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was there for Thirty-Four years before it was repealed and New Consumer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
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
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.