As per Section 2(7) of the 2019 Act, consumer is any person who buys goods or avails any service for a consideration and includes any user except for the person who has availed such services or goods for the purpose of resale or commercial use. The explanation to the definition specifically states that the expression “buys any goods” and “hires or avails any services” includes all online transactions conducted through electronic means or direct selling or teleshopping or multi-level marketing. Online transactions is an exclusive feature of this act and added keeping in mind the growing e-commerce business and advancement in technology.
(i) A consumer; or
(ii) Any voluntary consumer association registered under any law for the time being in force; or
(iii) The Central Government or any State Government; or
(iv) The Central Authority; or
(v) One or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interest; or
(vi) In case of death of a consumer, his legal heir or legal representative; or
(vii) In case of a consumer being a minor, his parent or legal guardian;
The term ‘defect’ is defined under Section 2 (10) of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 as “any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under and law for the time being in force or under any contract, express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods or products and the expression ‘defective’ shall be construed accordingly.”
In any buyer-seller relationship, deficiency of service prevails. Such as legal aid, banks, railways, construction, transportation, education, electricity, entertainment, restaurant, hospitality, etc. The consequences of deficiency of service can range from inconvenience or harassment to mental or physical injury to death, thereby leading to legal consequences.
Section 2 (11) of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 defines Deficiency of Service as “Any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service and includes (a) any act of negligence or omission or commission by such person to the consumer and (b) deliberate withholding of relevant information by such person to the consumer.”