The old Consumer Protection Act have undergone a series of alterations, making it consumer-centric, thus giving more control.
Overriding the archaic Consumer Protection Act, 1986, The Lok Sabha has passed Consumer Protection Bill 2018, this National Consumer Day. The marketers, and traders will now take a backseat when it comes to trade, with consumers grabbing the steering wheel. Giving more privilege to the ultimate buyers, the government has introduced a series of norms, leading to more autonomy, and dominance of a consumer.
Here’s how the bill brings power in your hands:
Safeguarding from misleading trade practices
Establishing an executive agency-the central consumer protection authority, which will intervene to shield consumers wherever deemed necessary. In matters of unfair trade practices, the agency can order recalling or refunding of products. Another clause states “Any manufacturer or service provider who causes a false or misleading advertisement to be made which is prejudicial to the interest of the consumers shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend up to 10 lakh rupees.”
All consumers can now launch a class action suit
With the new law, concept of class action comes into mainframe. With this, the liability of manufacturers, and service providers will be stretched to the entire lot of affected consumers, not restricted to a few.
Damaged product? The seller will be held accountable
Any form of personal harm, damage, defect in marketing, and manufacturing of the product will divert the accountability solely towards the marketer or the producer.
Introduction of consumer mediation cells
A cell dedicated to mediating consumer’s problems, will be attached to consumer commissions at all levels. The bill will not, however, overthrow the prior established structures for resolving consumer disputes, rather it will back them with more authority.
E-commerce transactions are also covered
Also covering online transactions, the new bill will help consumer take legal aid against the seller, if any forgery is recorded. A complaint can be filed electronically or in the consumer court at the place of residence.
The law will be intolerant towards wrongful complaints
A fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 will be lodged in the name of the consumer in case of breach of information or wrongful complaint.
The bill is strengthening both the customer, and the administration to have more control over the marketer trade. Ensuring transparency, reduced cost and time of litigation, the new bill will bring better grievance redressal for the consumers.