February 12, 2021
Webinar on Consumer's Access to Speedy and Quality Justice
The Chief Guest is Hon'ble Mr. Rajesh Kumar Agrawal, Former Judge of Supreme Court of India and President, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)
The Guest of Honour is Dr. S.M. Kanatikar, Hon'ble Member, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)
Justce Agrawal remarked that the most important milestones in the consumer movement was the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, to better protect the interest of the consumers. However, in Consumer Protection Act, 1986 single point access to justice was given, which is also time consuming. The new Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force in India, replacing the previous enactment of 1986.
The new act has been introduced after many amendments to provide protection to buyers not only from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms. He said that this Act will prove a significant tool in protecting consumer rights in the country. As we all know the delay in disposal of cases in Law Courts, for whatever reason it may be, has really defeated the purpose for which the people approach the Courts to their redressal. Justice delayed is justice denied
While summarizing the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Justice Agrawal said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified rules and provisions like Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods. He said that CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints / prosecution. The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others, empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions.
Dr. Kantikar highlighted that the consumer protection has always been a matter of great concern because of prolong litigation in different courts and it discourage the consumers to seeking the legal reports. Therefore the Consumer Protection Act which was passed in India in 1986 providing easy access to the justice and it brought total revolution in India. However, with the gradual advancement of the technology the people at large are getting its cost effective mechanism and the Act got a popular support.
The new Consumer Protection Bill 2019 passed in the Lok Sabha on 30th July 2019 and in the Rajya Sabha on 6th August 2019. We all are aware that the new Bill came into force in 20th July 2020 and it replaces the previous act. Dr. Kantikar also pointed out one of the most important features to this Act that the protection of consumers rights U/s 2 Sub Section 9 which was not in the previous act which includes the right to be protected against the marketing of the goods and products or services which are hazardous to the society, or the life or the property. He also defined the purpose of Central Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) that it is to regulate the matter relating to violation of consumer rights like unfair trade practices or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interest of public at large.
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 comes into force from 20 July, with its salient features including the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.