Consumer rights will receive a major boost as the Consumer Protection Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on August 6th. The Bill will replace the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. With the passage of the Consumer Protection Bill, there is more responsibility on the part of companies and the bill seeks to strengthen the rights of consumers.
In this blog, we will discuss how consumers benefit from the Consumer Protection Bill.
As per the new law, consumers can file a complaint with the District Consumer Commission or State Consumer Commission from their place of residence or work. At present consumers can file a complaint only from where they have bought the product or where the sellers registered office is located. A complaint can also be filed by a recognized consumer body or multiple consumers with the same interests; at the district commission.
Rules for filing of complaints electronically will be framed by the Consumer Affairs Ministry and they will also define norms for payment of fees; digitally.
A consumer has all the right to file a complaint against a product manufacturer or seller for losses due to a defective product. If there is any manufacturing defect or deviation from the manufacturing specifications or the product does not adhere to the express warranty; the manufacturer of the product is held liable. The law applies to all services as well.
As per the new laws, sharing personal information of consumers is considered an unfair trade practice.
As per the new law, each complaint will be heard by the district commission on the basis of an affidavit and documentary proof; placed before it. If an application is made for a hearing or for the examination of parties through a video conference, the district commission would allow this.
Without hearing the complainant; the commission cannot reject the complaint. It is the duty of the commission to decide on admitting or rejecting the complaint; within 21 days. In case, the commission doesn't decide within 21 days, the complaint shall be considered as admitted.
If a Company puts up misleading advertisements, the manufacturer of the product can face a jail term of up to two years with a fine of up to Rs 10 Lakh. This is for a first time offense. For a consequent offence, the jail term would be 5 years along with a fine of Rs 50 Lakhs.
For a misleading advertisement, an endorser of a product will have to bear a fine up to Rs 10 Lakh and a one year ban on future endorsements. This is for a first time offence. For a consequent offence, it’s a fine of up to Rs 50 Lakh and a ban on future endorsements for up to three years.
See Also: How to File a Consumer Complaint Online?
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