New Consumer Protection Bill passed
Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set-up to promote, protect and enforce the rights of the consumers
Endorsing a product with false or misleading information will now become a thing of the past. As per the new Consumer Protection Bill 2019 both, the manufacturer and the endorser will be held responsible for providing fallacious information and will be fined and imprisoned if proven guilty.
New bill to revamp the process of administration and settlement of consumer disputes was passed by the parliament on August 6, 2019. The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on July 8, 2019. The Bill will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
The bill defines the consumer as any person who buys any goods or avails a service for a consideration. It does not include a person who obtains a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purpose. It covers transactions through all modes including offline, and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing and direct selling.
The bill clearly states six rights of consumers including the right to be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property, the right to be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services, the right to be assured of access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices and the right to seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices.
The central government will be setting up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the right of the consumers regulating matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements. The investigation wing of CCPA will be headed by a Director-General, who will conduct investigations into such violations.
The bill also states that the CCPA may impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement. In case of subsequent offence, the fine may extend to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to five years.