The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was enacted to promote and protect the rights of the consumers. The 1986 Act was repealed and replaced by the Consumer Protection Act 2019, the new Act was introduced in order to expand the scope of rights of consumers and also covers under its ambit emerging fields like e-commerce, direct selling, tele-shopping and other multi levels of marketing in the era of digitization. As per the Act, a “consumer” is anyone who buys goods or avails any service for a consideration. In case the consumer suffers any harm because of defects in the goods or services provided, they can lodge a complaint against the product manufacturer or service provider.
In order to provide speedy and inexpensive resolution of consumer disputes quasi-judicial bodies have been instituted in each District, State and at the National levels called District Commissions, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission respectively. Each of these Redressal Commissions has different pecuniary jurisdiction limits. The aggrieved consumer can avail the remedies mentioned under the Consumer Protection Act as an alternative in addition to the remedy already available to the aggrieved consumers by way of civil suit.