The New Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Law

Five high­lights

Consumer Voice - - Report -

The Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Bill, 2015, has passed the leg­isla­tive de­lib­er­a­tions test in the Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, which has rec­om­mended im­prove­ments and plugging of gaps to make it more ef­fec­tive. Cur­rently a Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee is de­lib­er­at­ing on the changes pro­posed by the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee and the re­vised bill will have to be ap­proved be­fore it is in­tro­duced in Par­lia­ment dur­ing the win­ter ses­sion. This ar­ti­cle sums up the five ‘high­lights’ that are go­ing to make the law much stronger, ma­ture and so­phis­ti­cated as com­pared to the Bill passed in 1986.

Prof. Sri Ram Khanna, Man­ag­ing Edi­tor, Con­sumerVoice

For the record, the orig­i­nal Act of 1986 has been amended twice. The first time was in 1991 af­ter a Cen­tral Com­mit­tee headed by West Ben­gal Left Front Min­is­ter Niren De sug­gested im­prove­ments. It was once again amended in 1996 to bring mar­ginal im­prove­ments.

The present amend­ment is a leap of faith as com­pared to the in­cre­men­tal changes made in the first two amend­ments. It was in­tro­duced in Par­lia­ment on 10 Au­gust 2015 by Union Min­is­ter Ram Vi­las Paswan af­ter wide-rang­ing con­sul­ta­tions with civil so­ci­ety in­clud­ing vol­un­tary con­sumer or­gan­i­sa­tions (VCOs). The same month it was re­ferred to the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment headed by JC Di­vakar Reddy. Af­ter sig­nif­i­cant de­lib­er­a­tions, the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee heard a num­ber of ex­perts and of­fi­cials and iden­ti­fied the la­cu­nae that needed re­moval as well as made some new sug­ges­tions in its re­port sub­mit­ted to Par­lia­ment on 26 April 2016.

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