Protection of consumers under The Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009: A myth or reality?

- Fabliha Afia

consumer-rights

Published On - December 13, 2018 [Vol. 09, Jul - Dec, 2018]

Abstract This article contains a critical evaluation of The Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009. The focus is on the evaluation of adequate protection of consumer rights under the enactment.

This issue will be analysed by drawing comparison with the Indian law – Consumer Protection Act 1986, UK law – Consumer Rights Act 2015; and other relevant international instruments, in particular the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection. These three sources are chosen for comparison because of having the significance of persuasive authority in Bangladesh.

Through this comparative analysis, the aim is to identify shortcomings in the 2009 Act. In this study, it will be reflected that the Act has many loopholes and this hinders adequate protection of consumer rights consequently. Thus, the article also aims to suggest amendments for an effective consumer protection law in Bangladesh.

1. Introduction

The Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009 (CRPA) was enacted to better safeguard the consumer rights. The enactment and implementation of the law has been considered commendable in terms of protecting the consumer rights. However, experts have also expressed their concerns about significant weaknesses in the Act. It has been argued that this law itself is not much consumer oriented. [1] Many consumer rights activists and lawyers demanded that the Government amend this Act as soon as it was enacted. [2]

2. Criticisms

Some of the major drawbacks will be highlighted below.

2.1. Unawareness

One of the pioneer criticisms against CRPA is that of unawareness. Very few people in Bangladesh are aware about the Consumer Rights Protection Act 2009 which has mandated an entire directorate with the task of protecting consumer rights in Bangladesh.[3]

The severe lack of awareness of consumer rights can be obtained from the fact that from 2009 to 2015, i.e. within the period of six years only 794 complaints were filed to the Directorate of National Consumers’ Right Protection (DNCRP)[4] by consumers. [5]

To counter this drawback, in 2016, DNCRP launched a social awareness initiative. The officials opened a Facebook page to disseminate information about the law, rules of filing complaints online and offline, and verdicts of resolved cases. [6] This project has indeed improved the accessibility and awareness of consumer rights. In 2017, DNCRP has received over 6000 complaints till August, which is a change from previous years. [7]

However, social media such as Facebook is still not an accessible concept to the larger population. Approximately 67 million people in Bangladesh have access to internet through telecom operators;[8] whereas the total population is around 165 million.[9]  In this light, the attempt of raising awareness through Facebook can still be considered inadequate. TV, Radio and newspapers are more popular social mediums in the country according to a survey by BBC.[10] However so far, only a few cases resolved by DNCRP have been reported in the local newspapers. People at large are still very much unaware of the existence and functions of DNCRP. [11] Thus, considering the entire population of 165 million[12] in Bangladesh, the ratio of awareness cited by DNCRP is still insignificant.

Thus, in order to create greater awareness it is necessary to hold regular conferences, seminars, meetings and publish advertisements, news through mass media.[13]

2.2. Time constraint

Another drawback of the Act is that the time for lodging a complaint is only 30 days.[14] However, in India, the time limit for filing a complaint is two years.[15]

Ghulam Rahman, President of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB)[16] has argued that Bangladeshi consumers have limited, if any, knowledge of the law and the procedure of filing a complaint.[17]  In consideration of the issue of unawareness as discussed above, 30 days time limit might easily lapse and this would prevent the access to justice. In view of such analysis, the time limit for filing a complaint thus should be extended.[18]

2.3. Criminal case cannot be filed directly

Another restriction of the 2009 Act is s.71(1) which states that a consumer cannot file a case directly before the Magistrates court to initiate a criminal proceeding.[19] All cases under this law have to be filed to the Director General or any officer empowered by him or a District Magistrate or any Executive Magistrate empowered by the District Magistrate.[20] (Section 71(2) of CRPA 2009).

Eminent jurist Dr. Shahdeen Malik on this notion has argued that the most significant drawback of CRPA.[21]

However, Shafiqul Islam Laskar, the Director General of DNCRP in an interview has defended the position by stating that if requirement arises, the case will be forwarded to the court of judicial Magistrate on priority basis.[22] However, it should be noted that if DNCRP fails to file that case before the court of the judicial Magistrate within 90 days of the complaint being made, then the complaint will be time barred.[23] Thus, time limitation may also prove to be a mitigating factor. Thus, the question of access to justice remains and as such the legal provision requires a revision.

