The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (old Act) came into force in 1986 to protect the interests of consumers in India for the first time. This Act gave tranquil and quick advantages to consumer complaints and helped safeguard their rights. Consumers could address insufficiency and imperfections in various goods and services and gain compensation for the same. It covered goods and services in public, private, or cooperative sectors and provided a platform for any consumer to file a complaint, which would be redressed by the Consumer Forums. The aim of the Act was to protect the interest of the consumers.
Under the old Act, there were certain disadvantages encountered and the same are enumerated below because of which the said Act had to be amended to give certain advantages to the Consumer :-
The Act was good to address consumer grievances but had the above disadvantages and hence, needed amendments to suit the existing changes in business models.
The 2019 Act was notified on 15th July 2020 and was brought into effect on 20th July 2020 and has established consumer councils, amongst other such mechanisms, to settle consumer's grievances and matters connected therewith. This Act was enacted to resolve a large pendency of consumer complaints in Consumer Forums and Courts across the country. The Act defined the jurisdiction of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (CDRCs). Under the new Act, the National CDRC is empowered to hear complaints worth more than Rs. 10 crores and the State CDRC was given jurisdiction for the value of more than Rs 1 crore but less than Rs 10 crore. This empowered the District CDRC to entertain complaints where the value of goods or service is up to Rs 1 crore.
The features of the new Act were as under:-
As consumers cannot examine the goods in move-away selling, the vendor has an all-encompassing obligation to disclose information about his products and the consumer has the right of withdrawal in many cases, which is a good protection for the consumer. The 2019 Act establishes central regulator viz. the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), to tackle issues related to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and imposes penalties for selling damaged or simulated products. Therefore, it is believed that the new Act gives stringent measures and stiffens existing rules to safeguard the consumer.Copyright 2023 – Helpline Law
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