consumer protection

The Consumer Protection Act 2019

Table of Content

  • Introduction
  • Need for the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  • Objective of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  • What are consumer rights under Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  • What are unfair trade practices under Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  • Changes incorporated in Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  • Offenses and penalties under Consumer Protection Act, 2019
  • How does the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 benefit consumers?

Introduction

Consumer protection is the process of defending customers from unethical company practices. Also it outlines the steps taken to protect consumers against dishonest and unethical business practices by retailers, producers, service providers, etc. Consequently, to offer remedies in the event that a consumer violets the legal rights.

The administration of consumer rights protection in India is governed by the Consumer Protection Act of 2019. The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 takes place to overcome the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. However numerous features in the revised Act take into account the challenges confronted by today’s technologically dependent consumers. The Act also contains a number of provisions designed to advance and protect consumer rights.

For more related information on the consumer protection act, feel free to ask from Vimpex Limited.

Need for the Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The Indian government approves the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to address problems relating to abuses of consumers’ rights, unfair business practices, deceptive advertising, and other circumstances that are harmful to consumers’ rights. The Parliament wanted the Act to provide protections for e-consumers due to the development of technology and the sharp increase in online purchases and sales over the past few years.

The Consumer Act intends to better protect the rights and interests of consumers by establishing Consumer Protection Councils to settle disputes should they arise and to provide customers with adequate compensation so that the violation of their rights does not take place. Additionally, through alternate dispute resolution processes, it offers speedy and effective management of client problems. The Consumer Act also supports consumer education so that consumers are aware of their rights, duties, and complaint-resolution choices.

Consumer protection

Objective of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The main objectives of the Consumer act are to protect consumer interests and establish a trustworthy, efficient process for addressing consumer complaints. Vimpex Limited mentions the subsequent:

  1. Protect yourself from the advertising of products that endanger life and property.
  2. Give consumers information about the things’ potency, quantity, standard, purity, and price to protect them from unfair commercial practices.
  3. Establish Consumer Protection Councils to protect the rights and interests of consumers.
  4. Whenever possible, ensure that buyers have access to a reliable supplier for cheap goods.
  5. Look into any unethical company practices or customer exploitation and seek out remedies.
  6. You can protect consumers by choosing authorities for the timely and adequate administration and resolution of consumer complaints.
  7. Indicate the penalties for Act violations.
  8. If a problem or dispute arises, pay attention to the customer’s welfare concerns and make sure they are taken into account in the appropriate forums.
  9. Consumer education should be provided so that consumers are aware of their rights.
  10. Provide prompt and effective customer service via alternative conflict resolution processes.

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What are consumer rights under Consumer Protection Act, 2019

According to the 2019 Consumer Protection Act, consumers have six rights. In accordance with Section 2(9) of the Act, consumers have the following rights:

  1. A consumer’s right to protection against the advertising of goods and services that are dangerous and destructive to property and life.
  2. The consumer’s right to be protected against unethical commercial practices by being informed about the quality, cost, strength, purity, and other features of the goods, services, or products.
  3. The consumer’s right to reasonable access to a wide selection of goods and services.
  4. The right to file complaints in the proper channels about unfair and constructive commercial practices.
  5. If the merchant has harmed them, they have the right to reasonable compensation or consideration from the relevant consumer research forums.
  6. The right to consumer education for each individual.

What are unfair trade practices under Consumer Protection Act, 2019

Unfair trade practices, as defined in Section 2(47) of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, include:

  1. Producing counterfeit goods or providing shoddy services.
  2. Not sending cash memos or invoices for the goods or services purchased.
  3. Rejecting the return or withdrawal of the goods or services and declining to reimburse the buyer for their money.
  4. And revealing a client’s personal information

Changes incorporated in Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The following modifications takes place as a result of the 2019 Consumer Protection Act’s passage:

  1. The District Commissions shall have the jurisdiction to hear complaints if the value of the goods, services, or products paid as consideration to the seller does not exceed Rs. 50 lakh.
  2. State commissions should have the ability to hear complaints when the value of the goods, services, or products paid as consideration to the seller exceeds 50 lakh rupees but does not exceed two crore rupees.
  3. The National Commission shall have jurisdiction to hear complaints when the value of the goods, services, or products paid as consideration to the seller exceeds two crore rupees.
  4. According to the Act, every complaint involving a consumer dispute must be resolved as quickly as feasible. If the complaint does not need analysis or testing of the goods and services, it must be resolved within three months of the day the opposing party receives notice. If such analysis or testing is necessary, the complaint must be resolved within five months.

