Lok Sabha passes Consumer Protection Bill, 2019

The
Lok Sabha todaypassed the Consumer Protection Bill 2019 after due
consideration and discussion.The Union Minister for Consumer Affairs,
Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan said that the bill
aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing
authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of
consumers’ dispute. Moving the Bill, Minister of State for Consumer
Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve said
the Bill aims to simplify a number of rules. Shri Danve said consumers
do not get quick redressal of their complaints and with the passage of
the Bill, consumers will be able to get speedy justice. He said the
government aims to simplify the entire process of redressal of consumer
grievances.
Under
the Bill, there is provision for central government to set up a Central
Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce
the rights of consumers and will be empowered to investigate, recall,
refund and impose penalties. It will regulate matters related to
violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading
advertisements. There is also a provision for class action law suit for
ensuring that rights of consumers are not infringed upon. The authority
will have power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of
up to 10 lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or
misleading advertisement. 
Salient Features of the Bill
1.         Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA): Executive Agency to provide relief to a class of consumers. The CCPA will be empowered to-
  1. Conduct  investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute Complaints /Prosecution
  2. Order recall of unsafe goods and services
  3. Order discontinuance of Unfair Trade Practices and Misleading  Advertisements
  4. Impose penalties on Manufactures /Endorsers /Publishers of Misleading Advertisements
2.         Simplified Dispute Resolution process
i) Pecuniary Jurisdiction enhanced to-
  • District Commission –Up to Rs1 crore
  • State Commission- Between  Rs1 crore and Rs 10 crore
  • National Commission –Above Rs.10 crore
ii) Deemed admissibility after 21days of filing
iii) Empowerment of Consumer Commission to enforce their orders
iv) Appeals only on question of law after second stage
v) Ease of approaching consumer commission
  • Filing from place of residence
  • E-filing
  • Videoconferencing for hearing 
3.         Mediation
  • An Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism
  • Reference to Mediation by Consumer Forum wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.
  • Mediation cells to be attached to Consumer Forum
  • No appeal against settlement through mediation
4.         Product Liability
A
manufacturer or product service provider or product seller to be
responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective
product or deficiency in services
The Basis for product liability action will be:
  • Manufacturing  defect
  • Design defect
  • Deviation from manufacturing specifications
  • Not conforming to express warranty
  • Failing to contain adequate instruction for correct use
  • Services provided arefaulty, imperfect or deficient
New Bill- Benefit to Consumers
Presently
Consumer only have a single point of access to justice, which is time
consuming. Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the bill
through Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)
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
Ease of approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of Adjudication process
Scope for early disposal of cases through mediation
Provision for rules for new age consumer issues: e-commerce & direct selling