Consumer Protection Act, 2019 Has Come Into Force: Read All the Details Here

Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has come into effect replacing three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India. The new act will help in boosting the economy along with protecting rights of consumers while banning advertisement that mislead consumers. With new technologies and new wave of trade and commerce, new consumer right was the need of the hour.

About Consumer Protection Act, 1986

  • Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (COPRA)came into force in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India.
  • It was made for consumer councils establishment and other authorities for the settlement of consumer’s grievances and matters connected there with it.
  • The act was passed in October 1986 and came to force on December 24, 1986.
  • The act was amended in 1991, 1993 and 2002 to make it more consumer friendly
  • Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act, 2002: The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Act, 2002 came into force on March 15, 2003 coinciding with World Consumer Rights Day.  The amended Act contains ample provisions for large public interest making it more effective and purposeful.
  • The CP Act 1986 was a single point of access to justice, which was time consuming.
  • It provided for a three-tier consumer dispute redressal machinery at National, State and District levels.

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What do you mean by consumer?

Consumer is a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration. The term consumer does not include person who obtains goods for resale or a good or service for commercial purpose.

About Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Consumer Protection Act, 2019 will empower consumers by helping them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions. Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods are the main components of the new consumer protection law.

Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)

  • Under the act, central government will set up CCPA to promote, protect and enforce rights of consumers.
  • Regulates:Violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements.
  • It will have an investigation wingthat will be headed by Director-General
  • Increased compensation: It may impose a penalty on manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to 2 years for a false or misleading advertisement. The fine can be extended to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to 5 years.

Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRCs)

  • Act will set up CDRCs at district, state, and national levels.
  • Deemed admissibility:After 21 days of filing
  • Approaching Consumer Commissions can be made easy and 3 methods are provided for this:
  • Filing from place of residence/work
  • E-filing
  • Videoconferencing for hearing
  • Consumer can file complaint with CDRCs in the following cases:
  • Unfair or restrictive trade practices
  • Defective goods
  • Over-pricing or deceptive pricing
  • Offering of goods or services for sale which may be hazardous to life and safety.
  • Appeals:Complaints can be filed only at State and National levels. As appeals from District CDRC will be heard by the State CDRC. Appeals from the State CDRC will be heard by the National CDRC. Final appeal will come under the jurisdiction of Supreme Court.
  • Jurisdiction of CDRCs: District CDRC will entertain complaints below Rs 1 crore, State CDRC: Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore, and National CDRC: over Rs 10 crore

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Mediation

  • This act will provides for reference to mediation by Consumer Commissionsfor early settlement exists.
  • Mediation Cells will be attached to Consumer Commissions and Panel of mediatorswill be selected by committee comprising of President and Consumer Commission member
  • Consumer can not appeal after the settlement through mediation

e-commerce platforms

  • Robust consumer redressal mechanism will be set up by e-commerce portals as part of the rules under Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • Goods on e-platform will have to mention country of origin
  • Receipts acknowledgement within 48 hours of complaint has be generated

Product Liability

  • If a product or service is found defective, than the manufacturer or product service provider or product seller will be held responsible and will have to compensate for injury or damage
  • The defect will include:
  • Manufacturing defect
  • Design defect
  • Manufacturing specifications deviations
  • Not conforming to warranty
  • Failing to contain instructions for correct use
  • Service provided-faulty, imperfect or deficient

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