The Consumer Protection Act
On August 06th, 2019, Consumer Protection Bill was passed by the Parliament of India. It was meant for replacing the old Consumer Protection Act of 1986. The new bill was later signed by the President of India. This bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 30th July 2019 and then finally it was passed in Rajya Sabha in August. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. This law is meant for protecting the interest of the consumers. Moreover, it is expected to help in resolving various forms of consumer complaints across the nation. The law has been formulated in a manner in which it can provide rapid solutions to problems.
Aim of the Consumer Protection Act
This act aims to safeguard the rights of consumers through established authorities. These authorities are expected to be helpful in effective and timely administration and sort out consumer disputes. This act states that any person can be called a consumer who uses or buys any service or goods. However, if they are buying it with the motive of using it for the commercial purpose they cannot be referred to as the consumer. This applies to both online and offline purchases.
Features of the Act
To protect, promote, and impose the rights of the consumers, the act has the provision to establish CCPA. It is the Central Consumer Protection Authority that regulates biased trade practices, misleading advertisements, and cases that are related to the violation of consumer rights. CCPA ensures the penalty on the people who are practising unfair businesses and take the required action. This action can be like passing orders to withdraw goods and services and discontinue the unfair trade. They have a wing to investigate such matters that is led by the Director-General.
The act enables the consumers to have complete information about the quantity, transparency, quality, price, effectiveness, and the standard of any form of goods and services. Further, it enables them to remain safe from dangerous goods or services. It also prevents them from any form of restrictive or illegal trade practices. This act most importantly ensures that the consumers are getting the goods and the services at a reasonably competitive price. The CCPA has control over the manufacturers that tend to mislead consumers with false advertisements. This can lead to a fine of Rs.50 lakh if the offence is consistently repeated. Moreover, in all national, state, and district levels Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission is established which handles all forms of consumer complaints.
An Alert Consumer is a Safe Consumer
With this Act in place, a consumer will never have to worry about over-priced or hazardous service or goods. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission will get complaints that are worth more than Rs.10 crores. However, in the case of state CDRC, they will only hear complaints that are more than Rs.1 crore but less than Rs.10 Crore. And the district CRDC will get complaints within Rs.1 Crore. This means that the consumers, before complaining, should value their goods and service and accordingly choose the district, state, or national level of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. Most importantly, consumers must be aware of the rights they are entitled to and be alert while making a purchase to avoid any kind of misdemeanour.