The new Consumer Protection Bill, 2018("Bill") aiming to replace the present
Consumer Protection Act, 1986("Act") is passed by the Lok Sabha on
20th December, 2018. The major highlights of the Bill are mentioned as follows:-
A. Newly Added Provisions
1.E- Commerce and Electronic Service Provider:
The Bill defines buying or selling over digital or electronic network/platform.
2. Introduction of Central Consumer Protection Authority:
a. A national level regulating authority introduced to handle matters
relating to violation of rights of consumers,unfair trade practices and false
or misleading advertisements which are prejudicial to the interests of public
b. To promote, protect, and enforce the rights of consumers as a class, i.e.
it will take into account all customers who have been affected by a particular
product/service of a company;
c. Powers: (i) issue safety notices; (ii) pass orders to recall goods,
prevent unfair and restrictive trade practices; (iii) reimburse purchase price
paid; and (iv) impose penalties for false and misleading advertisements. It may
also file complaints before the Consumer Disputes Redressal
3. Product Liability:
The Bill allows a person to make a claim of product liability against a
manufacturer, seller, or service provider for any defect in a product or
deficiency in a service. A claim for compensation may be made for any harm
caused, including: (i) property damage; (ii) personal injury, illness, or death;
and (iii) mental agony or emotional harm accompanying these
4. Unfair Contract
A contract is said to be unfair if it causes significant change in the rights of
the consumer, and can be declared null and void by the Forums. It includes the
(i) requiring excessive security deposits;
(ii) imposing a disproportionate penalty for a breach in contract;
(iii) refusing to accept early repayment of debts;
(iv) terminating the contract without reasonable cause;
(v) transferring a contract to a third party to the detriment of
the consumer without his consent; or
(vi) imposing unreasonable charge or obligations which put the
consumer at a disadvantage.
5. Mediation Cells
Mediation cells will be attached to the District, State and National
Commissions. The Commissions may refer a matter for mediation if the parties
consent to settle their dispute in this manner.
B. Change In The Existing Provisions
1.Pecuniary Jurisdiction of Forums:
a. District Forum: Up to Rs one crore.
b. State Commission: Between Rs one crore and up to Rs 10 crore
c. National Commission: Above Rs 10 crore
Non-compliance of orders of the Commissions, he may face imprisonment upto
three years, or a fine not less than Rs 25,000 extendable to Rs 1, 00,000, or
3.All goods and services, including telecom and housing construction, and
all modes of transactions (online, teles hopping, etc.) for consideration.
4. Unfair Trade Practice:
Addition in the definition of Unfair Trade Practice:
(i) failure to issue a bill or receipt;
(ii) refusal to accept a good returned within 30 days; and
(iii) disclosure of personal information given in confidence, unless
required by law or in public interest.
5.Definition of ‘Deficiency’:
The Bill expands the definition of ‘deficiency’ to include:-
(i) any act of negligence or omission or commission by such
person which causes loss or injury to the consumer; and
(ii) deliberate withholding of relevant information by such person
to the customer.
6. Consumer Protection Councils:
The Bill sets up Consumer Protection Councils (CPCs) at the district, state, and
national levels as advisory bodies. The Councils will advise on promotion and
protection of consumer rights.