2.4. Limitation regarding adulterated or fake medicine

Another major criticism of the law is that it does not permit the DNCRP to file a case against adulterated or fake medicine, although DNCRP has the power and responsibility to investigate and discover adulteration or fake medicines. In such situations, case will be filed under s.25C of the Special Powers Act 1974.[24] By comparison, in India no such limitation is included in their Act. S. 1(4) states that, the Act applies to all goods and services.[25] Thus, the restriction imposed in the 2009 Act makes the process complex and may deter affordable and quick access to justice in such situations. Thus, the limitation is questionable and should be reviewed.

2.5. Limitation regarding private health care service

Similar to the above provision, under the CRPA 2009, DNCRP can inspect and detect defects in private health care service but cannot take any remedial measures against them. DNCRP can only inform the matter to the Secretary of Ministry of Health and Director General of Department of Health.[26] This limitation makes the process complex and may also give rise to criticisms of lack of transparency of procedure and restriction of access to justice. In India, no such limitation is included in their Act.[27] Thus, this restrictive provision in the 2009 Act should also be reviewed in light of ensuring effective consumer protection.

2.6. Limited jurisdiction

Another limitation of CRPA 2009 is that the DNCRP has the jurisdiction to entertain complaints when the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed does not exceed 200,000 BDT.[28] However, in India under the Consumer Protection Act 1986, three quasi-judicial bodies exist to hear complaints of violation of consumer rights. First, the District Forum has the jurisdiction to hear complaints when the value of the goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed does not exceed rupees twenty lakhs.[29] Their State Commission has the jurisdiction from twenty lakhs to one crore rupees[30] and the National Commission has the jurisdiction to hear complaints which exceeds rupees one crore.[31]

Greater jurisdiction means the quasi-judicial body can hear more complaints thus ensuring better and wider protection. This mechanism also reduces burden from the court and provides consumers with quick affordable access to justice. The comparison as such reflects the limited ambit of DNCRP to redress complaints. Such limitation confines the objective of affordable access to justice. Thus it is of paramount importance to elaborate the jurisdiction of DNCRP.

2.7. Narrow definition of anti-consumer right practice

Another drawback of the Act is the limited scope of application. The CRPA has defined 12 conducts to be anti-consumer.[32] However, the definition is narrow in scope. For example, the section does not include any provision for restrictive trade practice. It also did not include many aspect of unfair trade practice, such as false representation of goods and service, false representation of warranty and guarantee, etc to be anti-consumer. There is also a lack of provision for maintenance of quality of all goods and service. [33]

By contrast, S. 2(c)(i)[34] of the Indian Consumer Protection Act 1986 states that complaint (of anti consumer activity) includes unfair trade practice[35] or a restrictive trade practice. [36] Thus, the Indian Act has defined the rights of a consumer broadly. And the elaborate scope ensures better protection of consumers.

As for the quality aspect, s.2(20)(b) of CRPA states that it is an anti-consumer act to sell or offer to sell adulterated goods or medicine knowingly.[37] The definition of adulteration is however limited to food, medicine, hair oil, body soap or other cosmetic.[38] Further, there is no requirement to maintain quality of service within the Act. Thus, the ambit of protection for violation of quality is narrow.

By contrast, Consumer Protection Act 1986 of India has made provisions about quality for ‘all’ goods[39] and service. [40]
Thus, from this analysis it can be seen that while the CRPA 2009 provides some protection, but from the above comparison it becomes apparent that further provisions can be included to offer better protection to the consumers.

2.8. Narrow definition of service

The ambit of protection of rights to service covered under the 2009 Act is also questionable. Service has been defined in the Act to include “transport, telecommunication, water supply, drainage, fuel, gas, electricity, construction, residential hotel and restaurant and health services, which is made available to its users in exchange of price but does not include the services rendered free of cost.”[41]

By contrast, the Indian legislation has defined service to include “service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service.”[42]

This comparison illustrates the narrow definition of service in the CRPA. The definition missed common areas of service such as, banking, financing, insurance, processing, housing, entertainment, amusement, purveying of news or other information, etc. Thus, the scope of service should also be expanded to ensure better protection of consumers.

