The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 received the assent of the President of India and was published in the official gazette on 9 August 2019. New Consumer Protection Act will replace 34-year-old act and come into effect from July 20, 2020.
Consumer Protection Act, 2019
It is a law to protect the interests of consumers. This act was inevitable to resolve a large number of pending consumer complaints in consumer courts across the country. It has ways and means to solve the consumer grievances speedily.
Aim of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
To save the rights of the consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ disputes.
Key Highlights of the New Consumer Protection Act:
1.Establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA):
The act has the provision of the Establishment of the CCPA which will protect, promote, and enforce the rights of consumers. The CCPA will regulate cases related to unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements, and violation of consumer rights.
The CCPA will have the right to impose a penalty on the violators and passing orders to recall goods or withdraw services, discontinuation of the unfair trade practices, and reimbursement of the price paid by the consumers.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority will have an investigation wing to enquire and investigate such violations. The CCPA will be headed by the Director-General.
2. Rights of consumers under the Consumer Protection Act 2019:
The act provides 6 rights to the consumers;
- To be protected from hazardous goods and services.
- To have information about the quantity, quality, purity, potency, price, and standard of goods or services.
- To have a variety of goods or services at competitive prices
- To be heard and to be assured that consumer’s interests will
receive due consideration
- To be protected from unfair or restrictive trade practices.
- The right to consumer awareness
3. Punishment for false or misleading advertisement:
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will have the power to impose a fine of Rs. 10 Lakh on the endorser or manufacturer, for misleading or false advertisement. The CCPA may also sentence them to imprisonment for up to 2 years for the same. In case of a subsequent offense, the fine may extend to Rs. 50 Lakh and imprisonment of up to 5 years.
4. Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission:
The act has the provision of the establishment of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) at the national, state and district levels. The CDRCs will entertain complaints related to;
- Overcharging or deceptive charging
- Unfair or restrictive trade practices
- Sale of hazardous goods and services which may be hazardous to life.
- Sale of defective goods or services
5. Jurisdiction of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission:
The National CDRC will hear complaints worth more than Rs. 10 crores. The State CDRC will hear complaints when the value is more than Rs 1 crore but less than Rs 10 crore. While the District CDRC will entertain complaints when the value of goods or services is up to Rs 1 crore.
6. Includes E-Commerce Transactions:
Consumer means any person who buys any goods, whether through offline or online transactions, electronic means, teleshopping, direct selling, or multi-level marketing.