Government Agencies are becoming
social media savvy!
It is indeed heartening
to note that the Government agencies have become more social media
active and are even picking up the citizens' voice. In a recent
incident, a journalist Mr. Saha, who was travelling by train no. 12312,
Netaji Express (on 13th Jan. 2023), from Ghaziabad to Howrah, could get
back a nominal Rs. 10/-, from the tea vendor, after he tweeted his grievance
that the tea vendor had not returned Rs. 10/- after having taken Rs. 20/-
from him, in spite of reminding him. It is stated that while the
incident took place near Prayagraj Station, he was refunded the money by
a Manager of IRCTC and the dishonest vendor was also relieved of his duties,
then and there. One tweet to @IRCTCofficial could result in such
a positive response, within a short duration is indeed great!
Kudos to the Indian Railway administration
and the Government of India.
|KIND ATTENTION PLEASE!!
For the benefit of readers, we have provided
below the links for our monthly newsletter Advantage
Consumer, which can be utilised Free of Cost.
Short weighment is a major issue faced while
doing online shopping
for fruits and vegetables.
These days, especially in metro cities, households are
accustomed to doing online shopping, even for fruits and vegetables.
This has become the norm since the second quarter of 2021, after the
Covid pandemic necessitated minimising exposure to crowded markets, shopping
malls, etc. Online portals like Big Basket
saw a big surge in demand and customers at that time had to wait for even
a couple of days to get a delivery slot. Many established online
shopping portals like Flipkart, Amazon
jumped the bandwagon of online supply of Fruits and Vegetables. Already
Flipkart has reduced its business in this area
(christened as Flipkart Quick), for reasons which are not
clear. In Chennai, one stopped seeing the “Flipkart Quick”,
since Oct. 2022. Amazon is marketing fruits and vegetables
under its banner “Fresh”.
More choice means higher competition and
is no doubt welcome for an ordinary consumer and it is a dream come true,
and he is the king in the marketplace. But only an aware and equipped
consumer can dictate his terms, and must be willing to do the homework,
rather than getting carried away by the glitter and attractive enticements
that are on offer.
Pic.-1 (Red Bananas)
Pic.-2 (Karpooravalli Bananas)
The case in point
is that even the established brands noted as above are having issues while
doing retail sales. There are basically 3 issues affecting the consumers
at large. First and foremost is the pricing. Since, pricing
is being publicised and readily available while ordering, the consumer
is well informed, and hence it is up to him to purchase or not, as random
cross checking with the wholesale prices, available in the media will enable
him to evaluate whether what is being charged is fair or not.
Second issue and an important one is the quality
of the stuff supplied and its packing. If one is a regular shopper,
he will be able to assess the same, after a couple of orders. Incidentally,
as this author has experienced, while some items are more or less good
with different sellers, some or not the same.
In this digital era, an historical issue is astonishingly,
is still a major issue, which these renowned companies are still unable
to take care. They are still having difficulties in supplying these
perishable commodities as invoiced/billed. To their credit, they
are promptly refunding the full cost of the billed item. But how many
are having the time or wherewithal to weigh each item that are supplied.
Pic.-1 shows the “Red Bananas” supplied by Big Basket. As
per their variable weight policy, they billed the same as 1.18 kg, whereas
the actual was only 1.15 kg (1.146 kg). They refunded the cost of the
entire quantity of bananas billed. That demonstrates their honesty.
But how many individuals would have made such a claim is a pertinent question
Similar issue was there with the item supplied
by Amazon (Pic.-2 Karpooravalli Bananas).
As against 500 gm that was billed, supplied only 429 gm. On complaining
about that variation, they promptly refunded the cost of the entire quantity
of bananas billed. I have stated the above two as examples, for demonstrating
It is no surprise then, that I could
realise the entire cost of the digital weighing machine, within 45 days.
It is time to ponder for all the Companies, as to how
to enhance the culture of the people at large, to make them more trustworthy
in whatever they do? Having potential is one thing, but working
as per that potential is another thing.¤
be better protected - Narendra Modi
Let the consumer
entitled to benefit of two years weightage under the EPS
- Justice is not Supreme
to uphold the law
suggestions to Chief Justice of India -
that the Laws & Rules need to remain
only on paper?
Amendments to Consumer Protection Act
A big question
mark about the relevance
of the judiciary in safeguarding the
Curative Petition dismissed)
In India, consumers have
been at the receiving end
since long. One thought that things
will change for the better after
the Consumer Protection Act was enacted in
1986 and a structured approach was adopted to
promote and safeguard the interests of the consumers.
But after 2004, things have gone from
bad to worse. Commencing from the castration
of the Central Consumer Protection Council,
the relevance of the consumer Act itself has
been brought into question. If the government
is found wanting and none too serious to strengthen
this voluntary initiative of the individuals to
do their bit for a healthy society, which in any case is
bound to benefit the industry, its competitiveness
and the country as a whole, myopic approach only appear
to rule the roost, as on date.
Important amendments which
were brought in 2003 to the Consumer Protection
Act, with a clear objective of penalising
Unfair Trade Practices and to
compensate the consumer/litigant adequately
have been frustrated by the indifferent
approach of the National Commission as well as the
Supreme Court. That is why, giving the
benefit of doubt to the bench which did not do justice
to the issues placed before it by Consumer Protection
Council, Rourkela, and to take the issues pursued
by it to the logical end, Curative Petition was filed.
categorically illustrate the denial of
Natural Justice to the Petitioner
Council and the failure of the Court in
addressing the issues raised in the Appeal.
Rupa Ashok Hurra
case specifically has laid Violation
of Principles of Natural justice as the valid
ground for considering a Curative Petition.
Question is whether a narrow view of non-issue
of notice alone should be taken as the requisite
ground for allowing the Appeal or blatant denial
to consider the Grounds of Appeal by the concerned bench
should be treated alike, in the larger interests of
justice? If this anomaly is not addressed,
Curative Petitions will only
be found useful when the media start highlighting
an issue, like the LGBT case leading to the strength
of the population deciding the outcome of the Curative
Petition. This does not augur well for
a civilized democratic country.
Learned ex-Justice of
Gujarat & Rajasthan High
Courts, Sri M.R.Calla, and designated
Sr. Advocate of the Supreme Court had
unequivocally advocated for allowing the Curative
Petition of the Council, pointing
out the gross miscarriage of justice and
denial of natural justice.
But that has not appealed to the Supreme
Court bench headed by the CJI, who have
the Curative Petition, as per the
Order made available on the internet
Something needs to be done to
address and to save the people from
this hyper-technical approach of the Supreme
Court and to promote the consumer movement,
which is after all in the best interests
of the nation. Will Shri Narendra
Modi and his government do something to stem this
How can the Supreme
Court pass an irrelevant order?
is your right'
Fleece the consumer
and go scot-free
Finish the consumer
A consumer organisation
with a difference.
Instead of rendering advisory services
alone, the Council since its inception,
in 1985, has been taking up issues affecting
them through the consumer courts and other
means and feels proud to have provided relief
to crores of people. These include:
It will not be an exaggeration
to add that its activities have added
to the confidence of the Rourkela
population, against unethical business practices.
- Remedial action
against short filling of LPG in
cooking gas refills; of the 184 LPG Bottling
Plants, of the three Oil Marketing Companies
(IOC, BP & HP), only 4 remain to be automated.
Even these will be modernised within
the next financial year 2013-14).
The quantified loss of nearly Rs. 750 crores per
year to the consumers across the country has
been taken care by this upgradation. Thanks
to the Council's Original Petition initiatied
in 2001, before the National Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
- Won an important
case against the Rourkela Development
Authority and secured financial relief for
a group of individuals, against violation of
Plan & Specifications in the construction
of the houses and delay in handing over
- Obtained a
separate District Forum for
Rourkela, though it is not the district headquarters,
which otherwise necessitated the
entire Rourkela population to approach
the Forum, situated at Sundergarh, a place 100
of Dhanbad-Alleppey Express
train through Chennai Central;
against non transferring of excise duty
concessions (to the consumers) extended
by the union government to the industry;
- Better upkeep
of the railway coaches of
Utkal Kalinga Express and other trains;
AC Chair Car in Ispat Express;
- Refunding of
booking advance by M/s APSL
and M/s LML; and many more.
The fifth Voluntary Consumer Organisation
in the country to have set up a
Consumer Information Centre,
with the support of Ministry
of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution,
Govt. of India. Has earned a niche for
creating consumer awareness
and handling of individual
as well as group/class grievances.
It is bringing out an English monthly
to educate the consumers. It is represented
in various Advisory bodies.
An Aware Consumer is
an Asset to the Nation
Through this site effort will
be made to disseminate all relevant
information and answers to many of the
queries which are frequently asked.
Knowledge is power and ignorance is the root
cause of all exploitation. As a consumer,
we hope you will find the site quite useful.
Since ours is a voluntary organisation with meagre
resources we have designed the site on our own
and are sure there will be lot of scope to improve.
As such we invite the public and the visitors to this
site to communicate their valuable feedback, so
that we may improve the contents of this site.
Lots & Lots
of information in store
for you to tap, in the Information Section.
Why wait to click on Information.
If you are keen
to support the Council, you may send in
your donations through
crossed Cheques/Demand Drafts, drawn
in favour of "Consumer Protection Council,
Rourkela". All donations to the Council
are exempted under sec. 80G of the Income Tax
Act. The Council is also registered under
the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act).