Consumer Protection Act, 2019
30th Jan, 2020
Some of the highlights of the Consumers Protection Act, 2019 are:
- The definition of ‘Consumer’ would include both offline and online consumers. Establishment of the Central Consumers Protection Authority (CCPA) which can act on:
- Complaints of unfair trade practices
- Issue safety guidelines,
- Order product recall or discontinuation of services,
- Refer complaints to other regulators,
- Has punitive powers such as imposing penalties,
- Can file actions before consumer commission, and
- Intervene in proceeding in matters of consumer rights or unfair trade practices.
- The pecuniary jurisdiction of adjudicatory bodies increased in case of District Commission to Rs. 1 crore, in case of State Commission between 1 crore to 10 crore, and for National Commission, above Rs 10 crore.’
- The bill also lists punitive action against those who are found to be manufacturing, storing, disturbing, selling, or importing products that are spurious or contain adulterants.
- Provisions for “product liability” action for or on account of harm caused by or resulting from any product by way of fixing the liability of a manufacturer to a claimant.
- Provision for “mediation” as an Alternate Dispute resolution mechanism, thus making the process less cumbersome, simple, and quicker.
Other Important aspects of the act include:
- Simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process, enhancing the pecuniary jurisdiction of the consumer dispute redressal agencies, increasing minimum number of member in the consumer for a, power to review their own orders by the State and district commission, Constitution of ‘circuit bench’ to facilitate quicker disposal of complaints. E-commerce guidelines would be mandatory under consumer protection law, which would include 14-day deadline to effect refund request.
- The e-commerce companies would also be required to ensure that personally identifiable information of customers are protected.
Fig. Comparison between Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and 2019