The government is set to overhaul the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to provide for acting against unfair terms in contracts which are skewed heavily in favour of service providers or manufacturers or builders or developers. Government officials said discussions are on to bring in transparent rules on unfair contracts. Under the present laws, the contracts are unilateral and there is no protection against unfair contracts. The planned changes are likely to be introduced in Parliament soon. “Work is underway on the issue and we hope to bring the changes for debate soon,” a senior government official said. Often, service providers want consumers to sign on the dotted line even if the terms and conditions are stiff and give little leeway to consumers. Nearly five years ago, the Law Commission had said that in view of the need to protect consumers and particularly to grant protection from the disadvantages of extensive introduction of standard terms of contracts which are one-sided, it has become necessary to evolve general principles regulating unfairness in contracts.
One Such case is M/s. ARATTUKULAM INFRASTRUCTURE CONSTRUCTIONS PVT LTD., A project coming up at Situated at Haralakunte Village, Begur Hobli, Bangalore South Taluk.The clause which is under dispute is read like this:
12. The purchaser understands and agrees that the builder/vendor at their discretion can make necessary changes during the execution including minor changes, dimensions specifications and/ or location within the project site. The purchaser is aware that the details furnished in the brochure given by the builder/vendor is only for information and not forming part of an offer whatsoever in nature and the purchaser covenants not to raise any objection or claims in future on this account.
BASED ON THIS CLAUSE, THE BUILDER IS EXERTING MORE PRESSURE ON THE AGREEMENT HOLDERS TO ACCEPT AND AGREE TO THEIR CHANGED (UNAPPROVED) PLAN. (Unfair clause)