The new Consumer Protection Bill passed in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, 6 August, places responsibility on companies who mislead consumers through advertisements and faulty products.
It also lays out penalties on celebrities endorsing a false or misleading advertisement.
Rs 10 Lakh Fine For False Advertising
If a company provides you wrong information and tries to sell its product by lying, then a fine of Rs 10 lakh can be imposed on it. Any celebrity who endorses such a company’s product will also have to pay the same fine.
The authority can also order imprisonment of up to two years for false advertising.
In case of a repeat offence, the authority can impose a penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh and a jail term of up to five years.
Filing Complaints Now Easier
With the new law, you can file a complaint with the District Consumer Commission or State Consumer Commission anywhere as opposed to the present practice of consumer filing case at place of purchase or where the seller has its registered office.
The customer can also register the complaint from his mobile.
The complainant also doesn’t need a lawyer and can fight the case on his own.
Redressal Mechanisms to Improve
Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) will be set up at the district, state and national levels to address consumer grievances.
At a CDRC, the consumer can file a complaint on defective goods or services; overcharging; unfair trade practices; and sale of goods or services which may be hazardous.
MRP Need to be Prominently Displayed
On the issue of maximum retail price (MRP), Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said MRP should be displayed prominently on products.
This would be apart from the date of expiry, date of manufacturing and complaints redressal mechanism.