Consumer Protection Act 1986: Salient Features, Definitions and Examples

The compilation of these Consumer Protection Notes makes students exam preparation simpler and organised.

Consumer Protection Act

With changing times the economic and business environment of India also went through a change. In the 1980s and 1990s, we opened our economy and truly became a global trading partner with the world. This exposed customers to new products but also new problems. And we finally introduced the Consumer Protection Act to safeguard consumers. Let us take a look.

Consumer Protection Act

Consumer Protection Act has been implemented(1986) or we can bring it into existence to protect the rights of a consumer. It protects the consumer from exploitation that businesses practice making profits which in turn harm the well being of the consumer and society.

Consumer Protection Act

This right help to educate the consumer on the right and responsibilities of being a consumer and how to seek help or justice when faced exploitation as a consumer. It teaches the consumer to make the right choices and know what is right and what is wrong.

Who is a consumer according to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986? A consumer is one that buys goods for consumption and not for resale or commercial purposes. The consumer also hires service for consideration.

Practices to be followed by Business under Consumer Protection Act

Consumer Protection Act 1

If any defect is found the seller should remove the mentioned defects from the whole batch or the goods affected. For example, there have been cases where car manufacturing units found a defect in parts of the vehicle usually they remove the defect from every unit or they call the unit.

They should replace the defective product with a non-defective product and that product should be of similar configuration or should be the same as the product purchased.

Redressal: Three Tier System Under Consumer Act

District Forum: These fora are set by the district of the state concerned in each district wherein it consists of President and two members of which one should be a woman and is appointed by the State Government. In this, the complaining party should not make a complaint of more than 20 Lacs and once the complaint is filed the goods are sent for testing and if they found defective the accused party should compensate and if the party is dissatisfied can make an appeal with the state commission within 30 days.

State Commission: This is set up by each state It consists of President and two members. Complains should be at least 20 lacs and exceed not more than 1 crore. The goods are sent for testing and if found defective are asked for replacement or compensation. If not satisfied can make an appeal within 30 days in front of the National Commission.

National Commission: Consist of President and 4 members. The complaint must exceed an amount of 1 crore. The goods are sent for testing and if found defective are asked for replacement or compensation


What do you mean by ‘consumer’ with reference to Consumer Protection Act 1986? Explain the salient features of the Consumer Protection Act?
According to the Act, a consumer’s definition is who:

  • buys goods or hires any service
  • uses the goods or hires any service with the approval of any buyer or service provider
  • uses goods and services to earn a livelihood by self-employment.

The salient features of the Consumer Protection Act are-

  • The Consumer Protection Act covers all public, private, and cooperative sectors.
  • This applies to all the goods and services until and unless the Union government exempts it.
  • Provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are compensatory in nature.