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Latest from our Consumer Rights and Laws Blog

Living Will becomes crucial since Passive Euthanasia is legal in India now

In March this year, in what was a landmark judgement, the highest court of the country allowed ‘peaceful death’ (passive euthanasia in medical terms) of terminally ill (vegetative state) patients when according to medical advice the patients are in ‘coma’ or in a state of condition where their

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Delhi high court asks railways to set up a mediation policy after deciding 30 years accident claim

INTRODUCTION:
Recently, the Delhi High Court suggested forming a “Litigation Policy” by the Railways to address tortuous claims of compensation filed against it. The Court said that the whole purpose of granting compensation to the victim is defeated if the amount do not become available immediately. Due to

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Alcohol bottles will start carrying ‘don’t drink & drive’ label

All bottles containing alcoholic beverages will carry a statutory warning telling people that alcohol is harmful to health and asking them not to drink and drive. This regulation will come into force from 1 April 2019, the country’s food regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

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Key Differences Between Mediation and Arbitration

The difference between mediation and arbitration can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:

A process of conflict settlement wherein an independent third party, assist the parties involved in arriving at decision, agreeable to all, is known as mediation. Arbitrationis a private trial, wherein a rational third party analyse the

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Consumer Interest Protected by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal

Gone are those days when builders held all the power, and the buyer were supposed to beg for his or her own property’s possession. India is changing now and the attitude of the National Tribunals is also changing in favor of the buyers. This scenario was highlighted recently by

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Packers and Movers are Service Providers : Some cases of Negligence

When we want to move houses, we would like to ensure our precious items are packed well. We want this transition to be hassle-free. You look for the best professional packers and movers company.Yet, what if things don’t go as planned? What if your belongings get damaged due

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Have a Grievance against a NBFC? There is an Ombudsman to go to

Thanks to the new Ombudsman Scheme launched this year, individuals investing in fixed deposit schemes of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) now have a government body to fall back upon in case of deficiency in service including any default in their deposits. This move was

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Not Allowed to Board a Flight? The airline could be at fault

In the recent case of Air France versus OP Srivastava & Others (First Appeal No. 310 OF 2008), the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) held that not permitting a passenger holding a confirmed ticket to board a flight amounted to deficiency in service

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Can Consumer Forums Set Aside the Arbitration Clause?

After 2015, the year in which an amendment was made to Section 8 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, several cases were discussed at the National Commission as well as the Supreme Court wherein it seemed that the amendment clause was being used as

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No need to pay extra for bottled water at cinemas, malls and airports: Ram Vilas Paswan

As consumers, we feel helpless when we get charged extra for buying packaged water at cinema halls, railway stations and airports even though the maximum retail price (MRP) is printed on the bottle. Charging extra for bottled water has been in practice for a long time and so

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Abide by what you say: Consumer court directs Chhattisgarh Housing Board

The Raipur consumer court has directed the Chhattisgarh Housing Board (CGHB) to accomplish within a year what it had depicted in its brochure to lure customers ahead of the launching of its housing project. The Raipur district consumer disputes redressal forum also asked the Board to pay Rs

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Consumers can approach civil and consumer courts too for compensation in case denied boarding: DGCA

The Delhi High Court has confirmed that the Civil Aviation Rules provide an immediate relief as compensation to passengers who are denied boarding. This does not mean that there is a cap on compensation payable and passenger can sue for deficiency in service as well. In its order

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The NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL, 2018

Six Reasons to cheer for it!
The working of the consumer dispute redressal agencies under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 has served the purpose of the legislation very efficiently however, the disposal of cases has not been fast due to various constraints. Several shortcomings have been noticed

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SUPREME COURT ON 13.03.2018 EXTENDS DEADLINE OF 31.03.2018 FOR MANDATORY LINKAGE OF AADHAAR WITH BANK ACCOUNTS, MOBILE AND PAN TILL THE DISPOSAL OF AADHAAR CASES

There is good news for all those who have still not linked their Aadhar with bank accounts and mobile. The order passed by the Supreme Court dated 13.03.2018 came as relief over the uncertainty that whether the deadline for linking of Aadhaar would be extended beyond March 31

