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Consumer protection rules to be ready in 3 months: Ram Vilas Paswan

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 13, 2019 Published on August 13, 2019

Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution

 

The rules for Consumer Protection Act 2019, recently passed by Parliament, would be framed within three months and the States would be consulted during the process, said Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumers Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Tuesday.

“We want the rules to be in place at the earliest,” Paswan told the media rebutting Ministry Officials who said Parliament has given six months to frame the rules. The Minister added that he would make sure that the rules are formed within three months.

With regard to the formation of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) and state and district commissions, Paswan said while the States will have all the rights to decide upon who should be the members of State and district commissions, the qualifications of the members will be decided by the Centre. According to him, a conscious decision has been taken to reduce the number of judicial members on these commissions as more emphasis is given on mediation rather than protracted court processes to settle disputes.

Ministry officials said, CCPA will be on the lines of the US Federation Trade Commission and Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, and will have much more sweeping powers as compared to existing consumer protection councils which are merely advisory bodies.

Apart from ordering search and seizure operations, CCPA can launch suo motu inquiry into consumer violations and form class action cases and pass orders.

The Minister also said manufacturers and service providers making false, misleading claims will be penalised once the new Act comes into force.

While first offence of misleading claims will cost the manufacturer or service provider ₹20 lakh, the subsequent offence will lead to penalty of ₹50 lakh. If the cases land up in court, they may even get imprisonment up to 5 years.

For the first time there is a provision for punishing celebrities who are endorsing misleading claims. If their complicity is proved, they may not only have to shell out ₹10 lakh at first instance and ₹20 lakh subsequently, they may also be barred from endorsing products and services for a stipulated period of up to three years, he said.

Published on August 13, 2019
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