Government introduces Consumer Protection Bill in Lok Sabha
The government has introduced the Consumer Protection Bill,
2018, which has provision for fine and imprisonment for adulteration of
products, and the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority.
The Bill will replace the existing 31-year old Consumer
It envisages life imprisonment for sellers and manufacturers
of adulterated products if those result in the death of any consumer.
If such act - results in the death of a consumer
manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any product
containing an adulterant shall be punished.
It punisment with imprisonment for a term which shall not be
less than seven years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life and with
fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees.
However, for lesser injury, the punishment is lower, ranging
from six months to seven years.
The Bill also confers judicial power to district, state and
national commissions to punish a person or company for non-compliance of order
with power to pronounce imprisonment between one month and three years, as well
as a fine between Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,00,000.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority will be an
executive agency to provide relief to consumers against unfair trade practices
and misleading advertisements.
The authority can penalise some one for non-compliance of
its direction with six months jail or Rs 25 lakh fine, or both.
Any manufacturer or service provider will get two years jail
and Rs 10 lakh fine for false or misleading advertisements and for every
And also, the punishment will increase up to five years
imprisonment and up to Rs 50 lakh fine.
The Bill also provides for simplification of consumer
disputes adjudication process for faster disposal of grievances through filing
of complaints by a consumer from his place of residence, e-filing and video
conferencing for hearing.
The Bill has a provision that allows the Centre to regulate
e-commerce and direct selling.