International Product Liability - 2nd Edition - Looseleaf
International Product Liability - 2nd Edition - Electronic
Adv. Ravi Kini, Adv. Dushyant Deep, and Adv. Kiran Prakash
M.V. Kini & Co.
In India, the term 'product liability' has not been defined in any statute.1
However, the concept of consumer protection through product liability has been
embodied in the Constitution of India and in the law of torts. An example of
consumer protection being embodied in the Indian Constitution can be observed
under Article 19(6).
This provision allows the government to impose reasonable restrictions on the
practice of any trade or business in the interest of the general public. Thus, if a
particular food item or drug has been tested by experts and found to be harmful
for consumption, the government has the authority to prohibit the manufacture
and sale of such an item.2
Among statutes related to product liability, of particular importance is the
Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPRA),3 intended by the legislature to
promote and protect the rights of consumers, along with setting up the
machinery for consumer grievance redressal.
COPRA provided for the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection
Council by the central government and the State Consumer Protection Councils
by the state governments.
The redressal system is three-tiered, comprising of the District Consumer
Disputes Redressal Forum (District Forum), the State Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission (the State Commission), and the National Consumer
Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).4
Other important statutes include the Sale of Goods Act, 1930 (the SGA)5 and the
Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (the MRTP Act).6 The
MRTP Act is particularly relevant in the context of defective marketing -- that
is, false representation about the nature of goods, as provided under the Act,
would constitute an 'unfair trade practice'.