The process of defending consumers against unethical business activities is
known as consumer protection. It describes the actions taken to safeguard
customers from dishonest and unethical business activities by sellers,
manufacturers, service providers, etc., and to offer remedies in the event that
their legal rights as consumers have been infringed.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 in India is responsible for managing
consumer rights protection. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 was repealed by
the Consumer Protection Act of 2019. Numerous features in the revised Act take
into account the difficulties confronted by contemporary, technologically
dependent customers. The Act also includes a number of clauses that aim to
preserve and advance consumer rights.
The Indian government passed the Consumer Protection Act, of 2019 to address
issues connected to consumer rights violations, unfair business practices
deceptive advertising, and other situations that are detrimental to consumers'
Because of the advancement of technology and the dramatic rise in the purchase
and sale of products and services online over the past several years, the
Parliament intended the Act to contain protections for e-consumers.
List Of Consumer Rights Under Consumer Protection Act, 2019
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 grants consumers six rights.
Consumer rights are outlined in Section 2(9) of the Act and include the
- The right of a customer to be shielded from being marketed dangerous
products and services that endanger life and property.
- The right of a customer to be shielded from unfair business practices by
being informed of the standard, price, quality, quantity, potency, purity,
and other features of commodities, products, or services.
- The right of a customer to choose from a wide range of items and
services at reasonable rates.
- The right to file a complaint at the appropriate venues over unfair and
limiting business practices.
- The right to fair recompense or consideration from the appropriate
consumer forums if the merchant has harmed them.
- The right to receive consumer education.
Objectives Of Consumer Protection Act, 2019
The Act's principal goals are to safeguard consumer interests and create a solid
and reliable process for resolving consumer complaints.
The Act seeks to:
- Prevent the marketing of goods that endanger life and property.
- To protect customers from unfair business practices, educate them about
the product's quality, potency, amount, standard, purity, and price.
- Create consumer protection councils to safeguard the interests and
rights of consumers.
- Whenever feasible, ensure that customers may access a trusted source of
goods at reasonable costs.
- Seek remedy for deceptive business practices or consumer abuse.
- Defend the interests of consumers by designating authorities for the
prompt and adequate handling and resolution of consumer issues.
- Establish the punishments for violations of the Act.
- Listen to complaints and disputes, and make sure that consumer welfare
is given proper attention in suitable forums.
- Educate customers about their rights by offering them consumer
- Offer quick and efficient handling of customer concerns through
alternative dispute resolution processes.
Changes Incorporated In Consumer Protection Act, 2019
With the passage of the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, the following
modifications came into effect:
- Where the value of the commodities, services, or products paid as
consideration to the seller is less than 50 lakh rupees, the District
Commissions shall have the authority to hear complaints.
- State Commissions shall have the authority to hear complaints where the
value of the commodities, services, or products paid as consideration to the
seller exceeds 50 lakh rupees but does not exceed two crore rupees.
- Where the value of the commodities, services, or products paid as
consideration to the seller exceeds two crore rupees, the National
Commission will have the authority to hear complaints.
- The Act further specifies that every consumer dispute complaint must be
resolved as quickly as practicable. If the complaint does not need analysis
or testing of the products and services, it must be resolved within three
months of the day the opposing party receives the notice. If such analysis
or testing is necessary, the complaint must be resolved within five months.
- The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 also enables online complaint
submission by customers. In order for customers to access the appropriate
consumer forums in the event of a disagreement, the Central Government
established the E-Daakhil Portal, which offers them a simple, quick, and
- The Act specifies the parameters for direct selling and e-commerce.
- The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 includes provisions for mediation
and other forms of alternative dispute resolution to allow the parties to
comfortably resolve their issue without the hassle of court proceedings.
- The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 includes three new unfair business
practices along with provisions for product liability and unfair contracts.
The previous Act, in comparison, only listed six categories of unfair
- The Act of 2019 serves as a consultative body for the promotion and
protection of consumer rights.
- Selection committees are not allowed under the Consumer Protection Act
of 2019 since the Central Government is given the authority to designate the
The Indian Parliament therefore passed and put into effect the Consumer
Protection Act, 2019 to include regulations for e-commerce because the digital
era has made it possible for simple payment methods, a wide range of options,
enhanced services, etc. to be made available.
