Lok Sabha passes Consumer Protection Bill, 2019

The South Asian Express News
File Photo : Image for representational purpose only

 

The Lok Sabha todaypassed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 afterdue consideration and discussion.The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that the bill aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute. Moving the Bill, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve said the Bill aims to simplify a number of rules. Shri Danve said consumers do not get quick redressal of their complaints and with the passage of the Bill, consumers will be able to get speedy justice. He said the government aims to simplify the entire process of redressal of consumer grievances.

Under the Bill, there is provision for central government to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers and will be empowered to investigate, recall, refund and impose penalties. It will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements. There is also a provision for class action law suit for ensuring that rights of consumers are not infringed upon. The authority will have power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to 10 lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement. 

Salient Features of the Bill

1.         Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): Executive Agency to provide relief to a class of consumers. The CCPA will be empowered to-

2.         Simplified Dispute Resolution process

i) Pecuniary Jurisdiction enhanced to-

ii) Deemed admissibility after 21days of filing

iii) Empowerment of Consumer Commission to enforce their orders

iv) Appeals only on question of law after second stage

v) Ease of approaching consumer commission

3.         Mediation

4.         Product Liability

A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller to be responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services

The Basis for product liability action will be:

New Bill- Benefit to Consumers

Presently Consumer only have a single point of access to justice, which is time consuming. Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the bill through Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)

Deterrent punishment to check misleading advertisements and adulteration of products

Product liability provision to deter manufacturers and service providers from delivering defective products or deficient services

Ease of approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of Adjudication process

Scope for early disposal of cases through mediation

Provision for rules for new age consumer issues: e-commerce & direct selling

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