Consumer Protection Act
The existing Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provide for protection of the rights of the consumers. Under the provisions of the said Act, a three tier quasi-judicial mechanism, called Consumer Fora, has been established at the District, State and National levels to provide simple, inexpensive and speedy redressal to consumer disputes.
- Besides, the Department of Consumer Affairs runs a National Consumer Helpline to deal with consumer grievances.
- Also, six zonal consumer helplines at Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Patna, Kolkata and Guwahati have been set up to attend to the consumer grievances in regional languages.
|S.No.||Basis||Consumer Protection Act, 1986||Consumer Protection Act, 2019|
|1||Ambit of law||All goods and services for consideration, while free and personal services are excluded||All goods and services, including telecom and housing construction, and all modes of transactions (online, teleshopping, etc.) for consideration. Free and personal services are excluded|
|2||Unfair trade practices (Defined as deceptive practices to promote the sale, use or supply of a good or service)||Includes six types of such practices, like false representation, misleading advertisements||The new Act adds three types of practices to the list, namely: failure to issue a bill or receipt; refusal to accept a good returned within 30 days; and disclosure of personal information given in confidence, unless required by law or in public interest. Contests/ lotteries may be notified as not falling under the ambit of unfair trade practices.|
|3||Product liability||No Provision||Claim for product liability can be made against manufacturer, service provider, and seller. Compensation can be obtained by proving one of the several specified conditions in the Act.|
|4||Unfair contracts||No Provision||Defined as contracts that cause significant change in consumer rights. Lists six contract terms which may be held as unfair.|
|5||Central Protection Councils (CPCs)||CPCs promote and protect the rights of consumers. They are established at the district, state, and national level.||The new Act makes CPCs advisory bodies for promotion and protection of consumer rights. Establishes CPCs at the District, State and National Level.|
|6||Regulator||No Provision||Establishes the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers as a class. CCPA may: issue safety notices; pass orders to recall goods, prevent unfair practices, and reimburse purchase price paid; and impose penalties for false and misleading advertisements.|
|7||Pecuniary jurisdiction of Commissions||District: Up to Rs 20 lakh; State: Between Rs 20 lakh and up to Rs one crore; National: Above Rs one crore.||District: Up to Rs one crore; State: Between Rs one crore and up to Rs 10 crore; National: above Rs 10 crore.|
|8||Composition of Commissions||District: Headed by current or former District Judge and two members. State: Headed by a current or former High Court Judge and at least two members. National: Headed by a current or former Supreme Court Judge and at least four members.||District: Headed by a president and at least two members. State: Headed by a president and at least four members. National: Headed by a president and at least four members|
|9||Appointment||Selection Committee (comprising a judicial member and other officials) will recommend members on the Commissions.||No provision for Selection Committee. Central Government will appoint through notification.|
|10||Alternate dispute redressal mechanism||No Provision||Mediation cells will be attached to the District, State, and National Commissions|
|11||Penalties||If a person does not comply with orders of the Commissions, he may face imprisonment between one month and three years or fine between Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000, or both.||If a person does not comply with orders of the Commissions, he may face imprisonment up to three years, or a fine not less than Rs 25,000 extendable to Rs one lakh, or both.|
|12||E-commerce||No Provision||Defines direct selling, e-commerce and electronic service provider. The central government may prescribe rules for preventing unfair trade practices in e-commerce and direct selling.|