‘Goods once sold will not be taken back or exchanged’ - if any cash memos or bills issued by shopkeepers or traders carry these words, they are liable to face legal action.
Though a government order exist in this regard since 2007, the majority are unaware of it. It is this unawareness that prompted Surendran P A, a consumer activist, to pen a book in this regard. According to the author, the book ‘The Consumer-Ningalude Parathikalum, Parathi Parihara Samvidhanangalum’ is the first of its kind in the country.
“If the consumers were aware of their rights, many disputes could have been settled even without approaching consumer redressal dispute forums. The book is a humble step in this regard,” says Surendran. The books throws light on the Consumer Protection Act-1986, its importance in the current scenario and other highlights of the act.
“The act was formulated to put a tab on unfair trade practices. But, how can a consumer make use of it until he is aware of the fact. My book will present a vivid idea about the act,” he says.
Right from the basic information such as what a ‘complaint’ is to ‘how to file a complaint’ and ‘how to avoid adulterated food’ has been mentioned in the book.
The measures to be taken while buying gold, avoiding unwanted SMS and calls to serious topics such as ‘BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards)’ and TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) and the like have been included in the book. Besides, the book has also successfully delved into the issues concerning all the sectors the consumers deals with. Surendran says this is the only book in the country where a consumer could refer the judgments that has revolutionized the consumer world.
“For instance, it is the efforts of the consumer activists which helped to bring the services of hospitals and its staff under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act. The path-breaking judgment was passed by the Kerala State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.
Though hospital staff across the country vehemently protested against it, the judgment was acknowledged by the National Commission and later by the apex court. Not only this judgment, but several such path-breaking judgments have been mentioned in my book,” Surendran says.
It took him two years to complete the book. According to Surendran, Union Minister Sashi Tharoor has congratulated him on the book and asked him to translate it.
“I have learned that a letter from the Minister’s office was sent to the National Book Trust (NBT) seeking the possibility of translating the book to English,” says Surendran.