The Consumer Protection Act 1986 was first established to protect consumers from misleading practices and the sale of products. This act was repealed and replaced by the new Consumer Protection Act 2019.
The new act was enacted to reflect modern advertising and digitization practices. It reflects the online selling, direct selling, and teleselling of products and other modern marketing and selling practices.
Definition of a Consumer in the Consumer Protection Act 2019
A consumer is defined in Section 2(7) of the Consumer Protection Act 2019. According to it, anyone who buys goods or services is a consumer. You are not considered a consumer if you buy goods or services for resale or commercial purposes.
This definition extends to online transactions, unlike the Consumer Protection Act 1986. It is done to keep pace with emerging technologies and growing online advertising and selling.
Consumer Protection Act 2019 - Rights of Consumer
Consumers have six rights under the Consumer Protection Act 2019.
- Protection from goods and services that are hazardous to life and property.
- To be protected from unfair practices by being informed about aspects of the product like quality, price, and purity.
- To be assured of competitive prices and access to various goods or services.
- Assurance that consumer interests are heard in appropriate forums.
- Redressal against unfair trade practices and exploitation.
- To be assured of consumer assurances.
Product Liability Clauses in the Consumer Protection Act 2019
Product Liability is a new step in the Consumer Protection Act 2019 to reflect modern world practices. An entire chapter is dedicated to product liability in the new act. This clause protects the consumers against defective pieces.
The act holds the product manufacturer responsible if the product does not follow the specifications or is deemed defective. The service provider and the product seller can also be held responsible under the Product Liability Clause.
A service provider becomes liable if the service is deficient or imperfect. The service provider is held responsible under product liability for lack of prior warnings, negligence, and any harm caused.
A product seller is liable if they have substantial control over the product design, testing, packaging, and labelling. They are also held liable if a modification of the product results in harm to the consumer.
The product seller is liable for lack of maintenance, assembly, and inspection of the products.
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Consumer Dispute Redressal
The two changes that the Consumer Protect Act 2019 provides are territorial jurisdiction and pecuniary jurisdiction. Unlike the old act, the new act allows the consumer to file a complaint from the place of his residence or work.
The new monetary jurisdiction is determined based on the value of the goods instead of the compensation claimed. The District Commissioner can now deal with cases with pecuniary jurisdiction of up to ₹1 crore, the State Commissioner up to ₹10 crores, and the National Commissioner for more than ₹10 crores.
Measurement of Consumer Confidence
The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is a bi-monthly survey conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It defines consumers' confidence or lack of it regarding their financial situation. It indicates economic prosperity or recession conditions. We call the survey conducted by the RBI to determine this index the Consumer Confidence Survey.
FAQs on Consumer Protection Act 2019
Q1: When did the Consumer Protection Act 2019 come into effect?
The Consumer Protection Act 2019 came into effect on July 20th, 2020
Q2: Who is not considered a consumer, according to the Consumer Protection Act 2019?
According to the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Any person who gets goods free or obtains goods for resale, commercial purposes, or under the contract of services is not considered a consumer.
Q3: What commissions constitute the Consumer Disputes Redressal Committees?
Three committees constitute Consumer Disputes Redressal Committees – The District Commission, the State Commission, and the National Commission.
Q4: What is considered a misleading advertisement under the Consumer Protection Act 2019?
Misleading advertising falsely describes a product, gives false guarantees, or hides important information, under the Consumer Protection Act 2019.