Guhan K, Christ (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru.
The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 has been worshipped as one of the most sacramental welfare legislations in the contemporary era. This benevolent legislation provides legal and monetary remedies for the breach of privileges against the consumers by the fraudulent and unscrupulous traders. The importance of the COPRA, 1986 can be construed by tracing reference to its preamble.
The introductory phrase of the preamble of this Act reads as follows, “An Act to provide for the better protection of the interests of the consumers”. Thus, the complete statute circles around the consumer and it is tailored in an elegant way to safeguard and promote the consumer populous at large. But on the other side of the coin the Copra Act, 1986 suffers from certain “ailments” which needs to be diagnosed and rectified in an expeditious and swiftly manner.
The one territory to which the above quoted “ailments” have spread in an infectious manner is the Medical Profession. After incorporating the Medical industry within the purview of the Copra, numerous uncertainties have originated with regard to the stretch and horizon of the Consumer Protection Act. There are a lot of frivolous complaints mushrooming across the country against the doctors as means of settling the scores for personal vendetta. Like all the other Professionals doctors also make certain mistakes unintentionally but if they are sanctioned for this then it would be a crime against the humanity as a whole. Because of the panic of facing the consumer forum and the exemplary compensation imposed by it, Doctors are under a severe humiliation and they are made incapable and insecure of exercising their routine functionaries. This paper deals with the loopholes in the Consumer protection Act, 1986 in regard to the prosecution of medical practitioners, and suggests effective institutional threads to stitch the same.
KEYWORDS: Consumer Protection Act, Medical profession, Deficiency in service, Frivolous complaints.