Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Consumer Protection Act, 2019  

Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force on 20th July 2020 and it will empower consumers  and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified rules and provisions. The  Consumer Protection Act, 2019 establishes the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)  whose primary objective will be to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. 

The Consumer Protection Act, implemented in 1986, gives easy and fast compensation to consumer  grievances. It safeguards and encourages consumers to speak against insufficiency and flaws in  goods and services. 

This Protection Act covers all goods and services of all public, private, or cooperative sectors, except  those exempted by the central government. The act provides a platform for a consumer where they  can file their complaint, and the forum takes action against the concerned supplier and  compensation is granted to the consumer for the hassle he/she has encountered. 

consumer protection act 2019

Other Govt Schemes and Yojanas:

The Rights of the Consumer 

  • Right to Safety- Before buying, a consumer can insist on the quality and guarantee of the  goods. They should ideally purchase a certified product like ISI or AGMARK. 
  • Right to Choose- Consumer should have the right to choose from a variety of goods and in a  competitive price. 
  • Right to be informed- The buyers should be informed with all the necessary details of the  product, make her/him act wise, and change the buying decision. 
  • Right to Consumer Education- Consumer should be aware of his/her rights and avoid  exploitation. Ignorance can cost them more. 
  • Right to be heard- This means the consumer will get due attention to express their  grievances at a suitable forum. 
  • Right to seek compensation- The defines that the consumer has the right to seek redress  against unfair and inhumane practices or exploitation of the consumer. 

The Responsibilities of the Consumer 

  • Responsibility to be aware – A consumer has to be mindful of the safety and quality of  products and services before purchasing. 
  • Responsibility to think independently– Consumer should be well concerned about what  they want and need and therefore make independent choices. 
  • Responsibility to speak out- Buyer should be fearless to speak out their grievances and tell  traders what they exactly want.
  • Responsibility to complain- It is the consumer’s responsibility to express and file a complaint  about their dissatisfaction with goods or services in a sincere and fair manner. 
  • Responsibility to be an Ethical Consumer- They should be fair and not engage themselves  with any deceptive practice.

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. 

Rules on E-commerce and Unfair Trade Practices: The government will notify the Consumer  Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 under the Act whose broad provisions are given below. 

E-commerce entities are required to provide information to consumers, 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 and country of  origin. 

These are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase  stage. 

These platforms will have to acknowledge the receipt of any consumer complaint within 48  hours and redress the complaint within one month from the date of receipt. They will also have to  appoint a grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal. 

The Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 are mandatory and are not advisories. 

Sellers cannot refuse to take back goods or withdraw services or refuse refunds, if such goods or  services are defective, deficient, delivered late, or if they do not meet the description on the  platform. 

The rules also prohibit the e-commerce companies from manipulating the price of the goods or  services to gain unreasonable profit through unjustified prices. 

Product Liability: 

A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller will be held responsible to compensate  for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services 

Basis for product liability action: 

  • 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.

Punishment for Manufacture or Sale of Adulterated/Spurious Goods: 

In case of the first conviction, a competent court may suspend any license issued to the person for a period of up to two years and in case of second or subsequent conviction, may cancel the license permanently. 

Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism of Mediation: 

A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever the scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it. 

The mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells which will be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions. 

There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation. 

Simplification of the Consumer Dispute Adjudication Process: 

Empowering the State and District Commissions to review their own orders. 

Enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and in consumer commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence. 

Video-conferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days. 

Other Rules and Regulations: 

As per the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases up to Rs. 5 lakh. 

The credit of the amount due to unidentifiable consumers will go to the Consumer Welfare  Fund (CWF). 

State Commissions will furnish information to the Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, the pendency of cases, and other matters. 

Apart from these general rules, there are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules, provided for the constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council (CCPC). 

It will be an advisory body on consumer issues, headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs,  Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields. 

It will have a three-year tenure and will have a Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and North-East Region.

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FAQs on Consumer Protection Act 2019

  1. When was Consumer Protection Act 2019 enacted?

    The Consumer Protection Act 2019 was notified on August 9th 2019. However, it came into
    effect from July 20th 2020.

  2. What are the main features of Consumer Protection Act 2019?

    While retaining certain old provisions, the New Act has certain new provisions that tightens
    the existing rules to further safeguard consumer rights and create exhaustive consumer
    protection law.

    New provisions under Consumer Protection Act 2019
    • Inclusion of E- commerce, Direct selling
    Establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)
    • Strict Norms for Misleading Advertisement
    • Strict Norms for product liability
    • Changes in the Pecuniary Jurisdiction
    • Greater ease to dispute resolution
    Addition in the clause of “Unfair Trade Practice”:
    • Unfair Contract
    • Alternate Dispute Resolution through mediation

  3. What are goods?

    “goods” means every kind of movable property and includes “food” as defined in clause
    (j) of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006;

  4. What Consumers Rights are guaranteed under Consumer Protection Act, 2019?

    Consumer is having the following six consumer rights under the Act
    • Right to Safety
    • Right to be Informed
    • Right to Choose
    • Right to be heard
    • Right to seek Redressal
    • Right to Consumer Awareness

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