National Seminar on Legal Protection of Consumers in A Global Economy - Recent Approaches and the Way Forward
Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi in Collaboration with the Centre for Consumer Studies, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi is organizing a National Seminar on Legal Protection of Consumers in A Global Economy - Recent Approaches and the way forward.
Date: 29th - 30th March, 2014
Venue: Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
John. F. Kennedy once said "Consumers by definition include us all. They are the largest economic group affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are only important group.... whose views are often not heard." This declaration eventually leads to the international recognition of the fact that all citizens regardless of their income or social standing have basic rights as a consumer.
In India, the consumer movement is as old as trade and commerce. Now as a result of integration between the domestic and international market there is a change in the landscape of consumer behavior in terms of products, services, taste and preferences and this may further be strengthened by FDI in retail sector as it has already been cleared by both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Consumer has always remained as a game changer for economic activities and therefore treated as the king in changing business scenario. But in reality, he is the victim of unscrupulous and exploitative practices such as misleading advertisements, selling of defective goods, deficient services by the service providers, hidden costs of the products, food adulteration and many more.
Therefore, the consumer needs awareness and protection and this can only be ensured by effective implementation of the existing legislation and enactment of new legislation if required. Further, evaluation of current issues and identification of future challenges is also necessary. So that there can be a planned and strategic approach.
The globalization, liberalization and advent of the e-commerce have made the world a single marketplace. E-Commerce, which has the ability to transcend boarders, establishes virtual residence of consumers of products and services at any place in the world. This in turn has raised the issues relating to fraud and deception, privacy, security and the jurisdiction in the cyberspace. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) not only protects the original and creative capacity of the owners of IPR who supplies goods and services, but it is also concern with the interest of the consumer of those goods and services directly or indirectly especially in the areas of trademarks and geographical indications which protects the consumers in buying quality products and protect them from use of substandard product which may cause health and safety hazards.
Thus the proper protection and enforcement of IPR are important aspects of consumer protection. As a result of globalization and liberalization the rural market of India has become one of the largest potential markets in the world. Thus, there is a vast opportunity for rural marketing. But it has been observed that the exploitation of consumers is even more severe in the rural areas as the rural consumers are illiterate and ignorant of their rights. This aspect of consumer protection needs to be highlighted.
Adulteration of food substances which are injurious to health, lowering the quality and standard of food substances by removing the nutritious elements and false and misleading advertisements in the print and electronic media etc. are the other menaces against the consumers which require serious deliberations.
Consumers are also needed to be protected from dishonest service providers in field of telecom, banking, insurance, electricity, medical and education etc.
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the key legislation to protect the interest of the consumers, provides for the establishment of the consumer council and consumer forums for the settlement of consumer disputes. The said Act has been amended in the years 1991, 1993 and 2002 to make the provisions more effective. Although the consumer dispute redressal agencies have served the purpose of the said Act to some extent, but in many cases the disposal has not been as quick as expected due to various constraints. Several shortcomings are being noticed while implementing this Act.
With a view to widening and amplifying the provisions of the said Act, to facilitate faster disposal of cases and to rationalize the qualification and selection of the president and members of the National Commission, State Commission and the District Forum, it has been felt necessary to amend this Act. The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2011 inter alia makes the following provisions namely:
- inserting the expression "unfair contract";
- extending the jurisdiction of a District Forum to any other district; and
- making of a complaint in electronic form also to the district forum etc. The Bill needs to be discussed and examined before it becomes a law.
Apart from the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, a number of consumer protection legislation are being enacted by the parliament from time to time to protect the consumers from various types of unfair, unethical and restrictive trade practices. These include Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Legal Metrology Act, 2009, Drugs and Cosmetic Act, 1940, Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 etc. Whether this legislation achieved their desired goal is an aspect which needs to be examined.
- Legal Protection of Consumers: National and International Perspective
- Globalization, Indian Market and the Consumers
- E-commerce and Consumer Protection in Online Medium
- Intellectual Property Rights and Consumer Protection
- Legal Protection of Rural Consumers
- Consumer Protection Legislations and the Problems of their Implementation
- Food Safety and Standard
- False and Misleading Advertisements
- Consumer Protection and the Service Sectors Including Telecom, Banking, Insurance, Electricity, Medical and Education etc.
- Media and the Consumer
- Consumer Awareness, Education and the Role of NGOs
- Consumer Protection Act, 1986/Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2011
Above identified issues/sub-themes are only illustrative. Participants may select the related topics covered under the main theme.
- Up to March 20, 2014: A nominal fee of Rs.800/- is fixed for all delegates (Accompanying Guest - Rs. 600/-).
- After March 20, 2014: Rs. 1200/- for all delegates (Accompanying Guest - Rs. 1000/-).
Payment may be made by cheque or Demand Draft in favour of "NS Law School BHU" payable at Varanasi.
Call for Papers:
Research Papers/Articles and Case Studies from academicians, research scholars and students are invited for presentation in the National Seminar subject to selection by Academic Program Committee.
- Communication of acceptance will be sent to selected authors for presentation.
- Only participants present in the seminar premises will be issued their certificates.
- Co-authorship is allowed but it is limited to two co-authors. Each co-author is required to register and pay the registration fees individually.
Text paper should be written in hard as well as soft (in MS Word, Font: Times New Roman, 12 Font size, 1.5 line spacing & in 02 copies). The abstract (in maximum two hundred words) must reach Organizing Secretary, National Seminar On "Legal Protection of Consumers in a Global Economy- Recent Approaches and the Way Forward", Faculty of Law, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi - 221005 latest by 28th February, 2014. The full paper must be submitted latest by 15th March, 2014. The abstract and the full paper must be sent through E-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty of Law will arrange accommodation for the delegates on first come first serve basis subject to availability of rooms.
Dr. Manoj Kumar Padhy
Faculty of Law, BHU, Varanasi - 05
Phone: +91-9450545319, +91-9794949608, +91-9450285612 +91-542-2369018
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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