INTRODUCTION: One of the major laws that safeguard consumers in India is the Consumer Protection Act. The Act was introduced in 1986 and subsequently revised by the Consumer Protection Amendment Act, 2002, in 2002.
The full and exclusive purpose of the Law is explained in the least number of words by the long title of the new Consumer Protection Act of 2019 (2019 Act). Although the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was practically the same title but was about 3 decades old, it was not enough to induce the necessary items which would have resolved modern and technologically reliant customers’ difficulties.
The Consumer Protection Bill was adopted by the parliament in 2019, 06-08-2019, to replace 1986. On 9-08-2019, the President of India emphasized the 2019 Act and it entered on 20-07-2020. The same applies. The 2019 Law was adopted to ensure quick and efficient management and resolution of consumer disputes and related issues.
OBJECTIVES OF THE ACT: The major goal of the Consumer Protection Act is to provide stronger consumer protection and to set up a strong consumer dispute settlement structure. The Consumer Protective Act seeks to:-
1) protect against the marketing of goods dangerous for life and property;
2) inform the consumer protection of quality, amount, power, purity, standard, and price of goods against the unfair commercial practice;
3) ensure access to the authority on goods at competitive prices, wherever possible;
4) hear and guarantee the interest of consumers;
5) seek remedy against dishonest trade or consumer exploitation;
6) consumer education.
DEFINITION OF “CONSUMER”: According to the revised Act, under section 2(7), “customer” is defined as an individual who “buys any goods for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any user of such goods other than the person who buys such goods for consideration paid or promised or partly paid or partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such use is made with the approval of such person, but does not include a person who obtains such goods for resale or for any commercial purpose” or “hires or avails of any service for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment and includes any beneficiary of such service other than the person who hires or avails of the services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person, but does not include a person who avails of such service for any commercial purpose.”
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT?: In section 17, a complaint about violations of consumer rights or unfair commercial practices or false and misleading advertisements which are detrimental to consumer interests as a class may be forwarded to either the district collector or the Regional Office Commissioner or the central authority in writing or in electronic form.
In accordance with Section 21, the Central Authority has the ability to impose instructions and penalties for false or misleading publicity.
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES: The Central Authority may, by order, impose a penalty to manufacturers or endorsers of the fabric or misleading advertising penalty which may be extended to 10 lakh rupees on the manufacturer or endorser in accordance with section 21( 2) and 89 of the Law of 2019. In addition, a separate chapter (Chapter VII) was added for offences and penalties where precise penalties and sanctions for non-compliance, or production of contaminated or spurious items, for sale or storage, where indicated.
CONCLUSION: Given this age of digitization, the 2019 Act is a much-needed amendment for consumers. It gives them explicit rights and conflict resolution processes to address grievances by means of a fast-track method.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge