Know the Definition of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986

by  Adv. Priyanka Sampathy  




4 mins


Definition of Consumer Protection Act, 1986


  • With times and changes, economic growth was seen as prosperous and productive when international trade and industrial development occurred. 
  • The industrial sector of the country was in good shape and efficient since trade measures were adopted, and this eventually shaped the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986.
  • The rising demand leads to industrial growth and expansion as they increase the supply of goods and services also.
  • The necessary steps were taken to meet the demands and provide customer satisfaction. Many other facilities were also made efficient and available such as housing, electricity, transportation, etc.
  • As the demand and production grew side by side, the quality was somewhat compromised along these lines. This was probably not intentional, but it affected a lot of consumers and their buying patterns.
  • The growing need for services increased, and demand increased rapidly too. As a result, the production also had to speed up to provide the best results.
  • Many manufacturers entered the business to make the same product in a different way which left the customers confused and doubtful.
  • The defective product wasn’t acknowledged by the government, and had to barge and make rules and regulations for certain zones and aspects for proper functioning, as this is the definition of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

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What is the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986?

  • The growing economy and the industrial sector made it possible to provide various and sufficient goods and services to customers throughout the country in the local market. 
  • It was also required to protect them from fraud and malpractice of hazardous goods, which could be harmful in a lot of ways.
  • Any product can be defective as the competition grows rapidly every second. For precautions and implementation regulations, The definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 was established and has been in place to date.
  • Before the definition of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 came into effect, there were no such laws or regulations that effectively protected consumer rights and saved them from malpractice.

Along with different amendments, the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 stated to protect and strictly regulate as follows:

  • The right to be kept safe against any kind of harmful or hazardous goods and products. 
  • The right of the consumer to be informed and introduced to the quality, quantity, price, standard, formula, and much other similar information about the product being sold in their area.
  • Making it mandatory that their requirements are also the top priority and that they will be heard as their questions will be answered accordingly. 
  • The right to choose from various kinds and have access to different kinds of goods and services. 
  • Consumers must be cleared and educated about all the related laws and rules that maintain that safety.
  • The definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 states that the customer has every right to claim Consumer Redressal from any kind of harm or malpractice. 

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What is meant by a Consumer?

  • The consumer is the individual who is purchasing goods and services for his usage. They are using it for themselves or their family, not reselling it as prescribed by the definition of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  • They are not sellers, resellers, or manufacturers of any kind. They buy and consume it solely. They avail services as needed and wanted for their benefit.

Consumer duties

There is an equal and opposite reaction in this term of the economy, too; whereas there are laws to preserve their rights, they must exercise their duties too. The right of any consumer is the same as the duty of another.

As per the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the duties are as follows:

  • The consumer must surely pay and clear bills when purchasing goods and services according to their MRP and total price.
  • As per the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the consumer must thoroughly read through the labels, instructions, and licenses before buying. They should also first check the price and then pay.
  • Consumers should educate themselves and make themselves aware of all the latest technologies and developments related to consumer protection and safety.
  • They must be mindful while purchasing anything and be careful of misleading flashy advertising. 
  • Black market purchasing is prohibited, and consumers should know that it is not guaranteed or safeguarded in any way, according to the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 or any service agreement
  • They should immediately file a complaint if there is any malpractice or misleading product found or sold outside any service agreement.

As mentioned in the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the consumer can avail of benefits and claim Redressal as required by maintaining the bill for every purchased item.

Filing a complaint against any defects and malpractice helps the industry improve. They may seek legal consultation in cases where the Redressal is tricky and can be legally challenged. 

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Who is allowed to file a Complaint?

As per the definition of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the following people can file a complaint:

  • Consumer 
  • A voluntary consumer association may be registered under any law.
  • State or Central Government 
  • If one or more customers have the same complaint, they can file it together as a petition. 
  • Any legal heir or guardian in case the consumer dies or is badly injured. 

There are various aspects here where consumers might need to seek legal consultation to begin the complaint filing, according to the definition of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 has proved to safeguard consumer rights and interests in the budding economy, where companies strive to provide various goods and services as fast as possible. 

Many customers are left to exploit because of such firms who only aim for profit and forget the customer needs and quality satisfaction. 

Taking legal steps through the Consumer Protection Act 1986 to prevent any damage, one might need the help of a professional lawyer.

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy

Adv. Priyanka Sampathy


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Priyanka Sampathy is a legal consultant who prioritises ethical and professional conduct while striving to achieve desired outcomes. With over 15 years of independent practice, she has significant expertise in handling legal cases. Her exceptional communication skills enable her to express arguments in a clear and persuasive manner, both in writing and verbally, in Hindi, English, and Telugu.

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