Union Minister of Consumer Affairs today sought effective implementation of laws to protect consumer interests without the harassment of businesses.
Delivering his inaugural address at the ‘National Workshop on legal Metrology Act, 2009’ here, he suggested a pragmatic approach to decriminalising laws and urged states to support the initiative to balance the interest of consumers with the need to simplify laws so that businesses, particularly the small enterprises, are not put to undue hardship.
“It’s our collective responsibility to ensure that the consumers do not face injustice while at the same time understanding the responsibility towards businessmen so that they can work peacefully,” the minister said.
Talking about the statistics, Goyal said that 97 per cent of the cases of first offences were booked by the state governments on limited sections while no second offence was booked under the same sections. He said that the data exposes the state governments that are opposing decriminalisation.
“Why are there so many first offences and second offences are Nil? How many cases are there as 2nd offence in respective states? What has the State Government done when there is no second offence?” he asked.
As per the statistics of the Department of Consumer Affairs, the number of cases booked by the states/UTs as a first offence in 2018-19 was 1,13,745 while those compounded were 97,690. In the same period, the number of second offences in which case was booked was 12 of which only 4 cases were filed in the court.
“Keeping this trend in mind, the number of offences should gradually drop to nil,” Goyal said.