CONSUMER RIGHTS IN BANGLADESH: A CRITICAL STUDY

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

  1. Introduction

Bangladesh as a third word’s country containing huge population comprising largest consumer in comparative with its land. Since the independence of 45 year have been lapsed but consumer rights are yet been formulated in a notable manner in Bangladesh.[1] There is only one significant organization working for consumer rights in Bangladesh namely, Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB).Many developed countries in the world give significant emphasis on consumer rights, consequently they are evaluated the situation in the apex, where in Bangladesh it is exist at a infancy level.  The world’s business environment is changing and growing very fast. Present moods of performing business have been reshaped by stakeholder through various negotiation and pact particularly from (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to World Trade Organization (WTO) regime[2]. The newly emerged global business environment not only changes the system and process but also the way of conducting business and transaction causing consumer deprivation and harassment.

Thus, in developed sense consumer is very much honored. But in Bangladesh we see that consumer is treated negligently. Consumer rights are abused almost every sector in Bangladesh.

  1. Statement of Problem

After gaining independence from Pakistan, the new born Bangladesh had adopted several Pakistan enacted laws as well as British law, besides these a lots of statute have been passed by our great parliament throughout the time. However, the Bangladeshi lawmaker remained silent about the consumer protection law. Consequently, there was no specific law in Bangladesh for a long time on the protection of consumer’s rights. In 2008 the non-party care-taker Government passed an ordinance to formulate a strong legal framework concerning consumer protection in Bangladesh. The present Government has enacted a consumer rights protection Act 2009 on April 06, 2009 without giving approval to the previous ordinance.

Therefore we can see that, the consumer protection Act 2009 is not exhaustive at all. It provides that only competent Government officers are entitled to institute a case against the infringer for violation of consumer right laws. An individual personally aggrieved cannot initiate any legal sue against him except lodging a complaint to the department concerned. No court shall take cognizance if charge sheet is not submitted within 90 days from the date of complaint. Due to these legal drawback consumers are not duly protected. Therefore, these legal flaws are to be removed with a view to enabling the consumers to institute suit in a court of law identifying the violation of law.

Moreover, In Bangladesh there is huge lack of publishing and explaining this law to public in organized way. It is evident that the Bangladeshi people, even not aware enough about their rights due to inadequate seminar, symposium, leafleting, and others awareness programs.

 The Government machineries from implementing point of view are very weak. As the Government machineries do not work smoothly, so non-Government organization should come forward with a program of helping the consumers.

Moreover, the Bangladeshi people witnessed that there is a few political endeavor and program as to the protection of consumers. Even in some cases political postulate the businessman, traders, and industrialists by taking undue subscription that in return create artificial crises in the market and earn unlimited profits at the costs of suffering of the general people.

The helpful news to us that, in our country some of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are working with regard to protection of consumers and they have been campaigning movement for the legal protection of consumers, for some cases giving help in the way of legal aids, advice, & direct movement in the street.

  1. Objective of Research

I have observed the objects for my research as under the following:-

  • To identify the legal problems related the protection of consumer rights.[3]
  • To evaluate the measure for enforcement of consumer rights.
  • To clarify the concept of consumer and consumer protection.
  • to examine the present situations in Bangladesh
  • To examine how Consumer Rights are violated in Bangladesh
  • To examine the present legal mechanism to protect consumer right in Bangladesh[4]
  • To examine the application of the mechanisms in Bangladesh[5]
  • To find out the shortcomings of the mechanisms in Bangladesh[6]
  • To make some recommendations to ensure Consumer rights in Bangladesh.
  1. Research Methodology

Generally, the research would be conducted  on exploratory method. It is a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research.. A logical frame work shall be developed on the basis of various way data analysis such as frequency distribution, causal relationship, factor analysis & others statistical tools of analysis. This study will examine and evaluate the present conditions of the laws and practices in this respect.  In order to give complete shape to the study, a range of research methods would be used:

  1. review of secondary literature and instruments on Consumer Right Protection;
  2. examination of the constitutional guarantees regarding right to Protection of Law and other relevant provisions in the Constitution of Bangladesh;

Analysis of statutory law and case law relating to Consumer Right Protection in Bangladesh;

  1. review of relevant public records, available statistical data and annual reports of various NGOs;
  2. case studies of recent specific incidents relating to the Consumer Right Protection; and
  3. Collection and analysis of relevant data.

