Consumers Protection Bill
CONSUMER PROTECTION BILL 2019
What’s in news?
The Rajya Sabha passed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 through voice vote.
- 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.
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