District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum President Shobha C A has stressed the importance of awareness in safeguarding consumer interests.

Unfair trade practices can be prevented only if consumers are aware of their rights, she said, inaugurating celebrations to mark World Consumer Rights Day.

Consumers have the right to make choices, and they can do so in an informed manner only if they have all relevant details, she said. If these details are not provided by product manufacturers, they can be sued, she said.

Stressing that consumers have the right to demand compensation if they are dissatisfied with products or services, she said the Forum would support aggrieved consumers in their quest for justice. Complaints can be filed with the Forum for a fee of Rs 100 for amounts below Rs 1 lakh, Rs 200 for up to Rs 5 lakh and Rs 500 for t claims up to Rs 20 lakh, she said, and told the audience that lawyers are not required to fight cases in consumer forums, ordinary citizens who are plaintiffs can argue their own cases.

Speaking on the occasion, Avinash Shetty from the Department of Community Health Medicine, KMC, Manipal, criticized the use of unscrupulous use of antibiotics in animals to increase yield, saying these antibiotics entered the human system and caused harm.

Source: http://www.sahilonline.org/news

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