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Builders can’t force Buyers to go for Arbitration

Ankur Saha, Head-Legal Desk: Arbitration has been introduced in the legal system to enable speedy resolution of disputes in civil cases. It is common knowledge that litigation in civil cases can go on for years in a trial court as per Civil Procedure Code (CPC). Litigation requires strict

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SBI guilty of deficiency in service

Akola district’s consumer forum has held State Bank of India (SBI) guilty of deficiency in service for debiting money from a bank account despite a failed ATM withdrawal and awarded a compensation of Rs 3,000 to the accountholder.
Besides awarding the compensation, the consumer forum also directed the

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Forums in Delhi are faced with a backlog of 18,000 cases

With an aim to expedite the redressal mechanism and resolve pending cases, a proposal for enhancing manpower, spaces and financial resources in the Consumer Affairs Department of the Delhi government is being examined by its Law Department.
Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and various district consumer forums

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Aakash Institute penalised for poor service

Convinced that Aakash Institute had failed to provide the services it promised, Ahmedabad consumer forum has penalised the institute and asked its Ambawadi branch of to pay Rs 20,000 to the complainant along with eight per cent interest from 14 September 2017 till the date of payment. It also asked

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SBI to compensate for issuing recovery notice for settled loan

In an interesting ruling, Nagpur district consumer forum has directed State Bank of India (SBI) to pay compensation to a customer for sending him a recovery notice for a loan that was already repaid.
“This decision will have long-lasting impact on banks for sending recovery notices even after

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Airtel found guilty of overbilling

Bengaluru consumer forum has ordered Airtel to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation for overbilling a customer and forcing him to pay the inflated bill by abruptly disconnecting his service. The customer had opted for a particular plan that had a clear credit limit. However, Airtel charged him beyond

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Britannia fined for selling packet with less than printed weight

Ahmedabad consumer forum has fined Britannia Industries for selling biscuit packets that weighed less than what was printed on them. The forum also asked the company to deposit Rs 25,000 in the Consumer Welfare Fund as a fine and pay another Rs 6,000 to Lalji Patel, the complainant.
Patel had

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Case Study: Consumer Forums cannot entertain cases pending at Civil Court

It is common sense. No sane individual would want two different sets of jury in two different courts to deliberate on the same case at the same time. Moreover, if one court is a higher civil authority and the other focuses solely on consumer issues, the latter cannot

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Arbitration agreements cannot oust the jurisdiction of consumer forums

In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court affirmed that arbitration agreements cannot oust the jurisdiction of consumer forums. The order will benefit homebuyers who usually have an arbitration clause in their agreements with the real estate companies. Such clauses lay down that in cases of disputes, aggrieved consumers will have to

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SC gives four weeks to Centre to file model rules on consumer fora

The Supreme Court in the last week of January 2018 granted four more weeks to the Centre to file comprehensive model rules to deal with various aspects of the functioning of consumer fora across the country.
The top court, in its verdict on 21 November 2016, had taken

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Croma store fined for refusing refund on failed transaction

A consumer court in Bengaluru has ordered Croma store, Koramangala, to refund the payment it had collected from a north Bengaluru customer for a washing machine. The store had refused to deliver the machine, claiming that the debit card transaction had failed. It was ordered to pay Chitransh

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School asked to refund fee for mistreating child

In Bengaluru, improper treatment meted out by a teacher at Royale Concorde International School had forced a five-year-old Class I girl student to refrain from going to school. The school authorities had refused refund of admission fee despite several requests to the management.
Stating that a teacher should

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76% of LED bulb brands and 71% of LED downlighter brands in India flout consumer safety standards: Nielsen study

In a Nielsen study conducted across four major Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad – 76 per cent of LED bulb brands and 71 per cent of LED downlighter brands across 200 electrical retail outlets were found to be non-compliant with consumer safety standards, as

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Electricity company cannot cut power without notice

Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) had recently received two complaints, both from senior citizens, over the disconnection of electricity supply.
In a case from Vijayashreepura, the consumer had forgotten to pay the electricity bill, and in a case from VV Puram, the consumer had paid the bill but Chamundeshwari

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Disputes Resolution under RERA Act 2016

A Guide for homebuyers on RERA Rules and RERA Complaints
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), which came into force on 1 May 2016, seeks to protect the interests of homebuyers as much as it hopes to boost investments in the real

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Aman Anti Ragging Movement (Aman Kachroo) – A Case Study

‘My death will bring about a change’. And it did.
These were the words of Amman Satya Kachroo, a student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, in his suicide note. He had ended his life after being traumatized and depressed due to continuous ragging by

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Builders can’t force buyers to go for arbitration or mediation

Here is some good news for buyers of real estate property. India’s Apex Court has ruled that real estate players cannot force buyers to settle their disputes through arbitration by stopping them from approaching consumer forums.  It is a well settled law that arbitration agreements do not bar

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Anti Ragging Law and Ragging in University

Guidelines for Educational Institutes Against Ragging
Ragging is not something new and inspite of the fact that it is a punishable offence, the practice continues to haunt not just students but also their parents, teachers as well as the law-and- order machinery. While we are all aware of

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GIR 2016- Limits, Controls and Hampers Consumer’s Right to Information

In this Digital Era Consumers are using various services depending on navigation and maps such as booking a cab, sharing a location, finding post office, bank or petrol pump. Be it for ordering food by sharing a location, geotagging friends and family members over social platform or even

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Bombay High Court repels builders’ challenge to Real Estate Regulation ACT

The new judgement by the Bombay High Court upholding the constitutional validity of the RERA Act or Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 rhas brought cheer to the thousands of homebuyers staring at uncertainty due to unfinished and delayed building projects all over India. The parliament had

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Consumer forum asks bank to compensate customer for breaking locker without following RBI norms

Punjab National Bank’s officials broke the locker of a customer over pending rent without following RBI norms. The aggrieved consumer complained about this to the court, which instructed the bank to pay Rs 50,000 with nine per cent yearly interest as physical and mental harassment charges to the

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Forum orders immigration firm to refund Rs 1.74 lakh and $5,700, fines Rs 50,000

A resident of Panchkula was assured by Worldwide Immigration Consultancy Services of getting his immigration on permanent residency (PR) to Canada within a year, but nothing was done. The Panchkula Consumer Forum has penalised the immigration firm of Rs 50,000 and ordered it to refund Rs 1.74 lakh

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Central investigation agency will probe companies cheating consumers

In a move that will strengthen the revised Consumer Protection Act, the government is likely to set up a special investigation agency that will probe companies that are accused of cheating consumers. The agency will work along the lines of other investigating agencies that probe cyber and economic

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The New Consumer Protection Law

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015, has passed the legislative deliberations test in the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which has recommended improvements and plugging of gaps to make it more effective. Currently a Cabinet Committee is deliberating on the changes proposed by the Standing Committee and the revised bill

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Food Standards

Codex
PFA Act
Genetically Modified Food

1. Codex
Food Standards and Safety in a Globalised World The Impact of WTO and Codex
Infant food standards-their relavance at codex and WTO
Consumer and CODEX Alimentarius
2. PFA
Food Additives
The Prevention of Food Adulteration

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Misleading Ads

Misleading Ads, Celebrities, Accountability, and Self-Regulation
Most of us have been victims of deceptive advertising. This in itself is not quite surprising, considering the sheer volume of commercial messages that daily try to reach us one way or the other, via images that are intended to persuade/cajole/tempt. What

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Food Safety Concerns – When, Where and How to Report it

Got a cockroach in your sandwich or misled by a food advert? Yes, you must be angry, asking for a refund or simply throwing the food packet in the garbage. But are you aware of the actions that you can take against these wrongdoings?

