In this article, we will discuss the benefits for consumers which are introduced in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and also other relevant topics which are included under this Act. The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is a law which protects the interests of the consumers in a very efficient way. There are many pending cases of consumers around India lying with the consumer courts but now this Act has been introduced to solve many of these problems. This Act has boosted the trials of consumer protection matters. This Act aims to save the rights of the consumers by establishing different authorities for effective administration and solve consumer disputes within a specified time. There are many benefits for consumers which are inserted under this Act to protect the consumers. It is necessary to explain all the important topics and provisions which will benefit the consumers.
Important provisions which will benefit the consumers are as follows:
- Introduction of new terms – This Act has different new terms which are included under Section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The terms are ‘advertisement’, ‘design’, ‘direct selling’, ‘endorsement’, ‘product’, ‘product liability’, ‘product seller’, ‘product manufacturer’, ‘e-commerce’ and so on. These terms will help the consumers and manufacturers in educating and understanding the terms so that when they file a complaint, they don’t have any doubts or difficulties.
- Rights of the consumers – This Act has redefined the rights of the consumers. Those rights are as follows:
- Right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of the goods and services.
- Right to be assured of access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
- Right to be protected against the marketing of goods and services which are harmful or hazardous to life and property.
- Right to seek redressal for deficiency of services.
- Right to seek redressal against unfair and restrictive trade practices.
- Central Consumer Protection Council – The Central government shall by notification establish a Consumer Protection Council from the date which is mentioned in the notification which will be known as Central Council. State Government will do the same. The state government shall by notification establish State Consumer Protection Council and District Consumer Protection Council. The purpose of these Councils is to act as an advisory which will advise on the promotion and protection of consumer rights.
- Central Consumer Protection Authority – This authority will be set up now to protect, promote and enforce the rights of the consumers. Some of the major functions of this Authority are as follows –
- To regulate the matters which violates the rights of the consumers and to deal with unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.
- This authority will have a wing to investigate these above-mentioned matters which are violated and this wing will be headed by the director-general.
- The authority will also be inquiring into these violated matters and launching prosecution at the proper forum.
- Passing of orders to recall goods or withdraw hazardous services.
- Imposition of penalties.
- Issuing notices to the consumers regarding goods and services to protect them and make them aware of the same.
- Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions – This Commission will be set up in every District, State, and at the National level to ensure consumers can file a complaint under this Commission. Some of the matters on which a consumer can file a complaint are as follows:
- Defective goods and services
- Unfair and restrictive trade practices
- Overcharging or deceptive charging
- The offering of goods and services which are harmful or hazardous to life or property and so on.
- Product Liability – Product liability means the liability of the manufacturer of the product or service provider or seller to compensate a consumer if any harm or injury is caused because of the defective goods and deficiency of services. A consumer can claim relief by claiming compensation but he or she has to prove one of the conditions for defect and deficiency.
- E-commerce – This concept has been included in this Act. Now, E-commerce will be governed by all the laws and provisions which apply to direct selling. Now, the online platforms have to disclose the details of the sellers, refund, exchange, terms of contract and warranty to bring transparency in the process so that consumers are also protected from different types of harms or injuries.
- Filing of Complaints of the consumer electronically – Any consumer can file a complaint electronically regarding the disputes such as for defective goods and deficiency services, unfair trade practices and so on.
- Miscellaneous – Central government for preventing unfair trade practices in E-commerce or direct selling can take serious measures to protect the interests of the consumers when necessary.
So, these are the important topics and benefits which are provided under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
From the above discussion, it is evident that under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, different benefits and protective measures have been included for the consumers. All the necessary provisions are discussed above that showcase the comparative advantage of the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 over the older Act. above in the body. There are many new terms that have been inserted under this Act due to advancement in technologies, and dominance of online platforms in selling. So, it is necessary to enforce a new Act in place of the old one Consumer Protection Act to protect the consumers from different disputes.