(This is part of a series of articles on this subject)
The Government of India has introduced the Consumer Protection Bill 2015 (CPB2015) in the Parliament and is likely to be passed in the next Parliamentary session. The emerging Consumer Protection Act 2015 (CPA2015) will replace the current Consumer Protection Act 1986.
The salient features of the Bill can be summarised here and later analysed in detail.
- The definition of a “Consumer” includes the consumer of a “Service” and includes online services. One who obtains goods for resale or for commercial purpose is excluded. Consideration is essential for a consumer.
- A Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set up to promote,protect and enforce the rights of the Consumers.
- Product Liability for defects in manufacture,service,marketing etc will be recognized
- Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions at District level will function along with the State and National Level commissions for appeal. Final appeal will rest with Supreme Court.
- Consumer Mediation Cells will be established and attached to the rederessal commissions.
- Penalties will include imprisonment from one month to 3 years and fine from Rs 10000/- to Rs 50000/-
The detailed analysis can be found below and in continuing articles.
CPA2015 shall be applicable for whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir and will apply to all goods and services.
“goods” means goods as defined in sub-section (7) of section 2 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, and includes “food” as defined in clause (j) of sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006;
“service” means service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes but not limited to, the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, telecom, board or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information, but does not include the rendering of any service free of charge or under a contract of personal service;
It may be noted that the exclusions include any service given free of charge or under a contract of personal service.
A Contract of “Personal Service” is A contract in which the skills or talents of a party are material. Employer and Employee Contracts fall into this category.
The CPA2015 will be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.
(To Be continued)