In the ongoing Monsoon session in the Lok Sabha, the Consumer Protection Bill guaranteeing the protection of consumer rights was passed. The bill aims to establish the Central consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to protect and implement consumer rights.
With the Consumer Protection Bill, Now the CCPA will take have to effective action against any complaint filed by a consumer. In fact, a single complaint from a consumer makes it mandatory for the authority to file a class suit against the accused. Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the overall bill was meant to ease the process of consumer grievances and give them an interactive platform to file complaints.
The bill, which was introduced in Lok Sabha once again would replace the previous Consumer Protection Act, 1986 that has proposed setting up of Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and forums across the country i.e. at district, state and national level. The commission will look after adjudication of consumer complaints.
It was introduced last year in January also and was passed by the lower house in December, however, it was not approved in the upper house. Given it was pending in Rajya Sabha for a long time, the bill was eventually got lapsed. With the dissolution of the 2018 bill, the BJP-led government brought the new consumer protection bill during the ongoing monsoon session. However, it still remains to be seen if the Rajya Sabha also passes the bill and not let it hang like the last time which will eventually result in the nullification of the bill.
The new bill aims to replace the previous Consumer Protection Act 1986. Union Minister Paswan said the new bill was tabled with a view to strengthening consumer rights in order to meet present-day challenges. There are 109 clauses in the bill and the aim is to establish a national level regulator or Central Consumer Protection Authority that will look after consumer complaints on an everyday basis. It should be noted that the present consumer protection act does not have a regulator.