The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, aims to serve justice to complainants in the form of liquidated damages or replacement goods/services, and punitive damages which may be granted to the consumer if he becomes a victim of a grave offence. This article talks about the offences that a manufacturer could take partake in and the penalties awarded to him which are described in the act.
Section 72(1) talks about the offence of not complying or adhering to the orders made by any of the three commissions – District, State, and the National Commission. If a person is said to have not followed the orders of the commissions as per Section 72(1) of the act the offender will be subjected to either imprisonment for the period of 1 month to 3 years or ordered to pay a fine not less than Rs. 25,000/- up to Rs. 1,00,000/-. The court may order the offender to go through both the imprisonment and pay the fine, depending on the circumstances.
Section 88 on the other hand talks about the non-compliance of orders exercised by the Central Consumer Protection Authority, which has been established under Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act. Failure of adhering to the orders of the Central Authority will result in the punishment of the offender, with imprisonment for a term of a maximum of six months, or with a fine which may extend up to twenty lakhs, or sometimes with both.
Section 89 of the Act talks about the offence of creating false advertisements for products and misleading consumers. Typically, the creation of false advertisements goes against the norm of fair trading practises and is punishable with an imprisonment term which may extend up to two years, and a fine up to Rs. 10,00,000/- Subsequent offences done by the same manufacturer can result in imprisonment up to 5 years and with a fine extending up to 50,00,000/-, depending on the seriousness of the offence.
Section 90 of the Consumer Protection Act speaks about the punishment awarded to manufacturers who manufacture products containing adulterants in them for the purpose of sale, storing, selling, distributing, or importing.
- Section 90(1)(a) – If the consumption of such products does not cause any injury to the consumer, the manufacturer will still be liable for his actions, and the court will punish him with an imprisonment for a term extending up to six months and with fine up to Rs.3,00,000/-
- Section 90(1)(b) – If the consumption of such products causes injury, yet not to a grievous extent, the manufacturer will be punished with imprisonment for a term extending to one year and with a fine up to Rs.3,00,000/-
- Section 90(1)(c) – If the injury causes grievous hurt to the consumer, then the offender will be imprisoned for a maximum term of seven years and with a fine which may extend to Rs. 5,00,000/-
- Section 90(1)(d) – If the injury causes death to the consumer, after the consumption of goods, then the manufacturer will be imprisoned for a term starting from 7 years and extends up to imprisonment for life. He will also be fined up to Rs. 10,00,000/-
Section 91 of the Consumer Protection Act speaks about the punishment given to the offender for manufacturing spurious goods for sale or storing, selling, distributing, or importing.
- Section 91(1)(a) – If the manufacturer sells, stores, distributes, or imports spurious goods, he will be imprisoned up to 1 year and fined up to Rs. 3,00,000/-
- Section 91(1)(b) – If the spurious goods cause injury, which results in grievous hurt to the consumer, then the imprisonment may extend to 7 years and a fine not less than Rs. 5,00,000/- will have to be paid by the offender.
- Section 91(1)(c) – If these spurious goods caused death to the consumer, then the manufacturer will be imprisoned for a term starting from 7 years to imprisonment for life and fined for an amount not less than Rs. 10,00,000/-
Thus these are the nature of offences and the penalties given to manufacturers described in The Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
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