New Delhi: A Bill strengthening the rights of consumers and providing a mechanism for the redressal of complaints regarding defects in goods and deficiency in services was approved by Parliament on Tuesday, after the Rajya Sabha passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 by a voice vote and rejected amendments asking for further scrutiny of it.
The Lok Sabha had passed it last week. The government informed Parliament that the legislation provides measures such as examination of the entire batch of a product if one item is found faulty and also takes care of product liabilities as well as action against publishers and celebrities featured in misleading advertisements. The new Bill replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Union food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan said the Bill seeks to establish a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights.
Replying to a debate on the Bill, Mr Paswan said that the suggestions given by members would be included in the rules framed by the ministry under this legislation.
The minister also lamented that in 118 out of 596 districts, the posts of president of consumer commission and as many as 362 members’ posts were lying vacant.
Responding to a point regarding celebrity endor-sements raised by SP’s Jaya Bachchan, the minister said when the Bill was sent to a Standing Committee earlier, it set the jail term as punishment for all. However, later when an assessment was conducted, it was found that around the world there was no such provision for celebrities. Observing that the media and celebrities must only advertise what has been given in writing to them by manufacturers, else they will be held responsible (for misleading consumers).