Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution department of Consumer Affairs on 15th July said that in exercise of powers conferred by sub section (3) of section (1) of the consumer protection act 2019 the central government hereby appoints 20th day of July 2020 as the date which the consumer protection act 2019 will come in force.
Last year Consumer Protection Bill 2019 was passed in Parliament which would replace Consumer Protection act 1986.
The act has some provision which deals with class action, product liability for celebrity endorsements, while addressing the new age development like e-commerce, direct selling and telemarketing in chapter III to protect and enforce the rights of consumers and class.
The new act gives power to consumer to declare unfair terms of contract null and void by state commission and NCDRC
- District forum is renamed as district Commission.
- Opposite party needs to deposit 50% of amount ordered by district Commission before filing appeal before state Commission earlier maximum ceiling was rupees 25000.
- Limitation period for filing of appeal is increased to 45 days from 30 days.
- State Commission shall have minimum 1 President and 4 members.
- With the change in law now the district courts are empowered to deal with the consumer matter of up to Rs 1crore claim. State commission will handle claim between 1crore – 10crore, while NCDRC will handle cases above 10 crore.
- Section 49(2) and 59(2) of the new act gives power to the state commission and NCDRC respectively to declare any terms of contract, which is unfair to any consumer, to be null and void.
- Second appeal to NCDRC has been provided under section 51(3) if there is a substantial question of law involved in the matter.
8.NCDRC can hear appeals against the order of central authority by virtue of Section 58 of the Act.
- Power of review has been conferred to district commission, state commission and NCDRC under Section 40, 50 and 60 of the Act, respectively.
- Mediation is given statutory status by way of introduction of Section 74 in the new Act.
- There is also a provision for class action law suit for ensuring that rights of consumers are not infringed upon. The authority will have power to impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to 10 lakh rupees and imprisonment for up to two years for a false or misleading advertisement.