The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (here in after to be referred to as the Act) is one of the benevolent social legislation intended to protect the large body of consumers from exploitation. The Act has come as a panacea for consumers all over the country and has assumed the shape of practically the most important legislation enacted in the country during the last few years. It has become the vehicle for enabling people to secure speedy and in-expensive redressal of their grievances. With the enactment of this law, consumers now feel that they are in a position to declare "sellers be aware" whereas previously the consumers were at the receiving end and generally told "buyers be aware".
The Act postulates establishment of Central Consumer Protection Council and the State Consumer Protection Councils for the purpose of spreading consumer awareness. Central Council is headed by Minster-in-charge of the Consumer Affairs in the Central Government and in the State it is the Minister-in-charge of the Consumer Affairs in the State Government who heads State Council.
To provide cheap, speedy and simple redressal to consumer disputes, quasi-judicial machinery is set up at each District, State and National levels called District Forums, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission respectively.