2.9. Limitation on technical capacity

Another vital flaw of DNCRP is their lack of technical capacity to investigate quality. In an interview, the Directorate of DNCRP stated that their investigation is conducted on the observation of physical appearance, for example the expiry date printed on packaging or damaged condition resulting from faulty storage facility. In case of further investigation, reliance is made upon relevant organisations like Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) or Department of Health.[43]

However, BSTI[44] itself has limited technical capacity. There are hundreds of food items in the market but BSTI has the ability to test only 58 types of food products.[45] BSTI also do not have an independent research facility to determine the shelf life of food items. The organisation just looks into the ingredients and the weights declared by producers, and verify if it matches with the product. The body relies on the manufacturers for the information of expiry date. However, the information of expiry date provided by the manufacturers could be faulty. [46] This deficiency leaves room for violation of consumer rights by the production of poor quality goods. Thus, BSTI’s technical capacity to test local and foreign consumer products should be expanded.

2.9.1 Other commodities

Along with food, the technical surveillance of safety for all other consumer products is also important. A study by an NGO, the Environment and Social Development Organisation has found that 97% of toys surveyed in the market contained high concentrations of Lead, Bromine, Cadmium, and Chromium. Exposure to high concentration of these metals can be a serious health hazard to children.[47] CRPA does not impose a requirement for the technical monitoring to ensure safety standard for toys and other products by BSTI.[48] This leaves the consumers’ vulnerable. Thus, a reform is required.

2.10. Hearing procedure

Another criticism of the Act is the lack of provision of procedural steps which is to be followed by DNCRP on receipt of complaint.

By comparison the Indian legislation clearly defined the procedure which is to be followed by the quasi-judicial body. [49] The Indian Act has included step by step details of the hearing procedure to be followed by the quasi-judicial body. The procedure has distinguished between complaints of goods and service. The Act has also given the quasi-judicial body the recognition of a civil court during such hearings. Such elaborate description brings transparency and understanding of the system. Thus, such an inclusion of procedural steps and recognition of DNCRP with the powers of a civil court (for the procedural purpose), in the CRPA 2009 is necessary to establish fairness, understanding and transparency of procedure.

2.11. Limited remedy

There is also room for expanding the administrative remedies available to the Directorate of DNCRP. Under CRPA, the DNCRP can only impose fine if the consumer’s complaint is proved during hearing.[50] The maximum fine that can be imposed is 200,000 BDT[51] and the consumer is entitled to 25% of the realized fine.[52]

However, in India, their District Forum has the power to grant damages as well as specific performances, such as, replacement of goods with new goods of similar description which will be free from defect, return of price to the complainant, payment of compensation for loss or injury, removal of deficiency from service, provision of adequate cost to the parties, etc.[53]

Availability of specific performance along with damage elaborates the scope of remedy and provides better protection to consumers by meeting the particular need in the circumstance. In this light, the remedial power of the Director General should be elaborated to better safeguard the consumers need.[54]

2.12. Fragmented law

Another formidable problem in the area of consumer protection is that the law is scattered.[55] S.3 of CRPA 2009 states that the Act should be regarded as an addition to the existing consumer laws.[56]

Other key legislations in the area are:

The Sale of Goods Act 1930: The Act defines the law relating to sale of goods. It contains provisions for formation of contract, condition and warranties, transfer of property, transfer of title, rights and duties of buyers and sellers, right of unpaid sellers against the goods, remedy, exclusion clause, etc.[57]

The Control of Essential Commodities Act 1956: The Act provide for powers to control the production, treatment, keeping, storage, movement, transport, supply, distribution, disposal, acquisition, use or consumption of, and trade and commerce in, certain commodities within Bangladesh by imposing requirement of a license and permit.[58]

The Food (Special Courts) Act 1956: The Act states that Special Magistrates will speedily try cases brought under The Control of Essential Commodities Act 1956.[59]

The Special Powers Act 1974: The Act provides power to impose severe penalties for adulteration of foods, drinks, drugs or cosmetics; false advertisement; black-marketing; smuggling; etc by Special Tribunals.[60]

The Foodgrains (Prevention of Prejudicial Activity) Supply Ordinance 1979: The Ordinance provide for special measures for prevention of prejudicial activity relating to the storage, movement, transhipment, supply and distribution of foodgrains.[61]

