Consumer Protection Act, 2019 Comes Into Force
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came in to force from 20thJuly 2020.
- The new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions like Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods. It also brings in regulations towards e-commerce.
- The Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
Salient Features of CP Act 2019
- Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): It is empowered to
- Conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute Complaints/ Prosecution
- Order recall of unsafe goods and services
- Order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements
- Impose penalties on manufacturers/endorsers/publishers of misleading advertisements
- 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 includes: manufacturing defect; design defect; deviation from manufacturing specifications; not conforming to express warranty; failing to contain adequate instructions for correct use; service provided-faulty, imperfect or deficient.
- Mediation: It is an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism. There is no provision of appeal against settlement through mediation.
- Simplified Dispute Resolution Process: The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others, empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.
- Penalty for Adulteration of Products/Spurious Goods:The Act provides for punishment by a competent court for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods. The court may, in case of first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person for a period of up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.
- Rules on e-Commerce and Direct Selling: Under this act every e-commerce entity is required to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, security of payment methods, charge-back options, etc. including country of origin which are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform. E-commerce platforms have to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt under this Act.