Consumer Protection Act 2019 – A Comprehensive AnalysisSeptember 14, 2020
The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (“New Act“) heralds the beginning of a new era of consumer rights in India that are in sync with new-age consumer expectations. It carries forward the rich legacy of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (“1986 Act“) that was considered path-breaking at the time of its enactment, but which was unable to meet the challenges of a rapidly growing, sophisticated and inter-dependent market for goods and services.
The 1986 Act was amended from time-to-time to bring it in accordance with changes brought about by economic liberalisation, globalisation of markets and digitalisation of products and services. However, it’s practical implementation was far from fulfilling its desired objective of being a socio-economic legislation which sought to provide for better protection of the interests of consumers. While using the same phrase in its preamble, the New Act, has substantially enhanced the scope of protection afforded to consumers, by bringing within its purview advertising claims, endorsements, and product liability, all of which play a fundamental role in altering the consumer behaviour and retail trends in the 21st century.
The New Act was passed by the government on 9th August 2020 and barring a few sections the New Act was notified on 20th July 2020. The New Act replaces the three-decade-old 1986 Act. The New Act proposes a slew of measures and tightens the existing rules present in the 1986 Act to further enhance consumer welfare. The New Act provides enhanced protection to the consumers taking into consideration the booming e-commerce industry and the modern methods of providing goods and services such as online sales, teleshopping, direct selling and multi-level marketing in addition to the traditional methods.
INSIGHTS INTO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 2019
Over the years, new consumer protection laws were needed owing to the drastic change in the manner market functions. There is rise in international trade, global supply chains and rapid development of e-commerce. Further, India has also witnessed the backlog of pending cases in the consumer courts. The new market set-up has witnessed mis-leading advertisements, and a special check was needed on direct selling and multi-level marketing. The New Act is aims to benefit society at large.
The New Act has brought in some major changes and provides for more protection to the consumers in parimateria to the earlier 1986 Act which can be seen from the comprehensive definitions provided under Section 2 of the New Act and other new sections added therein.
In this part of the article, the major changes made in the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is put forth and explained in detailed.
Under the New Act, a consumer is defined as a person who “buys any goods” and hires or avails of any service” for consideration but does not include a person who obtains goods for resale or goods or service for commercial purpose. The New Act seeks to widen the scope of this definition. Thus, a…