JULY 20 – BIG DAY FOR THE CONSUMERS
~ Yashika Manchanda
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 was prepared, passed by the Parliament and got the assent of the President in 2019 itself but it got enacted yesterday that is July 20. This Act repealed and replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 which was being followed for around 34 years. The new act provides for District, State and National mediums for Consumers’ grievance redressal. It ensures that a complainant can report about the grievances at a District or State Commission from the place where the consumer is residing, not from the place where the service of that product is being provided. It also tells us about objectives and functioning of the Central Consumer Protection Council, State Council and the District Council.
CONSUMERS’ RIGHTS UNDER THE ACT
The Consumer has certain essential rights under this act which mainly include
- the right to be protected against the goods which are harmful to life of the Consumer,
- right to get protected against the unfair trade practices as a consumer has full right to know each and every information about the product,
- right to know about the difference in prices, quality and such more things about the similar products,
- right to Consumer awareness,
- right to seek redressal.
PUNISHMENTS UNDER THE ACT
First of all, any manufacturer or service-provider providing false information through advertisements shall be punished with imprisonment up to 2 years and fine up to 10 Lakh Rupees and if the act gets repeated then the imprisonment up to 5 years and fine up to 50 Lakh Rupees. Similarly, there has been introduced different punishments for the manufacturing, sale and distribution of the products containing an adulterant and the spurious products. Different punishments on the basis of the degree of hurt to the Consumer through the product are provided in the new act.
The Law always has possibility for amendments and replacement on the basis of the circumstances changing from time to time. This Act is a perfect example of this as now the things are very much changed like purchasing the products online is a trend, consumers have more awareness about the products, there is more competition in the markets as there are many alternative options of almost all the products. This new act has somehow made the things easy for a consumer by defining different punishments for different degrees of hurt caused to the consumer and given the right to seek redressal easily. In today’s era of competition, this was the actual need of the hour. The Advertisement part is very much in trend as some celebrities perform in a particular product’s advertisement which influences the consumers a lot and now when the act is enacted, giving false information through the advertisements is punishable. This is the provision which I personally liked very much. The Government has always tried to facilitate the citizens and now the government has provided us with this new act dealing with all the prevailing issues of the consumers. It’s our turn now to know about the provisions, understand them and use them wherever needed. We all must adhere to the new act enacted as it is solemnly for us (the consumers) only.
Source : dailyhunt.in
Pictures : The Economic Times, biznessapps.com