India Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force. The Protection act will empower customer, help them to protect their rights through its provisions such as Consumer Protection Council and Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.
The Consumer Act 2019, replaces Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Under the 2019 act, the Central Consumer Protection Authority has been empowered to conduct investigations on violation of customers rights, order recall of unsafe goods, misleading advertisements, impose penalties on endorsers, publishers or manufacturers, etc. The Central Consumer Protection Authority was constituted under Section 10(1) of Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
Advertisement Regulation is one of the major features of Consumer Protection Act, 2019. Several nations such as United Kingdom, Belgium and Ireland have banned celebrity endorsement for unhealthy foods.
Under 2019 Act, the celebrities can be fined up to Rs 10 lakhs for promoting misleading products. Strict Actions shall be taken against advertisers for generating misleading content. However, no action can be taken against the media through which the advertisement is being published.
6 Consumer rights Defined
The Consumer Protection Act defined 6 major consumer rights as follows
- Right to be protected against marketing goods and services that are hazardous to life and property.
- Right to be informed about the quantity, quality, standard, purity and price of goods and services.
- Right to be assured to access variety if goods at competitive prices
- Right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices
- Right to sue the celebrity for misleading endorsements
- Right to claim product liability action under the act on account of harm caused to consumers due to defective products.
Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission
A customers can file a complaint with Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in relation to the following
- Unfair or restrictive trade practices
- Overcharging or Deceptive Charging
- Defective goods or services
- Offering of goods and services for sale that may be hazardous to life and safety.
The salient features of the act are as follows
- Central Consumer Protection Authority
- Consumer Protection Councils
- Simplified Dispute Resolution processes
- Product Liability
- Rules on E-Commerce and direct selling
- Penalty for adulteration of products or spurious goods.
The act makes it mandatory for the E-Commerce entities to acknowledge the receipt of consumer complaints within 48 hours. Also, they have to redress the complaint within 1 month from the date of receipt.