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Consumer protection is a form of social action which is designed to attain the well-being of the society namely consumers. A consumer is said to be a king in a free market economy. The earlier approach of caveat emptor, which means “Let the buyer beware,’’ has now been changed to caveat venditor (“Let the seller beware”). However, with growing competition, manufacturers and service providers may be tempted to engage in unscrupulous, exploitative and unfair trade practices like defective and unsafe products, adulteration, false and misleading advertising, hoarding, black-marketing etc in an attempt to expand their market share in a competitive environment. As a consequence, consumers may have to buy unsafe products, may have to suffer from various health disorders, due to adulteration; may have to pay higher price due to hoarding and have to get duped by misleading advertisement. In this situation there is a need to provide adequate protection to consumers against all such malpractices of sellers/vendors.
Both voluntary measures and law serve as tools to protect consumer’s interest. Self-regulation, Consumer Associations, Alert consumer, and State Support are some of the means of consumer protection. Individual consumer is considered more vulnerable, in the modern world, to exploitation and harassment by the manufacturers and distributors or sellers because of environmental complexities of business operations, technological changes, application of mass production techniques, vast resources, man-power and acrimonious advertising, Hence it is necessary to protect and promote the consumer interest. Satisfaction and well being of the consumer should be the main objective of all business units. In real practice, consumer is not protected or safeguarded but, consumer is cheated and looted. Thus, there is a need for consumer movement to safeguard their interest.
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