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The first-ever trade-liberalization package from WTO India got food security flexibility

It was touch and go over six intense days at Bali in early December. In the end, the World Trade Organization’s(WTO) Ninth Ministerial Conference delivered a trade-liberalization package — the first-ever deal that the WTO could craft since it came into being in 1995. And this came after

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A Reflection on Consumer Rights

As we mark World Consumer Rights Day in March, there is a good reason to make it a sort of sounding board to look back, think, pause, and see where consumers—which means all of us—stand with regard to their rights. Too many changes are happening and at a

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Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Introduction
Consumer rights are now an integral part of our lives like a consumerist way of life. They have been well documented and much talked about. We have all made use of them at some point in our daily lives. Market resources and influences are growing by the

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Consumer Safety in India

Consumer Safety in India
Documented, Yes, But Yet to Be Implemented
This is not news to anyone: On 19 August (2013), 37 people, mostly women and children, were killed in Bihar when an express train ploughed into pilgrims at a remote and poorly connected area in the state’s

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Know Your Quality Marks

Manufacturers often sell their products with a quality mark of a product certification body. Quality marks are meant to communicate the added value of the product. The extra quality may refer to one or more aspects that a consumer may be unsure about. Such aspects can be environmental

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Education is a Service

If Education is a service, can Students Sue Education Institutes at Consumer Forums?
Yes, law is on the side of students as long as their complaints are genuine and they are justified in their demands. So, if a student wants to leave an institute or course midway and

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Consumers and RTI – the Right to Information Act, 1986

The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (CPA) protects the interests of the consumers in the widest range possible. The CPA gives the rights to the consumers to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, standard and price of goods or services so as to be protected against unfair trade

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Compulsory hallmarking, new BIS standards for gold jewellery

New standards for gold jewellery, including compulsory hallmarking, are likely to be implemented in the country
from January 2018 to safeguard the interests of consumers. Jewellers will get about six months to get the hallmarking license from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), top sources in the government

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All districts of Delhi to have consumer courts

The Delhi government has decided to set up a consumer court in every district for the convenience of consumers and general public. This was announced by the Consumer Affairs Minister Imran Hussain at a review meeting of the functioning of the Consumer Affairs Department, Delhi State Consumer Disputes

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All about unwanted Commercial Calls

Unwanted Commercial Calls (UCC) is known by Do Not Disturb (DND) as well. In TRAI parlance it is called Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (TCCCP). All of us telecom consumers receive lots of unwanted calls and SMSs promoting various products and services whether we like them or not.

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Supreme Court cautions Unitech homebuyers: Consumers Don’t Expect to Profit from Your Loss

The dispute between homebuyers and real estate players has now skewed in favour of homebuyers, thanks to various Supreme Court judgements. The apex court acknowledges the suffering that homebuyers are going through for not receiving the possession of their flats. At the same time, it is important to

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Modi: Consumer protection is in New India resolution

Inaugurating the International Conference on Consumer Protection on 26 October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated
that the vision of New India was to move ahead from consumer protection towards best consumer practices and prosperity with
focus on consumer empowerment.
“Protection of consumer interests is a priority of the

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When can a hospital be charged for medical negligence?

What is the responsibility of hospital towards its patients?
How is a government-run hospital different from a private hospital or nursing home with regard to settlement of responsibility vis-á-vis deficiency in service?
What are the role and responsibilities of a doctor towards their patients?

Responsibility of

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FEMA Act 1999 or Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA)

The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 popularly known as FEMA Act 1999, is an Act of the Parliament of India “to consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange with the objective of facilitating external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of

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Consumer protection is in New India resolution

Inaugurating the International Conference on Consumer Protection on 26 October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the vision of New India was to move ahead from consumer protection towards best consumer practices and prosperity with focus on consumer empowerment.
“Protection of consumer interests is a priority of the

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Consumer Rights in case of Misleading Advertisements – A Case Study

Most of us are aware that many of the claims made by companies in their advertisements are not wholly true. Pictures of flawlessly turned-out models in cosmetics ads and weight-loss commercials are obvious examples. Hidden fees and surcharges, and terms and conditions in ads

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Relief for Buyers as Supreme Court stays Insolvency Proceedings Against Jaypee

