Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 10 Social Science Notes Chapter 18 Consumer and Legal Awareness and Right to Information
A person who pays for goods and services and utilizes them is called a consumer. As per the Consumer Protection Act, consumer is divided into two parts:
- Consumer of goods
- Consumer of services.
In consumer Protection Act, a person includes;
- Registered or non-registered firm
- Joint Hindu family
- Co-operative society.
- A union of people whether it is registered in committee Act or not.
Reason of Consumer Exploitation
Consumer exploitation is a situation in which a consumer is cheated or given defective or adulterated goods or false information about the product or service. There are many reasons of consumer exploitation.
- Generally, consumers are innocent and ignorant about the type, quality, quantity, degree, standard and constituents of the product being purchased by them.
- Selection of adulterated/defective goods, while lots of goods are available in the market.
- Sometimes sellers indulge in unfair sell practices such as when shopkeepers weighs less than what they should or charges extra money.
- False information is passed about the products, price, quality, safety, expiry date, maintenance costs, etc.
- Illiterate consumers do not insist on receipts and cash memos.
- Consumers are quite ignorant of their rights or duties.
- Getting no quick decision on complaints which are filed against the sellers or producers.
- Lack of unity among consumers
- Influence of powerful industrialists and capitalists on the government.
Ways of Consumer Exploitation
Consumers are exploited in two ways:
- Exploitation for goods
- Exploitation for services.
Rights of Consumers:
A major step was taken by the government in the form of enactment of COPRA (Consumer Protection Act) .
- Safety is everyone’s Right
- Right to Information
- Right to choose
- Right to seek redressal
- Right to represent
Duties of Consumers:
Following duties should be performed by the consumers to protect themselves from exploitation.
- It is the duty of the consumers to be alert and question about the price, quality and guarantee of goods and services that he uses.
- While purchasing everyone must insist on cash memo or bill, or guarantee card.
- Logos and certifications like ISI/AG/ISO/EPO/ECO must be seen while purchasing.
- In case of defect inform to manufacturer or seller, the consumer should complain in consumer court.
- Collect essential proofs or documents to boost your complain.
Consumers Disputes Redressal Process:
Before Independence, Goods Sales Act, 1930 was made. The parliament of India enacted the Consumer Protection Act on 24 December 1986. So, 24th December is celebrated as the Consumer Day in India.
Under this Act, the work is done in three levels:
- National level
- State level
- District level
On National (Rajasthan) Level:
Rajasthan State Consumer Protection Act, 1987 was passed based on the functions of Consumer Protection Act 1987:
- On State Commission
- On district Forum
As per the rules of Rajasthan Consumer Protection Act, 1987:
- Administrative office of the State Commission will be located in the capital of the state.
- Working hours and days will be same as State Government.
- State government will decide the currency and emblem of the state commission.
- The chairperson can call the meeting of state commission according to need.
According to Consumer Protection Act, 1987:
- Administrative office of the District Forum will be located in the District office.
- Working hours and days will be same as State Government.
- State Government will decide the currency and emblem of the District Form.
- The chairperson can call for the meeting of state commission according to need.
Provisions for redressal of consumer disputes:
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 a three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at district, state and national levels has been set up for redressal of consumer disputes.
- The district level court deals with the cases involving claims up to ? 20 lakhs.
- The state level court deals with the cases involving claims between ? 20 lakh and ? 1 crore.
- The national level court deals with the cases involving claims exceeding ? 1 crore.
Sectors for Appealing against the decision:
- If a consumer is not satisfied to the decision of the District Court or the decision not given in 90 days of time, then he can appeal against this, in state Consumer Protection Commission (State court) in the time period of 30 days.
- The consumer can appeal in National Commission (National Court) against the decision of the State Commission (State court).
- There is a provision to go to the Supreme Court against the decision of the National Consumer Protection Act.
To provide equal justice, the Indian Government published some guidelines. To spread legal awareness movement in whole country equally, the Indian govt, passed legal service Act, in 1987, which came into force in 5 November 1998 all over India. Hence, the National Legal Services Day is celebrated on 5 November every year.
Institutions of the Legal Services Authority:
- National Legal Services Authority
- State Legal Services Authority
- District Legal Services Authority
- Tehsil Legal Services Authority
Institutions established as per the Legal Service Authority 1987, provide information regarding rules, laws and welfare programmes to all citizens of the society.
