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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.
November 2023