Here is some relief for home buyers of Jaypee Infratech as the Supreme Court on September 4th, 2017 stayed the insolvency proceedings against Jaypee Infratech after the judgment passed by National Company Law Tribunal, Allahabad at the instance of IDBI Bank Limited. Being unsecured creditors as opposed to

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Sugar tax in Australia by 2019

The Australian government is facing fresh calls to introduce a sugar tax as part of a plan drawn up by a coalition of health and community groups which want urgent action to tackle the country’s obesity problem. The eight-point plan includes a 20 per cent tax on sugary

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Rs 60,000 fine on Maruti for denying repair in warranty

A Delhi consumer court asked Maruti to compensate Balbir Singh Rs 50,000 for harassment. Singh’s car was facing the problem of hydrostatic lock – a condition in the car caused by entry of water inside the engine – and Maruti had refused to repair the same under warranty,

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Rs 12,000 compensation for having to pay Rs 21 extra

A resident of Bengaluru has been awarded a compensation of Rs 12,000 by the consumer court. The decision comes over a year after the man approached the court complaining of unfair trade practice.
As per a report in the Times of India, Raghavendra, who hails from the city’s

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Airtel asked to pay Rs 44.5 to consumer for internet data loss

A consumer disputes redressal commission of Ahmedabad Rural has ordered leading telecom company Bharti
Airtel to refund an amount of Rs 44.50 to a consumer for data loss, caused by the blocking of internet services between 27 August and 4 September 2015 due to the Patidar quota agitation,

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Consume protein thrice a day: Study

Eating protein equally in the three daily meals could lead to greater mass and muscle strength in the elderly, says a study.
Many seniors consume the majority of their daily protein intake at lunch and dinner. The new study suggests that
breakfast should also be protein-rich.
“We wanted

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Summons to celebrities including Govinda and Kapil Dev for selling fake club memberships

The Vadodara District Consumer Forum has summoned Raman Kapoor and his partner Seema, accused of cheating 15 citizens to the tune of Rs 11.52 lakh by promising membership of Sunstar Club. Cricketer Kapil Dev and film stars Govinda and Ravi Kishan, who are directors of the club, have

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RBI Banking Ombudsman: Your go-to point for disputes concerning banking services

As part of its grievance redressal mechanism for hearing consumer complaints relating to certain banking services, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the Banking Ombudsman Scheme in 1995. With effect from 2006, it was brought under Banking Regulation Act, 1949, by government notification

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Food Advertisements complaints reported on Advertising Standard Council of India ( ASCI) portal

Did you know a consumer can complain against a misguiding food advertisement? Yes, this is possible. A misleading food advertisement that promotes unhealthy eating could be called off across all media channels. It is important that consumers report their views which can be easily done on the Advertising

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Sahara ordered to refund Rs 84 lakh to 12 homebuyers

The district consumer court in Pune has directed Sahara Prime City Limited, a project by Sahara India in Dhanori, to refund a total of Rs 84 lakh with 9 per cent per annum interest and Rs 5,000 cost to each of 12 homebuyers for deficient service.
Between December

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Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 (FSSA)

Food safety is a major public health concern. There are specific laws, mandates and regulations in India to maintain the quart of food and to ensure food safety. In fact, there are regulations for ways in which a food product can be promoted. The Food Safety and Standards

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Case Study: Consumer Forum Cannot Change its own order

The courts of law across the world make some amazing decisions that ought to be made by the people.
– Anonymous
It happens quite often. Many individuals and organisations reach consumer forums with a request or an appeal to review, take back, revise or put a stay on

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Report a problem with food on the Food Safety Connect Application ( App)

Has it happened that you opened a food packet and found an insect or a hair strand in it? Have you then wondered what actions you might take to report the same? Consumers play an important role in ensuring food safety. Suppose a food product complaint is registered

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Section 12 Consumer Protection Act – Legal Boost to Unionisation of Consumers

Corresponding with the increase in exploitation of flat buyers by several unscrupulous builders, a large number of buyers have commenced litigation against builders. Since it may be difficult to fight a builder alone, consumers have taken advantage of the provision under Section 12 (1) (b) of Consumer Protection

