Consumer Protection Bill
The Lok Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill. The bill aims to provide protection of interests of consumers and aims to set up authorities for the timely settlement of disputes.
It also received the Parliamentary approval on August 6, 2019 and will now be sent to the President for his consent.
What is the Consumer Protection Bill?
- The new bill aims to replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
- It proposes to set up a Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and Forums at every level of the District, State, and Nation.
- These forums would be responsible for adjudicating consumer complaints.
- It also seeks to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) which will promote, protect and enforce rights of a consumer.
- It will also provide a mechanism for resolving the complaints made with regards to the defects observed in goods and any deficiency in services provided.
- The new Bill promises a stringent action against the advertiser for any misleading advertisements they put out. However, the media on which the advertisement is aired has been saved from the action.
- The bill has provisions for consumer complaint redressal if any bodily harm arises due to the use of defective products or the deficiency in services provided.
- The Bill had earlier been passed in the Lok Sabha in December but was not passed by the Rajya Sabha and had thus lapsed.
The functioning of the CCPA
The CCPA will be formed to make any interventions or course corrections which would prevent consumer discomfort due to any unfair trade practices. It can also start a class action, which includes enforcing recall, refund, and return of products if the need arises.