The Central Government shall establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority,
known as the Central Authority under Section 10 of the Consumer Protection
Act, 2019, to promote, protect, and enforce consumer rights as well as to
regulate matters relating to consumer rights violations, unfair trade practices,
and false or misleading advertisements that are harmful to the interests of the
public and consumers. As required by the Act, the Central Government will
appoint the Chief Commissioner and the other Commissioners of the Central
According to Section 15 of the Act, the Central Authority must establish an
"Investigative Wing" in order to carry out an inquiry or investigation. The
Director-General and the necessary number of Additional Director-Generals,
Directors, Joint Directors, and Deputy Directors must make up the investigative
Functions and duties of the Central Authority
In accordance with Section 18 of the Act, the Central Authority's duties
and responsibilities are as follows:
- To safeguard and promote the rights of all consumers and to prevent the
infringement of such rights
- to prohibit unfair business practices
- to ensure that no products or services are promoted in false or
- to ensure that no one participates in false or misleading
- Inquire about or look into instances of consumer rights violations or
unfair trade practices.
- File grievances with the National, State, or District Commission, as
- To examine issues pertaining to the barriers to the exercise of consumer
- To urge adherence to international agreements and the very best
international standards for consumer rights
- Encourage investigation into and knowledge of consumer rights
- Establish the required rules to stop unfair business practices and
safeguard consumer interests.
Furthermore, the Central Authority has the authority to conduct an
investigation after receiving a complaint or instruction from the Central
Government or on its own initiative in situations where consumer rights are
violated or unfair trade practices are practiced. If the Central Authority
believes that there has been a breach of consumer rights or unfair trade
practices, it may:
- Recall products or services that are dangerous and damaging to consumers,
- Reimburse consumer prices for goods and services, and
- Discontinue actions that are prejudiced and harmful to consumers.
Section 21 of the Act empowers the Central Authority to make instructions
regarding false and misleading advertisements up to ten lakh rupees. The Central
Authority must consider variables such as the population impacted by the
offence, the frequency of the offence, and gross income from the sale of such
goods when deciding the punishment for the offence. The Central Authority may
also command searches and seizures for the purposes of this Act, in which case
the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 shall apply.
Historical Background Of Consumer Protection Act
In India, the idea of consumer contemplation and protection is not new. Due
consideration has been given to this issue since the beginning of time, even as
far back as ancient India. It is one of the significant socioeconomic issues
India has inherited.
Consumer consideration has a long history, going back to the Vedic era
(5000BC-2500BC). India's Vedic Period was a great era of cultural development.
The Vedas go into great detail with topics like criminal offenses and civil
rights. In-depth discussions of four general sorts of offenses are found in the
There were four major categories of offenses that were prevalent in
- Adulteration of foodstuff.
- Charging of excess prices
- Fabrication of weight and measures
- Sale of forbidden articles
Leading texts of the era occasionally proposed statutory measures and penalties
for all these offenses.
Some of the well-known texts of the era were:
- Manusmriti (800 BC-600BC)
- Kautilya's arthashastra (400BC-300BC)
- Yajnavalikasmriti (300AD-100BC)
- Naradasmriti (100AD-200AD)
- Brihaspatismriti (200AD-400AD)
- Katyayanasmriti (300AD-600AD)
Why There Was A Need For A New Consumer Protection Act?
- The objective of the Parliament in creating the Act was to include
protections for e-consumers since, as technology has advanced, the buying
and selling of goods and services online has expanded significantly in
- There was also a need for regulatory authority, therefore the Central
Consumer Protection Authority was formed.
- There was also the need to provide the District Commission Forum the
power of hearing cases of value up to one crore to decrease the caseload on
the national consumer Disputes redressal commission (NCDRC)
- There were no provisions for unfair terms and conditions. That is why
under section 49(2) and 59(2) of the new act the power was given to
the state commission and NCDRC to declare any terms of the contract, which
is unfair to any consumer, to be null and void
- There was a need for a provision related to mediation under the consumer
protection act that is why under section 80 a provision was made that
court can refer for settlement through mediation.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 is a modified piece of law that provides
customers with a wide range of advantages and rights to protect them against
unfair commercial practises, false or misleading ads, and other forms of
deception. The Act allows customers to seek alternative dispute resolution
processes including mediation, allowing the parties to select for a quick and
effective resolution of consumer problems.
The Act's provision for e-filing of complaints and e-consumers demonstrates
forward-thinking on the part of the legislature. Furthermore, the Act
established new terminology such as product responsibility, unfair contracts,
and so on, broadening the scope of consumer rights protection and allowing
consumers to submit complaints when their rights are violated under the Act.
Thus, the adoption of these rules solves gaps in the Consumer Protection Act of
1986. The Act's passage was critical, as it expanded the scope of the country's
consumer protection laws.