New law to protect consumer rights comes into force: Ram Vilas Paswan

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New Delhi, July 20 (ANI): The Consumer Protection Act 2019 came into force from Monday with Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan saying the new law will empower consumers.

It will protect 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 or spurious goods.

He said that the Act includes the establishment of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints or prosecution, order recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers or endorsers or publishers of misleading advertisements.

Paswan said the rules for prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act, according to an official statement.

Every e-commerce entity is required to provide information relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee, delivery and shipment, modes of payment, grievance redressal mechanism, payment methods, the security of payment methods and charge-back options — including country of origin — which are necessary for enabling the consumer to make an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage on its platform.

The minister said an alternate dispute resolution mechanism of mediation has been provided in the new Act to simplify the adjudication process. A complaint will be referred by a consumer commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.

The mediation will be held in the mediation cells to be established under consumer commissions. There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.

As per the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases up to Rs 5 lakh. (ANI)

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