Consumer Protection Bill 2018
Consumer Protection bill 2018 replaces the existing Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Consumer Protection bill 2018 enforces consumer rights in a way that if the consumer finds a defect in goods and deficiency in services then the bill provides mechanism for redressal of complaints which gets filed.
Highlights of the Consumer Protection bill 2018
# If the consumer finds a defect in goods and deficiency in services then the consumer can file a claim and the bill provides mechanism for redressal of complaints.
# If a consumer suffers an injury from a defect in a good or a deficiency in service, he may file a claim of product liability against the manufacturer, the seller, or the service provider.
# Consumer Protection bill 2018 aims to setup the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions which will work as quasi-judicial bodies to adjudicate disputes.
The Consumer Protection bill 2018 sets up Consumer Courts to hear complaints on matters like:
- defect in goods or deficiency in services;
- unfair or restrictive trade practices;
- excessive pricing;
- knowingly selling goods or providing services that do not meet safety norms; and
- product liability.
Such complaints can be filed electronically and from where the complainant resides or works.
# These Commissions will be set up at District, State and National level, with pecuniary jurisdiction up to Rs one crore, Rs one crore to Rs 10 crore, and above Rs 10 crore, respectively.
# The bill defines contracts as ‘unfair’ if they significantly affect the rights of consumers. It also defines unfair and restrictive trade practices.
# To protect, promote and enforce consumer rights the Consumer protection bill 2018 is aimed to set up the Central Consumer Protection Authority.
# Central Consumer Protection Authority can issue safety notices for goods and services, order refunds, recall goods and rule against misleading advertisements.
# The Bill establishes Consumer Protection Councils at the district, state and national levels to render advise on consumer protection.
# The State and National Councils are headed by Ministers in-charge of Consumer Affairs.
# The Bill empowers the central government to appoint, remove and prescribe conditions of service for members of the District, State and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions.
# Appeals from the District Commissions will be heard by the State Commission, and from the State Commission by the National Commission.
# Appeals from the National Commission will be heard by the Supreme Court. The Commissions will attempt to dispose of a complaint within three months if the complaint does not require analysis or testing of commodities.
# Consumer Protection bill 2018 also provides for mediation cells attached to the District, State and National Commissions.
# The Commissions (whether District, State or National) may refer a matter for mediation if the parties consent to settle their dispute in this manner.