TAKEAWAY: THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 2019 - INDIA



The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 received the assent of the President of India on 9th August, 2019 and thereby published in the official gazette of India. On 15th July, 2020, the Central Government in the exercise of power conferred by sub-section (3) of section 1 of the Act, 2019, appoints the 20th July, 2020 as the date on which the following provisions of the Act shall come into force:

I. Section 2 [except clause (4), (13), (14), (16), (40)}

II. Section 3 to 9 (both inclusive)

III. Section 28 to 73 (both inclusive) {except sub-clause (iv) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 58}

IV. Section 74 to 81 (both inclusive).

V. Section 82 to 87 (both inclusive);

VI. Section 90 and 91 (except section 88, 89, 92 & 93);

VII. Section 95, 98, 100, 101 (except clauses (f) to (m) and clause (zg), (zh) and (zi) of sub-section 2), section 102, 103, 105, 106, 107. (Except section 94, 96, 97, 99, 104)


The application of the provisions of the new act, 2019 shall extends to the whole India include State of Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, by virtue of this Act, 2019, Parliament of India has repealed the earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986.


Objective

The aim and objectives is to provide effective and speedy justice and uphold the interests and rights of the consumers. The act has provides effective administration and timely settlement of the consumers


Key features of the Act, 2019 are as follows:

1. The e-commerce transactions are covered under the definition of Consumer 2 (7) of the Act, 2019. The definition now includes buys any goods" and "hires or avails any services" includes offline or online transactions through electronic means or by teleshopping or direct selling or multi-level marketing. It is pertinent to note that earlier code, 1986 did not entertain the consumer complaints w.r.t the online transaction.


1. The District forum is renamed as District Commission.

2. The act has widened the scope of “Consumers” and “Unfair trade practice”.

3. The Act has incorporated the provision of ‘Product Liability’ which means the responsibility of a product manufacturer or product seller, of any product or service, to compensate for any harm, injury and deficient Service to the Consumers.


4. It has provides setting up of Central Consumer Protection Authority which shall protects, promotes and enforce the rights of the consumer. The body shall prevent unfair trade practice, and check no misleading advertisement or any false advertisement is made of any goods and services which are detrimental or prejudicial to the interests of public and consumers.

The Authority shall have an investigation wing headed by a Director-General for the purpose of conducting an investigation and inquiry under the provision of the Act as may be directed by the Central Authority.


5. The Act, has elucidates six consumers rights in the following words:

I. To be protected and safeguarded against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property;

II. to have access of variety of goods or services at competitive prices;

III. to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services; and

IV. remedy against unfair or restrictive trade practices.


6. Pecuniary jurisdiction:

I. District Commission shall entertain a complaint when the consideration of goods and services is up-to Rs. 1 (one crore). In the old code, the amount was up-to Rs. 20 lacs.

II. The State Consumer Commissions shall entertain a complaint when the value is more than Rs. 1 crore but less than Rs 10 crore. Earlier, it was up-to Rs.1 crore.

III. The apex body (NCDRC) can exercise its jurisdiction when the amount is exceeds Rs. 10 crore.


7. Territorial jurisdiction: The new Act, has provides that consumer can institute a complaint where he/she ordinarily resides or personally works for gain as against the old code, 1986 which only mentions for instituting of complaint where the opposite party resides or carries on business.


8. Limitation Period: The District Commission, State Commission, and NCDRC shall not admit a complaint unless it is filed within two year starts from the date of the cause of action.


9. The Act has provides the provisions of mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism in order to settle the dispute in a speedy and quick manner.


This Act was long awaited and provides more protection to the consumers and is widely welcomed.


The author of the article is Jai Saini, a young lawyer with strong interest in litigation and believes in a better India through legal reforms and movements.

We, at Prodigy legal, have a passionate legal team with vast experience in various arenas of Indian Law. Our objective is to impart legal advice and preserve the client’s interest in the best possible manner. Please free to contact us at info@prodigylegal.com.

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