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CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL 2019

What’s in news?

The Rajya Sabha passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 through voice vote.

Key data’s:

  • The Consumer Protection Bill 2019 that aims to protect the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute.
  • The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on 30th July, 2019 which replace the more than three decades old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was enacted with the objective of providing better protection of the interests of the consumers, and is considered to be a watershed moment in the growth of consumer rights and the legal system in this regard.
  • Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ramvilas Paswan said that the new legislation would ease the overall process of consumer grievance redressal.

Key provisions of the bill:

  • The bill will provide a better mechanism to dispose consumer complaints in a speedy manner and will help in disposal of large number of pending cases in consumer courts across the nation.
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA):
    • Setting up of a CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class. 
    • 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.
    • Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the bill through CCPA. 
  • It envisages 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.
  • Misleading advertisements:
    • There are provisions for deterrent punishment to check misleading advertisements and adulteration of products.
    • Apart from manufacturers and service providers, celebrity endorsers too will now face fines and jail terms for making misleading claims in advertisements.  
    • The bill, which is yet to become law, seeks to penalise misleading advertisements in virtually any medium, be it television, radio, print, outdoor ads, e-commerce, direct selling or telemarketing.
    • This will plug a huge gap in the advertising industry, which has been so far monitored by the self-regulatory watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
  • Enables regulations to be notified on E-commerce and direct selling with focus on protection of interest of consumers.

 

Links to note:

https://www.iasipstnpsc.in/national-consumer-day-2018/

https://zeenews.india.com/economy/rajya-sabha-passes-consumer-protection-bill-2019-2225530.html

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/startup/consumer-protection-bill-2019-to-be-moved-in-rajya-sabha-on-august-6-4292721.html

https://www.livelaw.in/columns/understanding-the-consumer-protection-bill-2019-147009

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