is celebrated every year on March 15 to pay solidarity with the international consumer movement and give more attention to promote basic rights of consumers. This year the theme promoted is “Making Digital Marketplaces Fairer”.

Significance of Day

  • It provides opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers
  • Demand those rights that must be respected and protected for those protesting against the market abuses and social injustices.
  • ‎It gives chance to protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

Background

The World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) commemorates the historic address given by the then US President John F Kennedy to the US congress on this day in 1962. In his historic address he had outlined the definition of consumer rights for the first time. He was the first world leader to formally define ‘consumer rights’. The first WCRD was observed on 15 March 1983 and has since become an important occasion for mobilizing citizen action. In 2017, WCRD was observed with the theme “Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust”.

Note: In India, 24th December is observed as National Consumer Day. On this day in 1986, Consumer Protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of the President. Moreover, Government (Ministry of Consumer Affairs) runs Jago Grahak Jago” one of the strongest campaigns for addressal and protection of consumer rights in India. It literally translates into, “wake up consumers”!

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