Centre mulls bringing e-commerce under Consumer Protection Act

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 24, 2018

Amendment will be made to bring online consumers under the purview, says PaswanOur Bureau

The Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday maintained that the Centre is considering to amend the existing Consumer Protection Act 1986 to bring e-commerce consumers under its gamut.

Speaking to the media persons here, the Union Minister maintained that so far the new trend or e-commerce had been out of the purview of the act. "There is no dedicated act for e-commerce. Whatever act is there, it is of 1986, we are planning to amend it to bring online consumers under its purview. We will bring e-commerce under the gamut of that act," said Paswan.

The Minister also acknowledged the incidents of cheating and fraud taking place through the e-commerce platform. "There are complaints from various places that money was debited but goods weren't delivered. If the goods were delivered, they were of inferior quality. In some cases, there is no physical presence of the company. So all these matters will be protected under the amended act."

Paswan also hinted at the strict action against misleading advertisements, which used celebrities to make misleading tall claims about the product. "You are claiming something, but selling something different. There is a mismatch between the claims and their actual products. They use big celebrities to make such misleading claims. We are considering further strengthening the law and making provisions for punitive actions against such campaigns," he said.

The Centre is also planning to set up a single authority to take cognizance of the violations of consumer interests and investigate into it. "Most of our consumer courts address the individual cases. We are planning to set up an authority to deal entire consumer class for a particular product. That will also be given the authority to investigate the matter. However, the authority will in no way replace the consumer courts," he said adding that consumers will now not be required to appoint their own lawyers whereas judgment in consumer courts will be delivered within 90 days of filing complaint.

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Published on June 04, 2015
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