Additionally 

  1. Additionally, the 2019 Consumer Protection Act streamlines the online complaint process for consumers. The Central Government built the E-Dakhil Portal, which provides customers with a straightforward, rapid, and affordable service, so that they can approach the relevant consumer research forums in the event of a dispute.
  2. E-commerce and direct selling are covered by the Act.
  3. The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 establishes provisions for mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution to make it simple for the parties to come to an agreement without resorting to drawn-out court battles.
  4. Along with guidelines for product liability and unfair contracts, the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 also introduces three new unfair commercial practices. Comparatively, the prior Act only included six classifications of unfair trade practices.
  5. The Act of 2019 is the advisory body for the advancement and preservation of consumer research and rights.
  6. The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 prohibits selection committees because the Central Government has the authority to nominate the members.

Vimpex Limited claims that the advent of the digital age makes it possible to make simple payment methods, a wide range of choices, better services, etc. available. The Indian Parliament established and implemented the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 to include laws for e-commerce.

Offenses and penalties under Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The following is a list of the offenses and punishments outlined under this Act.

  1. Under Section 89 of the Act, any manufacturer or service provider that promotes false or deceptive advertisements is subject to a fine of up to ten lakh rupees and a jail term of two years, at most.
  2. Sanctions for creating, offering for sale, and distributing products with adulterants: Hence anyone who sells, produces, or distributes items containing adulterants is subject to criminal punishment, according to Section 90 of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019.

Conditions:

  • The maximum jail sentence will rise to six months, and the maximum fine will rise to one lakh rupees if the contaminated goods do not hurt the consumer.
  • However the maximum penalty is three lakh rupees and the sentence for jail increases to one year if the tainted product causes damage that is not regarded as grave harm.
  • Maximum sentence for imprisonment is seven years, and the maximum fine is five lakh rupees if the adulterant-containing product causes harm that is of considerable magnitude.
  • A seven-year prison sentence that might be extended to life in prison and a fine of at least ten lakh rupees will be levied if the product causes a consumer’s death.
  1. Production, marketing, and distribution of counterfeit goods are punishable by law, as stated in Section 91. Anyone found creating, promoting, or offering for sale counterfeit items will face legal action.

How does the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 benefit consumers?

The Consumer Protection Act is a significant piece of legislation. It was introduced in 2019 since it benefits consumers. Hence the Act broadens the scope of defense for consumer interests and rights.

1. Unfair contracts:

However a contract that requires the customer to deposit an excessive amount of money as security is an “unfair contract” under the Act’s definition of the term in Section 2(46). Therefore, if unfair contracts occur under the Act, customers would be able to report such occurrences and unscrupulous then the businesses will be put in account.

2. Territorial jurisdiction:

Customers can file complaints under the Act regardless of where they live or whether they perform any paid work. This enables them to get their grievances resolved when their rights have been violated.

3. False and misleading advertisements:

The Act defines “false and misleading ads” and prescribes harsh penalties for such conduct or omission.

4. Product liability:

According to this Act’s definition of “product liability,” it is the duty of the manufacturer, supplier, or seller of the product to compensate a consumer for any losses they may have incurred as a result of a defective product they purchased or a mediocre service they received.

5. Mediation and alternative dispute resolution:

The Act allows customers the choice to resolve their issues through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

6. E-filing of complaints: 

The Act also makes it simpler to schedule video conference hearings with the Commission and submit complaints electronically. Hence giving customers a convenient means of airing their grievances.