 The Seeds Ordinance 1977: The ordinance regulates the quality of certain seeds for sale.[62]

 The Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Ordinance 1983: The Ordinance provides for inspection and quality control of fish and fish products.[63]

The Drug (Control) Ordinance 1982: The law states that no drug will be manufactured, imported, distributed or sold without registration with the Drug Control Committee. It is also a requirement under the law to meet the quality standard of the World Health Organization.[64]

The Standards of Weights and Measures Ordinance 1982: The law establishes the standards of weights and measures based on metric system and units of measurement for all matters. It also requires maintenance of accuracy.[65]

The Essential Commodities Act 1957: The Act provides for price control and regulation of trade and commerce between different areas in Bangladesh in respect of certain commodities.[66]

The Tea (Control of Prices, Distribution and Movement) Ordinance 1960: The Ordinance provides for special measures for control of prices, distribution and movement of tea.[67]

The Competition Act 2012: The Act aims to promote, ensure and sustain agreeable atmosphere for the competition in trade, and to prevent, control and eradicate collusion, monopoly and oligopoly, combination or abuse of dominant position or activities adverse to the competition.[68]

As evident from the above, the consumer law is scatted and fragmented in various sources. It is also overlapping at times. The fragmentation restricts the awareness and understanding of the consumers about their rights.[69]

By contrast, in UK the consumer law is mainly contained in the following legislations:

  • Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973[70]
  • Sale of Goods Act 1979[71]
  • Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982[72]
  • Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994[73]
  • Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002[74]
  • Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977[75]
  • Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999[76]
  • Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2001[77]
  • Competition Act 1998[78]
  • Enterprise Act 2002[79]

Consumer Rights Act 2015 has consolidated all the enactments listed above and set the key consumer rights in a single legislation. This harmonises the existing provisions and gives a single approach where appropriate.[80]

Such consolidation eases awareness and accessibility of consumer rights. Thus, similar approach should be taken in Bangladesh, to combine and bring together the key consumer rights under a single legislation, by amending the existing 2009 Act.

2.13. No provision for digital content

Another limitation of CRPA is that it does not include provision for digital content.

By contrast, UK has made an elaborate provision for Digital content in their newly enacted Consumer Rights Act 2015.[81] Digital content means data which are produced and supplied in digital form.[82]  Examples of digital content are software, games, apps, ringtones, e-books, online journals and digital media such as music, film and television. Digital content may be supplied in tangible form (for example on a disk), or in intangible form such as downloaded, streamed, or accessed on the web.[83]

Consumption of digital content is huge and is growing every day. In this light, reform of the 2009 Act is required to meet the digital age. Elaborate provision for digital content is required to be included, to bring clarity and better safeguard the rights of consumers.

2.14. High price

The criticism of unethical price and soaring price of goods and service is another drawback that the Act did not address. High price is a common problem, a topic which is regularly featured in the newspapers.[84] This is because the price of goods and service do not meet the consumer perceived value.[85] The CRPA 2009 has no provision to monitor the mechanism for fixing the price rates on consumer goods and services.[86]

The United Nations created an international guideline for consumer protection, to be followed by countries. [87] One of the objectives set out in the guideline is to promote and protect the economic interests of the consumers.[88] In the guideline it has also been mentioned that Governments should encourage fair and effective competition in order to provide consumers with the greatest range of choice among products and services at the ‘lowest cost’.[89] Further, it mentions that if the standard of a product or service is lower than the generally accepted international standard, every effort should be made to raise that standard as soon as possible.[90] Thus, the guideline elaborates that monitoring the economic price, falls within consumer protection. The Indian enactment has made such provision of price monitoring available. S.6(c) states that an objective of the Central Council is to verify the goods and services and assure a competitive price.[91]

Consumer protection is a large area, covering diverse issues. The aim of consumer protection is to protect consumers from unfair dealings which might occur if the market is unregulated.[92] In this light, the UN guidelines should be adopted.[93]  Provisions should be included in the present law to regulate and monitor the mechanisms whereby prices and rates are fixed on the consumer goods and services. Provisions should also be included to maintain the competitive structure of the market – to ensure adequate protection of consumers.

