By Priyanka Saurabh
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has come into force from July 20, replacing the earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 received the President’s approval in August 2019. According to the new law, those who sell inferior goods, those who give misleading advertisements, will have to breathe in the air of jail. Under the new consumer law, if a consumer dies, then there is a possibility of 10 lakh and 7 years or life imprisonment as compensation. E-commerce companies have also been included in the scope of the new law in the country.
Consumer law will protect against the sale of goods and services that could cause damage to life or property, as well as give the consumer detailed information about the quality, quantity, purity, price, and standard of the goods. Under the new law, there is also a provision to impose a fine of up to 10 lakh on a celebrity for misleading advertisements, while on the law, the central government will set up the Central Consumer Protection Authority, whose officials will keep an eye on those who ignore and confuse the advertisement.
A consumer is defined as a person who buys any goods or receives a service for consideration. It does not include a person who acquires a good or service for a good or commercial purpose for resale. This includes offline, and online, transactions through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing, or direct selling. Many rights of consumers have been clarified in this act. Protecting the marketing of goods and services that are hazardous to life and property.
Knowledge of quality, quantity, purity, standard, and price of goods or services. Central Consumer Protection Authority to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers, in addition to obtaining assurance of providing goods and services at competitive prices, seeking compensation in the event of unfair or restrictive trade, etc. Will set up The Central Consumer Protection Authority can impose a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh on a manufacturer or endorser for false or misleading advertisements. Again, in case of crime, the fine may increase to Rs 50 lakh. The manufacturer may also face imprisonment of up to two years, which may extend to five years each time the offense is committed.
Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions will be set up at the district, state, and national levels. Commission for defects such as trade-in an inappropriate and restrictive manner, faulty goods or services, overcharging or incorrectly charging, offering goods or services for sale that may be risky to life and safety Can file a complaint and improper contracts can only be filed with state and national consumer dispute redress commissions. A hearing will be held in the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions against the order of District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions. A hearing will be held in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against the order of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions. The Supreme Court will have the right of final appeal.
E-commerce portals will have to put in place a strong consumer redressal mechanism under the rules under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. They also have to mention that it is necessary to enable the consumer to make informed decisions in the first stage of purchase on its platform. E-commerce platforms will also have to accept the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redress the grievance under this Act within one month from the date of receipt. A manufacturer or product service provider or product vendor will be held liable for the loss or damage caused by a defective product or lack of services
The introduction of the new Consumer Protection Act in place of 1986 has undoubtedly removed the flaws of the old rules. The time that has changed in the new law as per the demand is that now consumers can file complaints from anywhere. Earlier the consumer could file a complaint only where the seller offers his services. This step has been taken given the increasing procurement from e-commerce in the modern era. Because today’s vendors can offer their services from any location. The biggest thing is that the consumer is also allowed to attend the hearing through video conferencing, which will save both money and time. With the enactment of this Act, where consumers will get opportunities for justice immediately, this new law with enhanced rights and jurisdiction will deal with consumer complaints at the earliest.
(Priyanka Saurabh is independent journalist, columnist, research scholar in political science and poetess. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)