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Report No. 105

Quality Control and Inspection of Consumer Goods

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1. Consumer protection, of late, is increasingly receiving attention both, in the Press and Government in our country. It appears that the Government of India have set up Consumer Protection Council of India under the Chairmanship of the Minister in the Ministry of Civil Supplies.1 Addressing the first meeting of the Consumer Protection Council in New Delhi, the Minister appears to have referred to the increasing sophistication of manufacturing processes and with the tremendous expansion of markets, the control of the consumer in the modern economic structure left him a prey to innumerable disadvantages. It would appear that the Delhi Administration have decided to set up a technical laboratory where foodstuffs and other consumable goods purchased by the consumers could be tested about their quality.

1. Financial Express (27-11-1983).

1.2. A letter,2 inter alia, stating that representations had been received pointing out that difficulties are experienced by persons who had purchased defective electrical goods and thereafter found themselves helpless; has been received in the Commission. The Correspondent suggested that the Law Commission may consider the advisability of recommending the amendments to the law on the lines of the U.K. Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act, 1973 and the Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1977. But there is no reference to the Law Commission from the Government on the subject. However, as the question of consumer protection is engaging the attention of the Government as well as the public and in view of its importance, the Law Commission has taken up the subject for consideration.

1. Law Commission File No. F.2(1)/84-L.C., S. No. 2.

1.3. We may at this juncture state that the question of amending the Indian Contract Act to provide relief against unfair terms in standard forms of contracts, on the model of U.K. Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1977, has been the subject-matter of a separate report1. In this report, it is proposed to go into the question as to how best to safeguard consumer interests in respect of purchase of costly electrical gadgets etc. without the consumer being driven to initiate costly and, possibly, long drawn out litigation.

1. 103rd Report of the Law Commission.



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