4. Set­ting up of Me­di­a­tion Cen­tres in Con­sumer Courts

Consumer Voice - - The New Consumer Protection Law -

A new chap­ter has been added to the Bill re­lat­ing to set­ting up the mech­a­nism for un­der­tak­ing me­di­a­tion in con­sumer dis­putes. The phi­los­o­phy is that par­ties to a dis­pute should dis­cuss the dis­pute with an em­pan­elled me­di­a­tor to find a mu­tu­ally ac­cept­able so­lu­tion in­stead of get­ting into a long­drawn lit­i­ga­tion. Me­di­a­tion cen­tres will be set up at the cen­tral, state and dis­trict lev­els as pre­scribed by the re­spec­tive state gov­ern­ments. This will en­able set­tle­ment of dis­putes by a me­di­a­tor ex­cept in cases of grave threats to life and phys­i­cal or men­tal in­juries.

5. Prod­uct Li­a­bil­ity

A new chap­ter has been in­tro­duced to en­force prod­uct li­a­bil­ity against man­u­fac­tur­ers and even make them re­call the prod­uct from the en­tire mar­ket.

In or­der to en­force prod­uct li­a­bil­ity, a claimant must es­tab­lish four kinds of de­fects in the prod­uct, the in­jury caused from it, and that it be­longed to the man­u­fac­turer. The claimant must also es­tab­lish that the man­u­fac­turer had knowl­edge of such a de­fect. It was ar­gued be­fore the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee that the con­di­tions to es­tab­lish a prod­uct li­a­bil­ity claim were un­rea­son­able. The Par­lia­men­tary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee ob­served that this put an un­due bur­den on the con­sumer, since it would not be pos­si­ble to claim li­a­bil­ity if any one of the con­di­tions were not met. It rec­om­mended that the pro­vi­sion be re­drafted such that the con­sumer had to prove any one of the con­di­tions in­stead of all six of them. The Com­mit­tee also noted that it was not clear if de­fi­ciency in ser­vices was cov­ered un­der the Bill. It rec­om­mended that the Bill also spec­ify con­di­tions for es­tab­lish­ing de­fi­ciency in ser­vices.

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