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)
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 to ponder.
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 the malady.
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. The GROUNDS
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
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 dismissed
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 rot?
How can the
Supreme Court pass an irrelevant order?
is your right'
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
It will not be an
exaggeration to add that its activities
have added to the confidence
of the Rourkela population, against unethical
- 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 the possession.
- 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 km away;
- Re-routing of
Dhanbad-Alleppey Express train
through Chennai Central;
- Campaigned 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 Advantage Consumer,
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
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