2.15. Right to sustainable development

Another limitation of CRPA 2009 is that it does not include any provision about the right to sustainable development.[94] Environment is important in the sustainability of life.[95] The areas of consumption and environment are inextricably linked. This is due to the fact that consumption is based on the use of resources.[96]

The UN guideline on consumer protection has put great emphasis on sustainable development. Sustainable development means production and consumption which is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable; so as to meet the needs of present and future generations for goods and services.[97] The UN through the guideline imposed a duty on all countries to promote sustainable consumption patterns.[98]

Environment is in fact important in the sustainability of life. The awareness of the need to maintain a healthy environment is growing every day. [99] To meet this growing demand, the UN guidelines should be adopted[100] and the law should be amended to include sustainable development as a consumer right.

3. Primary study

A primary field study conducted by Md. Abul Kalam Azad reveals that, the consumers of Bangladesh are not satisfied with the existing consumer laws and ordinance in the country. 100 people from different working sectors took part in the study. According to them, the main reasons for the dissatisfaction are: inadequacy of law (83%), lack of implementation (73%), complexity (72%), backward economic situation (69%), conventional (65%) and lack of awareness (59%).[101]

As a result, the participants have opined that the main problems being faced by consumers are adulteration, high price, deceptive advertising, deceptive packaging and branding, false information about products and service, shortage in weights and measures, false date, imitation, undue advantage, fake products, black marketing, hoarding, etc.[102]

4. Conclusion

In conclusion it can be said that, Bangladesh has adopted many consumer rights related legislations and legal instruments from time to time, to protect the interest of consumers. To further provide better protection and easier access to justice, Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009 was enacted. Although the new enactment in the area has brought positive changes but the state of this consumer protection legislation and practice is still lagging. Although Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009 was enacted to ensure adequate consumer protection but the legal framework has significant loopholes as discussed above. As such, adequate protection of consumer rights in the long run is questionable.

Nevertheless, the fact that many important laws were adopted by the State, gives a ray of hope. The Government’s continuing good intentions may be the real key to a better consumer protection practice in Bangladesh. In this light, the following amendment of CRPA 2009 is necessary to provide adequate consumer protection:

1. The definition of anti-consumer practice should be amended to include:

i. restrictive trade practice

ii. unfair trade practice

iii. maintenance of quality of all goods

iv. maintenance of quality of all services

2. Definition of service should be amended to include banking, financing, insurance, processing, housing, entertainment, amusement, purveying of news or other information, etc.

3. The time limit for initiating a complaint should be extended to 2 years.

4. Restriction on direct filing of criminal case should be removed.

5. DNCRP should be allowed to impose penalty in case of adulterated or fake medicine.

6. DNCRP should be allowed to impose penalty on private health care service in case of anti-consumer conduct.

7. DNCRP’s jurisdiction should be increased to above one crore BDT.

8. BSTI’s technical capacity should be expanded to all products.

9. DNCRP’s complaint hearing procedure should be included in the Act.

10. The administrative remedy available to DNCRP should be elaborated.

11. All the major consumer rights related enactments should be consolidated and included in a single instrument.

12. Provision for digital content should be included in the Act.

13. Price fixing and market monitoring mechanism should be included in the Act.

14. Right to a sustainable development should be included as a consumer right in the Act.

[1] Shakhawat Shamim, ‘Urge to amend Consumer Rights Protection Act’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 15 March 2016) <http://www.thedailystar.net/law-our-rights/urge-amend-consumer-rights-protection-act-791173> Accessed 14 October 2017

[2]Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, ‘Putting Consumers Last’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 31 March 2017) <http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/putting-consumers-last-1383844> Accessed 14 October 2017

[3] ibid.

[4] DNCRP is a quasi-judicial body with investigatory, hearing and remedial powers. Complaints of anti-consumer activity can be directly made to this body.

[5] Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, ‘Putting Consumers Last’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 31 March 2017) <http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/putting-consumers-last-1383844> Accessed 14 October 2017

[6] ibid.