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Consumer court rules in favour of duped jobseeker

The Mumbai consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered Chembur-based firm, Sevenseas Airports and Seaports Management Services, to refund money with interest to a jobseeker who was made to go through several expensive procedures on the pretext of giving him the job of a storekeeper.
In an ex-parte order,

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Latest Income Tax Rules

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has provided some restrictions in the Income Tax Act that took effect from 1 April 2017 (financial year 2017-18 and assessment year 2018-19), in respect of expenditure by way of cash, lending by way of cash, and investment by way of

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Consumer Protection Act Amendment of 2002: Disputes on deals with commercial purposes

Every law has a loophole. The Consumer Protection Act, too, had one until 2002 and several business entities tried taking undue advantage of several rules that were to favour consumers and not businesses. Until the amendment of 2002, consumers forums were having a tough time establishing if a

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Doctor left surgical sponge inside uterus; ordered to pay over Rs 2 lakh

The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has upheld a Surat consumer court’s decision ordering a gynaecologist to pay over Rs 2 lakh to a patient for forgetting a surgical sponge in her uterus after a caesarean in 2003. The consumer court in Surat had held the doctor

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Consumer Voice supports ministry of consumer affairs’ decision to make service charge voluntary in all restaurants

Consumer Voice has come out in complete support of the recent decision by the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution to make service charge optional in restaurants.
Some hotels and restaurants charge their customers over and above the service tax, by adding service charge to the

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Case Studies: Receivers of Free Treatment are not Consumers

If statistics are to be believed, the healthcare industry is on an upswing, medical costs are burgeoning, hospitals are becoming richer by the day, and the outcome of this growth has seen unprecedented year-on- year increase in cases of medical negligence. As per a November 2016 study published

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Don’t put stringent and absurd conditions in insurance policy: Consumer court

A bench of VP Utpat and Onkar G Patil at Pune district consumer court has directed HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company Limited, Koregaon Park, to pay Rs 1 lakh claim amount, along with 9 per cent p.a. interest since February 11, 2015, and Rs 10,000 costs, to a

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Supreme Court bans sale of BS-III vehicles from April 1

The Supreme Court has imposed a ban on sale of BS-III vehicles from April 1, when the Bharat Stage (BS)-IV emission norms for vehicles will come in force. The Supreme Court also clarified that no new BS-III registration will be allowed from April 1. However, BS-III vehicles sold

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World Consumer Rights Day- Building a Digital World-Consumers can Trust

World Consumer Rights Day- Building a Digital World-Consumers can Trust
National World Consumer Rights Day is observed on March 15 each year as a means of raising global awareness about consumer rights. WORLD Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers,

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Insurance firm asked to compensate for denying accident claim

A consumer court in Chennai has directed an insurance company to pay compensation to its customer who was denied the claim amount for his damaged car on the ground that the damages were not relevant to the cause and
nature of the accident.
The petitioner, M Chandrasekar of

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Consumer court rules no claim for obesity surgery

The district consumer court in Pune has ruled that an insurance company cannot be held liable for deficient service when its policy agreement clearly excludes certain physical conditions from the reimbursement of medical expenses. A bench of VP Utpat and Kshitija Kulkarni rejected the complaint by a homemaker

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Court orders replacement for faulty TV, slaps fine

A district consumer forum in Hyderabad has directed a private electronic manufacture firm and its authorised dealers to replace a TV free of cost and also pay Rs 20,000 as relief to a customer for inordinate delay in replacing the faulty piece.
K Narsimha Goud bought a colour

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Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

This central government initiative has the rallying cry of ‘housing for all by 2022. Something of this scale and sweep necessarily involves partnering with various implementing agencies. As for beneficiaries, there are clear eligibility criteria and processes for getting the loan which they should be aware of.
Pradhan

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There is a ‘Paid News’ epidemic

One of the pivotal books on media and journalism that should be on everyone’s reading list is Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman. The book clearly elucidates how the media frames every news piece and every issue according to a carefully selected and narrow framework that adheres

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