Rajya Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill,2019.The bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.
The bill replaces the Consumer Protection Act,1986.The bill seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers and provides a mechanism for redressal of complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services.
The bill defines a consumer as a person who buys any goods or avails a service for a consideration.It does not include a person who obtains a good for resale or a good or service for commercial purposes.
The bill covers transactions through all modes including offline and online through electronic means, teleshopping, multi-level marketing or direct selling.
The bill provides the central government to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority(CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.
CCPA will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements.The CCPA will have an investigation wing headed by a Director-General which may conduct an inquiry or investigation into such violations.
The bill provides for an Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism. Mediation cells will be attached to Consumer Forum.The bill also ensures ease of approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of Adjudication process.
The bill provides for Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) to be set up at the district,state and national levels.
The bill defines product liability as the liability of a product manufacturer, service provider or seller to compensate a consumer for any harm or injury caused by a defective good or deficient service.