[7]Afrose Jahan Chaity, ‘Restaurant fined Tk5,000 for cheating on the price of bottled water’ Dhaka Tribune (Dhaka, 06 August 2017) <http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/dhaka/2017/08/06/restaurant-fined-tk5000-cheating-price-bottled-water/> Accessed 11 October 2017

[8] BBC News, ‘Bangladesh profile – Media’ BBC (South Asia, 24 October 2017) <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12650946> Accessed 25 October 2017

[9] Population of Bangladesh <http://countrymeters.info/en/Bangladesh> Accessed 25 October 2017

[10] BBC News, ‘Bangladesh profile – Media’ BBC (South Asia, 24 October 2017) <http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12650946> Accessed 25 October 2017

[11]Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, ‘Putting Consumers Last’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 31 March 2017) <http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/putting-consumers-last-1383844> Accessed 25 October 2017

[12] Population of Bangladesh <http://countrymeters.info/en/Bangladesh> Accessed 25 October 2017

[13] Ahamuduzzaman & Syeda Shamsia Husain, Consumer Protection Law (2nd edn, Law Book Company 2011) 195

[14] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.60

[15] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.24A

[16] Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) <http://www.consumerbd.org/central-executive-committee/> Accessed 15 October 2017

[17] Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, ‘Putting Consumers Last’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 31 March 2017) <http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/putting-consumers-last-1383844> Accessed 15 October 2017

[18] Shakhawat Shamim, ‘Urge to amend Consumer Rights Protection Act’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 15 March 2016) <http://www.thedailystar.net/law-our-rights/urge-amend-consumer-rights-protection-act-791173> Accessed 15 October 2017

[19] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.71(1)

[20] ibid. s.71(2)

[21] Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, ‘Putting Consumers Last’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 31 March 2017)  <http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/putting-consumers-last-1383844> Accessed 15 October 2017

[22] ibid.

[23] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.61

[24] ibid. s.72

[25] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.1(4)

[26] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.73

[27] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.1(4)

[28] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, Chapter IV

[29] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.11(1)

[30] ibid. s.17

[31] ibid. s.21

[32] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.2(20)

[33] ibid.

[34] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.2(c)(i) <http://www.wipo.int/edocs/lexdocs/laws/en/in/in076en.pdf> Accessed 10 October 2017

[35] ibid. s.2(r)(1)

[36] ibid. s.2(nn)

[37] ibid. s.2(20)(b)

[38] ibid. s.2(18); Pure Food Ordinance 1959, s.3(1); Special Powers Act 1974, s.25C

[39] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.2(c)(ii)

[40] ibid. s.2(c)(iii)

[41] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.22

[42] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.2(o)

[43] Md Shahnawaz Khan Chandan, ‘Putting Consumers Last’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 31 March 2017)  <http://www.thedailystar.net/star-weekend/spotlight/putting-consumers-last-1383844> Accessed 17 October 2017

[44] Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) is a public body for standardization, testing, metrology, quality control, grading and marking of goods. See. Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) <http://bsti.portal.gov.bd/>; The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution Ordinance 1985 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=689> Accessed 18 October 2017

[45] Ashif Islam Shaon, ‘How reliable are expiration dates?’ Dhaka Tribune (Dhaka, 16 October 2017) <http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2017/10/16/reliable-expiration-dates-goods-buy/> Accessed 16 October 2017

[46] ibid.

[47] Dhaka Tribune Editorial, ‘Toughen consumer safety laws’ Dhaka Tribune (Dhaka, 14 August 2014) <http://www.dhakatribune.com/opinion/editorial/2014/08/14/toughen-consumer-safety-laws/> Accessed 16 October 2017

[48] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009, s.2(18)

[49] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.13

[50] Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009, s.76

[51] ibid. Chapter IV

[52] ibid. s.76

[53] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.14

[54] Shakhawat Shamim, ‘Urge to amend Consumer Rights Protection Act’ The Daily Star (Dhaka, 15 March 2016) <http://www.thedailystar.net/law-our-rights/urge-amend-consumer-rights-protection-act-791173> Accessed 18 October 2017

[55] Mizanur Rahman, ‘Consumer Protection in Bangladesh: Law and Practice’ (1994) Journal of Consumer Policy, 349

[56] Consumers’ Right Protection Act 2009, s.3

[57] The Sale of Goods Act 1930 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=150> Accessed 19 October 2017

[58] The Control of Essential Commodities Act 1956 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=262> Accessed 19 October 2017

[59] The Food (Special Courts) Act 1956 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=265> Accessed 19 October 2017

