CONSUMER RIGHTS IN BANGLADESH: A CRITICAL STUDY

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

HISTORY OF CONSUMER RIGHTS

 

2.1 Introduction
Consumer Protection, which is a genre within the overarching legal specialty of Consumer Law, is classified as a legal field that focuses on the protection of consumers engaging in commercial activity within the commercial market.[1]

Consumer Protection Laws not only ensure that the consumers engaging in commercial activity rooted within purchase and consumerism will be regulated in accordance to Consumer Rights legality, as well as provide for the regulation of all commercial activity undertaken by vendor-based commercial operations in order to ensure Consumer Protection.

2.2 Consumer Protection Laws in Ancient Times

The earliest incarnation of Consumer Protection has been recorded as the implementation of the ‘Lex Julia Annona’ statute, which was passed by the Roman Government in or around 50 B.C; the ‘Lex Julia de Annona’ statute was enforced not only to provide commercial operations with legal protection, but also to provide Consumer Protection for Roman Citizens:

This Consumer Protection Law expressed that any individual attempting to destroy incoming vessels carrying cargo with the attempt to sabotage competing commercial endeavors would be prosecuted for this crime Not only did this Consumer Law serve to protect the interests of commercial operation, but it served as a form of Consumer Protection, which prevented the institution of a commercial monopoly; as was the trend within a monopoly, the consumer populace was oftentimes subject to predatory and discriminatory pricing resulting from a monopolization of the commercial market.

2.3 Consumer Protection Laws of 19th and 20th Century

The antitrust and anti-monopoly laws passed both at the close of the 19th century, as well as the early years of the 20th century disallowed for the commercial monopolization of the commercial market for the first time in conjunction with recorded and mandated legislature within the United States; these Consumer Protection Laws prevented consumers from victimization with regard to unethical pricing, the exploitation of the commercial market, and violation of constitutionality – the Consumer Protection Laws banning monopolies continue to provide for Consumer Protection within modernity: [2]Predatory Pricing is the drastic and unethical, exploitative control of pricing for goods and services due to commercial monopolization Market control violates consumer rights upon instating unauthorized limitation with regard to consumer purchases.

2.4 Consumer Protection Laws of Modernity

Electronic Commerce, which is commonly referred to as ‘E-Commerce’ relies on Consumer Protection Law focuses ensuring the regulation of legislation, ethics, legality, and stipulations that exist with regard to the operation and facilitation of commercial activity through the use of digital vending, computer networks, virtual marketplaces, online businesses, and Internet-based consumer activity: Consumer Protection within the computer age prevents from the defrauding of consumers engaging within the commercial marketplace upon regulating the methods and activities of electronic commerce and transactions Consumer Protection Laws specific to virtual commerce provide the regulation and oversight of the integrity of products and services offered within a virtual marketplace.

2.5 Consumer Protection in Indian Subcontinent

Consumer Protection has its deep roots in the rich soil of Indian civilization, which dates back to 3200 B.C. In ancient India, human values were cherished and ethical practices were considered of great importance. However, the rulers felt that the welfare of their subjects was the primary area of concern. They showed keen interest in regulating not only the social conditions but also the economic life of the people, establishing many trade restrictions to protect the interests of buyers.

In the medieval period, consumer protection continued to be of prime concern of the rulers. During Muslim rule, a large number of units of weights were used in India.35 During the Sultanate period, the prices used were determined by local conditions.36 During the rule of Alauddin Khalji, 37 strict controls were established in the market place.38 In those days, there was unending supply of grain to the city and grain-carriers sold at prices fixed by the Sultan39. There was a mechanism for price enforcement in the market. Similarly, shop-keepers were punished for under weighing their goods.

In the modern period, the British system replaced the age old traditional legal system of India. However, one of the outstanding achievements of British rule in India was “the formation of a unified nationwide modern legal system. “During the British period, the Indian legal system was totally revolutionized and the English legal system was introduced to administer justice.[3]

2.6 Conclusion

Though the history of consumer protection law goes back hundreds years back but, in fact, the implementation of such laws was out of seen. With the advent of globalization and others revolutionary change in human life pattern mankind now more sincere about their rights and demand to the society.

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[1] David L: Loudon & Albert J. Della Bitta,Consumer Behaviour: Concept and Application 4th ed. (New York,McGraw-Hill Inc,1993)P.628

[2] John c. Mowen, Consumer Behaviour , 3rd ed. (New York, Macmillan publishing company1993) P.766

[3] http://dept.econ.yorku.cal/basher/consumerism/ti.pdf  (16 Feb 2016)

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