The Consumer Protection Act 2019 came into force recently. According to the Union Ministry for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions like
- Consumer Protection Councils,
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions,
- Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant or spurious goods.
The act includes
- Establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
- CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints / prosecution, etc.
- Rules for prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act.
- Under the act every e-commerce entity is required to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, etc.
- The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include.
- Empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders
- Enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence,
- Videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.
Q) Consumer protection is a key element of grievance redressal in a market economy. Examine the provisions laid down by the consumer protection act on this front.