[60] The Special Powers Act 1974, ss.25, 25B, 25C, 26 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=462> Accessed 19 October 2017

[61] The Foodgrains (Prevention of Prejudicial Activity) Supply Ordinance 1979 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=594> Accessed 20 October 2017

[62] The Seeds Ordinance 1977 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=551> Accessed 20 October 2017

[63] The Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Ordinance 1983 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=640> Accessed 20 October 2017

[64] The Drug (Control) Ordinance 1982 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=623> Accessed 20 October 2017

[65] The Standards of Weights and Measures Ordinance 1982 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=624> Accessed 21 October 2017

[66] The Essential Commodities Act 1957 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?id=267> Accessed 21 October 2017

[67] The Tea (Control of Prices, Distribution and Movement) Ordinance 1960 <http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/pdf_part.php?act_name=&vol=&id=300> Accessed 22 October 2017

[68] The Competition Act 2012 <http://www.dpp.gov.bd/upload_file/gazettes/20533_10683.pdf> Accessed 22 October 2017

[69] Md. Abul Kalam Azad ‘Development of Consumer Protection Law in Bangladesh: An Empirical Study’ (2013) Journal of Business Studies, Vol. XXXIV, No.1, 13

[70] Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/13/contents> Accessed 22 October 2017

[71] Sale of Goods Act 1979 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/54> Accessed 22 October 2017

[72] Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1982/29> Accessed 22 October 2017

[73] Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/35/contents> Accessed 22 October 2017

[74] Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/3045/contents/made> Accessed 22 October 2017

[75] Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1977/50> Accessed 22 October 2017

[76] Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2083/contents/made> Accessed 23 October 2017

[77] Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts (Amendment) Regulations 2001 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2001/1186/contents/made> Accessed 23 October 2017

[78] Competition Act 1998 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/41/contents> Accessed 23 October 2017

[79] Enterprise Act 2002 <https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/40/contents> Accessed 23 October 2017

[80]  Explanatory notes on Consumer Rights Act 2015 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/notes> Accessed 23 October 2017

[81] Consumer Rights Act 2015, Chapter 3

[82] ibid. s.2(9)

[83] Explanatory notes on Consumer Rights Act 2015 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/notes> Accessed 23 October 2017

[84] Muhammad Zamir, ‘What you eat during Ramadan’ Dhaka Tribune (Dhaka, 17 June 2017) <http://www.dhakatribune.com/opinion/op-ed/2017/06/17/what-you-eat-during-ramadan/> Accessed 23 October 2017 ; Asif Showkat Kallol ‘Awareness is the first step towards consumer rights’ Dhaka Tribune (Dhaka, 14 March 2016) <http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/03/14/awareness-is-the-first-step-towards-consumer-rights/> Accessed 23 October 2017

[85] Ahamuduzzaman & Syeda Shamsia Husain, Consumer Protection Law (2nd edn, Law Book Company 2011) 27-28

[86] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009

[87] United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (as expanded in 1999), New York 2003 <http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/consumption_en.pdf>  Accessed 24 October 2017

[88] ibid. Objective No. 3(b)

[89] ibid. Objective No. 19

[90] ibid. Objective No. 29

[91] Consumer Protection Act 1986, s.6(c)

[92] Ahamuduzzaman & Syeda Shamsia Husain, Consumer Protection Law (2nd edn, Law Book Company 2011) 30-31

[93] United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (as expanded in 1999), New York 2003, Objective No. 7

[94] The Consumers’ Rights Protection Act 2009

[95] UN Environment <http://www.unep.org/> Accessed 25 October 2017

[96] Christophe Verdure ‘Environment Law and Consumer Protection’ (2012) Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 24, Issue 1, 175–178

[97] United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (as expanded in 1999), New York 2003, Objective No. 42

[98] ibid. Objective No. 4

[99] UN Environment <http://www.unep.org/> Accessed 25 October 2017

[100] United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection (as expanded in 1999), New York 2003, Objective No. 7

[101] Md. Abul Kalam Azad ‘Development of Consumer Protection Law in Bangladesh: An Empirical Study’ (2013) Journal of Business Studies, Vol. XXXIV, No.1, 18 – 26

[102] ibid.

About The Writer

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Fabliha Afia

Barrister-at-Law

LL.M, University of Derby
LLB , University of London

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