The main objective of the act is to provide for the better protection of consumers. Unlike existing laws, which are punitive or preventive in nature, the provisions of this Act are compensatory in nature. The act is intended to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumers’ grievances, and reliefs of a specific nature and award of compensation wherever appropriate to the consumer. The act has been amended in 1993 both to extend its coverage and scope and to enhance the powers of the redressal machinery.
The basic rights of consumers as per the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) are
1. The right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property
2. The right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, or services so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices
3. The right to be assured, wherever possible, access to variety of goods and services at competitive prices
4. The right to be heard and be assured that consumers’ interests will receive due consideration at appropriate forums
5. The right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices or restrictive trade practices or unscrupulsous exploitation of consumers
6. The right to consumer education