Consumer protection act
- July 20, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
New consumer protection act comes into force today.
- The newly enacted Consumer Protection Act replacing more than three decades old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- The new Consumer Protection Act 2019 seeks to revamp the process of administration and settlement of consumer disputes, with strict penalties, including jail term for adulteration and misleading ads by firms.
- It defined 6 rights of the consumers which include:
- Right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services which can be hazardous to life and property
- Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products and services
- Right to be assured of access to goods, products and services at competitive prices.
- Right to be heard at appropriate forums
- Right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices that are involved in exploitation of customers
- Right to consumer awareness
- It proposes to set up Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. The CCPA would make interventions to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices. The agency can also initiate class action, including enforcing recall, refund and return of products.
- It also simplified dispute resolution process, has provision for Mediation and e-filing of cases. The Consumer will be able to file cases in the nearest commission under the jurisdiction of which he resides.
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) would be setup at various levels. The CDRCs would be set up at multiple levels – district, state and national. Consumers can file complaints with the CDRCs regarding any of the following.
- Defective goods or services
- Overcharging or deceptive charging on goods and services
- Any unfair or restrictive trade practices
- Offering services or sale of goods which can be hazardous to life or not safe
- As per the new act, all the laws that apply for direct selling would also be applicable for E-Commerce.
- Consumers can file complaints from anywhere and they do not need to hire lawyer to represent their cases. For mediation, there will be strict timeline fixed in the rules.
- On misleading advertisements there is provision for jail term and fine for manufacturers.
- For the first time there will be an exclusive law dealing with Product Liability. A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller will now be responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services.