top of page


Written by Subham Sourav


Consumer rights and protection include the entitlements and mechanisms established to guarantee the welfare, security, and equitable treatment of consumers inside the marketplace. Within the realm of sports and entertainment, those who observe events are regarded as customers and are entitled to certain rights as outlined by consumer legislation. This article will examine the aforementioned rights, with a specific emphasis on the legal responsibility of athletic event organizers and the potential legal courses of action for spectators.


Spectators as Consumers:

Every spectator under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is protected and has the legal remedy to approach the consumer forum or the court of law at any instance of violation of their consumer right.  When it comes to sports events, spectators are essential to the success and overall pleasure of the event. In light of this, the Consumer Protection Act of 2019's inclusion of spectators as customers is a critical step in ensuring their rights and welfare are protected. When attendees buy tickets, products, or use on-site amenities like concessions, they are participating in transactions that need consideration and are thus covered by consumer protection laws.

The spectators are considered as ‘consumers’ under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 as stated in the definition under Section 2 (7), wherein the consumer buys or avails goods for any sought of consideration, hence the consumer protection laws are applicable to the spectators of a tournament. Furthermore, adding spectators to the list of protected consumers not only gives them more rights, but it also puts obligations on event planners and related organizations to uphold standards of fairness, quality, and safety. This includes a number of things, such making sure there are enough facilities, following the terms and conditions that are posted, and immediately and fairly handling complaints.

Liability of Sporting Organizers:

The Associations or the Federations that conduct the sporting event do not stress the risks involved in that particular sport and claim the most common legal maxim i.e., Volenti Non-Fit Injuria which means when one consent to harm then he has no legal remedy for the legal damages from that particular incident. However, the courts have established a precedent wherein, injury caused during the course of the game leading to the death of a spectator can hold the organizers liable for the same as no one can or does consent to death. In the case of White v. Blackmore, it is significant because it involves the death of Mr. White at a Jalopy car race as a result of the careless design and installation of the ropes. The Defendant (Organizers) was consequently found accountable. This hence proves that the Courts across the globe and in India have significantly established a precedent wherein, injury caused during the course of the game leading to the death of a spectator can hold the organizers liable for the same as no one can or does consent to death.


Philosophical Perspective:

The intellectual foundations of spectator rights in consumer law are closely aligned with notions of fairness, autonomy, and ethical obligation. Justice necessitates fair and impartial treatment for those who attend events, acknowledging their entitlement to a safe and protected atmosphere. This concept emphasizes the ethical obligation of organizers to consider the welfare of their audience. The principle of individual autonomy underscores the need of making informed decisions, guaranteeing that viewers have access to clear and precise information on the activities they engage in. This enables individuals to make decisions that are in line with their own preferences and concerns for safety, so strengthening the ethical responsibility of organizers to maintain openness and honesty. Furthermore, organizers have a moral obligation to ensure the well-being of spectators, which aligns with the wider social principles of empathy and accountability towards others.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 provides spectators with legal options to seek compensation for any infringement of their rights. This legislation strengthens their ability to seek resolution via consumer forums or courts of law. Organizers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of spectators, and if they are negligent, they may face legal repercussions. In addition, spectators have the right to get detailed information and legal solutions, which provide responsibility and protection within the legal system. Landmark judicial precedents continue to influence this landscape, providing guidance and protecting the rights of spectators within the changing legal environment.


Landmark Cases:

In 2015, Supriyo Ranjan Mahapatra discovered a laptop on Amazon that was originally priced at Rs 23,500 but was discounted to Rs 190. He promptly placed an order and eagerly anticipated arrival. Unfortunately, Amazon's customer service caused him frustration by canceling his confirmed purchase, much to his dismay. Supriyo, unable to acknowledge or agree with this result, initiated legal proceedings against Amazon by submitting a consumer complaint. After three years of persistent work, he was granted Rs 45,000 as compensation for unfair tactics and bad service, demonstrating the effectiveness of consumer protection legislation in resolving complaints. In the same year, Bhaskar Jadhav, a member of the Mumbai Police, came across an instance of an ice cream seller engaging in excessive pricing.

Bhaskar questioned the disparity of being charged an additional Rs 10, which exceeded the maximum retail price (MRP), under the pretense of "cooling charges." Upon the vendor's effort to rationalize the increased cost by referencing power expenditures, Bhaskar discerned a more extensive concern around the possible exploitation of unaware clients. Equipped with compelling proof, such as the bill with the GST number and the ice cream package, Bhaskar resolved to oppose this practice. By initiating a complaint under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, he pursued justice by approaching the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs), with the objective of upholding the law and safeguarding other customers from such abuse.


The rights of spectators as consumers in the context of sporting events are an important aspect of consumer law. While spectators are assumed to consent to certain risks associated with attending a sporting event, this does not absolve organizers of their responsibility to ensure the safety of spectators. When organizers fail in this duty, they can be held liable under consumer law. As such, it is crucial for spectators to be aware of their rights and for organizers to take their responsibilities seriously.

*The Author is a legal Scholar from India

(The Image used here is for representative purposes only)



  1.  G-SPR. Spectator Protection Under Indian Law: An Analysis. Retrieved from

  2. G-SPR. Spectator Protection Under Indian Law: An Analysis. Retrieved from

  3.  G-SPR. Spectator Protection Under Indian Law: An Analysis. Retrieved from


bottom of page