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Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to be more holistic and stringent to protect interest of consumers

Consumer Protection Act

New Delhi, Aug 14

The Consumer Protection Act 2019 will be more holistic and stringent once the rules are framed to protect the interest of the Consumer, stating this at a press conference Union Minister for Consumer Affairs ,Food and Public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan informed that a meeting of former Secretaries of the Consumer Affairs Department and Members of Parliament will be called this month for consultation before framing and finalising the rules under this Act.

He informed that 41 Members of Parliament participated in the debate when the Consumer Protection Bill was passed. Citing the number of pending cases before the consumer courts the Minister said that one of the reasons for this is that a number of posts are lying vacant and the effort will be to fill these up soon.He said that the idea of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) is new and revolutionary and it will give more teeth to the provide relief for consumers.

Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan further said that through the new Act, the examination of manufactured products can be done on multiple levels such as before, during or after the purchase and if the product is found to be faulty at any level then the entire batch of the product will be withdrawn from the market.

The Act, among other things, proposes setting up of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.

The CCPA would make interventions to prevent consumer detriment arising from unfair trade practices. The agency can also initiate class action, including enforcing recall, refund and return of products.

The Act also envisages simplified dispute resolution process, has provision for Mediation and e-filing of cases. The Consumer will be able to file cases in the nearest commission under the jurisdiction of which he resides.

For the first time there will be an exclusive law dealing with Product Liability. A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller will now be responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services.

Presently the Consumer has only a single point of access to justice, which is time consuming. Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the Act through CCPA.

There are provisions for deterrent punishment to check misleading advertisements and adulteration of products; Product liability provision to deter manufacturers and service providers from delivering defective products or deficient services. The Act also enables regulations to be notified on E-commerce and direct selling with focus on protection of interest of consumers.

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