The Cabinet 20 December 2017 approved a new Consumer Protection Bill that seeks to establish an authority to safeguard consumers’ rights along with provisions to deal with misleading ads. In August 2015, the Centre had introduced the Consumer Protection Bill in the Lok Sabha to repeal the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
The new bill seeks to enlarge scope of the existing law and make it more effective and purposeful, they added. It seeks to establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights. It also provides for ban on celebrities for misleading advertisements. It has provisions for post-litigation stage mediation as an alternate dispute resolution mechanism. The bill also provides for product liability action.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently said that consumer protection is the government’s priority. We are in the process of bringing a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here. He had announced that a Consumer Protection Authority would be formed with executive powers for immediate redressal. The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements.