Delhi govt to launch packaged goods complaints app

The Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal, is developing a new mobile app to tackle consumer fraud. The app will allow consumers to make suggestions and lodge complaints regarding packaged products.

According to a report in LiveMint, Delhi’s Food and Supplies Minister Imran Hussain said the mobile app would deal with complaints and suggestions within 48 hours.

The report adds that it has asked officials to ensure that consumers are not overcharged during festival season for packaged goods. Officials were instructed to make regular visits, check for cases of overcharging and take appropriate action against violators in accordance with the law.

Hussain added that officials should regularly check that rules on packaged products are strictly followed by traders, manufacturers and retailers.

The Delhi government is currently reviewing the functioning of the weights and measures (legal metrology) department, the report said.

Along with the upcoming mobile app, consumer protection laws have been established to protect people from unfair business practices, defective products, and unsafe goods and services. These laws play a central role in a reliable market economy. One law that protects consumers in India is the Consumer Protection Act 1986. It was modified in 2002.

Objectives of the Consumer Protection Act:

  • Protecting consumers against the marketing of dangerous goods

  • Ensure, where possible, access to property authority at competitive prices

  • Inform about the quality, quantity, purity, price and standard of the goods

  • Consumer Education

  • Seek redress against unfair trade practices

How and when to complain?

Under the Consumer Protection Act 1986, a consumer can make a complaint:

a) if the goods purchased by them or agreed to be purchased have one or more defects

b) any trader or service provider engages in an unfair or restrictive business practice

(c) offer goods for sale to the public which will be dangerous to life and safety when used

d) the services rented or used suffer from a deficiency in any respect

The consumer must file any complaint regarding a good or service with the District Forum with a fee. Upon receipt of a complaint, the district forum may reject or approve it, usually within 21 days from the date of the complaint. A copy of the complaint will reach the opposing party for approval within 45 days.

Jennifer C. Burleigh