Rajasthan State Legal Service Authority:
Under Act 1987, Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority is established in Rajasthan. Its administrative office is Rajasthan High Court at Jaipur. Honorable Chief Justice is respected as its chairperson. Under his supervision, legal services programmes are held all over the state.
Works of the Rajasthan State Authority:
The main work of the State Authority is to implement the policies and instructions of the central government.
Measures for Legal Awareness:
- Legal literacy camps are held at schools, university and public places.
- Lok Adalats and legal awareness movement are run in village to village through eight mobile vans.
- ‘Kanoon Ki Baat’, a weekly, public welfare awareness programme, is telecast regularly on Aakaswani, Doordarshan and community radio.
- Pamphlet,and mini-booklets were printed and distributed by District Legal Services Authority.
- One can contact the chairperson of Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority (or district authority or tehsil authority) for more information.
Main Beneficial Rules and Plans
Following plans are implemented by Rajasthan State Government.
- Claims on accidental death: Five lakh rupees in case of death of registered labor of unorganized sector.
- One lakh cash has been provided for treatment of registered laborers.
- Scholarship to children of labor class
- Maternity Relief Plan: Rs. 6000 is provided on each delivery in two pregnancy periods under women welfare plan.
- Rajasthan Vishwakarma unorganized labor plan: Life insurance is provided to registered laborers.
- Maternity Benefit Plan: Maternity leave with wage provided to registered female laborers: 6 weeks before birth and 6 weeks after birth.
- For the protection of laborers, State Insurance and Employee Provident Fund are running successfully.
- Child marriage Prevention Act, 2006: The marriage of boys below 21 years and girls below 18 years is called child marriage. Child marriage is a punishable offence.
- Anti-copy Act: As per Rajasthan open Exam Act, 1992 during exam there is a provision of three years imprisonment using copy, etc. It is a criminal offence and accused student is restricted from the school.
Right to Information:
Right to Information Act, 2005: This law was passed on 15 June 2005 by the Lok Sabha and after the approval of the President; it was enacted in 13 Oct. 2005 all over the country. According to the Right to Information , 2005, some rights are provided to the citizens of the country.
The right to Information Act, 2005 provides the following rights:
- Every citizen has the right to get any information from any office or department of the central and the state government.
- Can access the document or record and can take the copy of proved documents.
- Inspect any government work.
- Can take samples of materials of any government work.
- Can obtain the information in computer, CD, floppy, etc.
- Right to know about the wages of a labor, log book tender, plan of cash book etc.
How to access the information
Any citizen can get the information by requesting in the prescribed format. Along with the prescribed format he needs to submit Rs. 10 in cash or postal order.
- If the information is duplicate of a large size, then the amount will be given separately.
- Deposit Rs. 50 for CD or floppy.
- Photocopy charges at the rate of Rs. 2 per page.
- For accessing the records or documents, Rs. 10 should be deposited for the first one hour and after every 15 minutes or less, Rs. 5 is charge.
- Can get the information within 30 days of the complaint being lodged.
- Critical information officer will give instruction in 35 days.
- If you do not get information on time, it will be treated as denial of information.
Penalty Notification on not reporting:
If the information officer refuses to take the application without any valid reason and give intentionally wrong or insufficient or misleading information, then Rs. 250 is charge daily upto Rs. 25000 as a proof of penalty. The information commission can recommend action for the in-disciplinary proceeding against the Information officer. The information which can’t be assessed are:
- State security alert.
- Secret information related to security alert, science and technology.
- Information which can defame the court, Parliament and Assembly.
- Secret information obtained from other countries.
- Intelligence Bureau, Border Security Force, Crime or security at risk.
- Gram Panchayat – Secretary or Village Servant.
- Panchayat Samiti – Development Officer.
- Zila Parishad – Head Executive Officer.
- Municipality – Executive Officer.
- In a state government-assisted institution – Head Executive Officer.
- University – Total Secretary.
- Officer in the Department of Government
- Government Secretariat – Secretary Administrative Reform Department.
Appeal Time: People have the power to appeal first to the High Commissioner within 30 days of getting information from the Information officer.
Appeal Officer: For the first time appeal to Sarpanch for the Panchayat Samiti, Development Officer appeal to the village head and Additional collector appeal to the District Collector.’If the hearing is not heard in 30 days the second appeal will be made to the State Information Commission.