Discussion on the conceptual issues will be based on the secondary literature including books, journals, electronic materials, constitutional law, statutory law and case law.

  1. Sources and Materials

The study will be based on both primary and secondary data. The secondary data will be collected from the literature on the topic, Annual Reports of major non-governmental organizations. Moreover, information will be collected from the website of various national and international organizations. The collected data will be classified, analyzed and tabulated according to the different objectives and variables of the study.

On the basis of evaluation some proposals by way of recommendations will be made in the conclusion of each chapter. An overall conclusion will be drawn in the last chapter.

  1. Scope and Limitation

The scope of the study relates to Consumer Rights Protection  in Bangladesh and ranges for a period of ten years i.e., from 2006 to 2016.  This study will not go beyond the said period but it may discuss an issue beyond this period if it seems to be very important or notorious.  The study area is within Bangladesh as because Bangladesh will be convenient for the researcher in collecting information and data, as it is his workplace. It may be noted that this study will specifically focus on consumer, businessman, manufacturer, victims and offenders if there is any prominent or important case.  The study will continue for one month.  Due to constraint of time and financial support the study is limited in respect of time and place as mentioned above.

Although the term ‘Consumer Rights Protection’ is not frequently discussed but now it is a necessary part of the daily life. As the abuse of Consumer Rights has grown, and consumer rights are infringing daily due to the absence of robust legal regime on it. “The existing laws alone are not enough to face the growing challenges in consumer rights protection. So, it is essential to amend the existing laws.”

  1. Importance of Research

The discussion regarding consumer rights is indispensable in the present decade, as a not widely application and untouched set of rules new law. The customers are not conscious about their rights. And they has little knowledge and awareness or idea about consumer rights.

So it must be very useful and helpful for consumers, to research the protection of consumer rights. Though there were few study on this topic but to know deeply about this subject this study will help much more. Further it will help to draw the attention of the policymaker about this issue and to reduce the present loopholes. When the consumers or customers will be known with       their rights they never suffer a loss but they will may  overcome any loss or injury of purchasing products.

  1. Review of Literature

This study is expected to find out the major loopholes in case of protecting consumer rights. As there is no comprehensive research done by any person, institute concerning this topic .So this topic of elaborate study of consumer rights can be a standard way for conducting a study therein. For sake of completing this research work A lot of books, journals, articles, newspaper, booklets, periodicals, will be reviewed shown under bellow:-

  • Dr. Nasrin Lubna, Consumer Rights in Bangladesh: Legal Status and Protection modalities (Institution Of Bangladesh Studies ,343,071,Luc)
  • Ahamuduzzaman and Syeda Shamsia Husain, Consumer Protection Law,       Law Book Company, Dhaka, 2011.
  • The Protection of Consumer Rights Act, 2009. Published by the Government on april 06, 2009.
  • Constitution of Bangladesh, the ministry of law, published by the parliament.
  • Mr. L. Kabir, the Penal Code, 1860. Ain prokashani , Dhaka, 2009.
  1. Chapter Outline:

This study has been divided into six chapters and the chapter scheme of the study is given below

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: History of Consumer Rights

Chapter 3: Present Conditions of Consumer Rights in Bangladesh

Chapter 4: Legal Mechanisms to Protect Consumer Rights in Bangladesh

Chapter 5: Practical Approach to Protect Consumer Rights in Bangladesh

Chapter 6: Conclusion

  1. Conclusion

The discussion regarding consumers rights are not hot topics or usually not captured the front pages of daily prominent newspaper like  controversial political issues or others social incidents, but the importance of preservation of consumer interest is not neglectful at all.

The general public health is indispensable for a nation to continue the advancement and development.

[1] F.D.C  Wijesinghe, Consumer Rights In Comparison With other countries UK, Australia, India. (Economic Review vol,27 No,10&11) P.8-11

[2] Dr. Nasrin Lubna, Consumer Rights in Bangladesh: Legal Status and Protection modalities (Institution Of Bangladesh Studies ,343,071,Luc)

[3] Consumer International: The Rights and Responsibility of Consumer (UK: Crescent London)

[4] http://www.consumersinternational.org

[5]  http:www.icgmaycom/whatisc.html

[6] Diane Mc  Crea: Codex Alimentations for consumer (Oct 2000) P.8

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