Centre to bring new laws to protect consumer interests: Union Minister
In a move to address consumers’ concerns and protect their interests, the government will soon clear amendment bills of Consumers Protection Act and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act. The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, said that the bills are currently lying with the cabinet. The government has plans to form the Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) which will have investigative and regulatory powers to deal with cases related to consumer rights. “The CPA will have investigative as well as powers to frame rules and will look into the matter of protecting consumer interests, while consumer courts will take care of individual grievances,” said the minister, according to reports. The CPA will also be responsible for checking quality standards of food and other essential items, besides enquiring proper implementation of guidelines over commodities. The minister further said that the key personnel from consumer cells of the individual states have been invited for a meeting to discuss the amendment. The meeting is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on May 29. Post the amendment, consumer courts will have to pass a judgment within 90 days, he added. The monetary cap for states to judge over the cases will also witness a rise after the amendment, the minister said. In the current process, a consumer files his case in a court which has the authority over the place of purchase. But, after the amendment, the law will empower the customer to file a case anywhere in India irrespective of the place of purchase. The minister said that the Centre is likely to implement a procedure in which judicial powers will be vested with consumer courts. This will enable courts to take a final call on cases and then appeal cannot be made to states’ high courts.
May 2, 2015 | 7:12 pm IST.