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An Overview Of The New Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The consumer protection act aims at providing redressal to the consumers when the goods purchased are defective or the services provided are not up to the mark or have some deficiency. The old laws i.e., Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was there for Thirty-Four years before it was repealed and New Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force on 20th July 2020. Our country is now a global village hence it was so important to change the laws related to consumer protection altogether. The new act has added various dimensions to its jurisdiction.

E-commerce has been incorporated in the new act. The complaints are filed online (E-Filing) and the court hears the same through E-interaction and E-hearings. This leads to public comfort, especially during this pandemic.

Power of review adds to public advantage. Consumers/forums are given the power of civil courts and thus they can impose strict punishment against the defaulters. The scope of unfair trade practices has been broadened. Now, it also includes privacy violations. All the defective goods and services are required to be replaced within 30 days.

The new jurisdiction rule is of immense benefit to the consumer. She/ he can file the case at the place of her/his residence contrary to the earlier rule where it was mandatory to do the same at the place of purchase. For example, if a consumer visited Mumbai and purchased a mobile phone and came back to Delhi i.e., where he resides and later the mobile phone turns out to be defective within the warranty period. The consumer need not travel back to Mumbai to file a complaint in case the mobile company is not redressing his query but instead he can file the complaint in Delhi itself. This leads to a great degree of convenience.

Chapter V of the act speaks about Mediation. Cases can now be solved through mediation. The legal process is shortened and cases can be solved quickly. This is of great advantage to both the parties in dispute.

According to the new Consumer Protection Act, the penalties and punishments have been increased. This ensures that better products and services are provided to the consumers as no organization would want to pay a hefty amount of fines. Also, the relief of judgment on the case filed by one individual is available to all the other individuals associated with that judgment ( Class-action suits), this saves a lot of resources.

Section 69 of the Act deals with the condonation of delay. A consumer can file the case even after the limitation period expires if he has valid reasons and justifications for the same.

The new act has a holistic approach. If an individual frames a false case she/he is penalized in all three forums (Discretionary power). This prevents the registration of fake cases.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) acts as a watchdog. It sees if the consumer is protected against hazardous goods and other services. It also conducts Research & Development for the safety of the consumers.

The new consumer protection act is a much-needed reform in today's era for the protection of genuine consumers against several dangers and exploitations.

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