The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) is in the process of collaborating with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to hold a Maha Grahak Lok Adalat, which is likely to be held in December.

This is part of the various measures taken by DoCA to ensure the speedy disposal of cases pending at various consumer commissions. This comes close on the heels of DoCA deciding to refer pending consumer cases to National Lok Adalat, which is scheduled to happen on November 12 across the country.

Sources said that the Maha Grahak Lok Adalat will be dedicated to the disposal of pending consumer cases. DoCA will also look at institutionalising this mechanism at district levels so that various District Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions can dedicate a day every month to identify cases that can be disposed off through early settlements. This is being done so that there is a reduction in the number of pending cases at various consumer commissions.

Digital safety

Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Ministry is also planning to come out with quality standards for the prevention of fake and deceptive reviews on e-commerce platforms to protect consumer interests.

Sources said that a committee is already reviewing an Indian standard identified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for moderation and publication of online reviews. The framework for fake reviews is likely to be finalised in the next 3-4 months.

The Open Network for Digital Commerce, which recently went live with the beta launch in Bengaluru, is expected to democratise the e-commerce ecosystem, especially for small retailers. Sources said that once ONDC stabilises and all the concerned Ministries are in alignment on various aspects, the proposed e-commerce policy is also likely to be finalised.

Last year, DoCA released draft e-commerce rules for public consultation. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade is also in the process of formulating a national e-commerce policy.

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