Central govt notifies new rules for enhancing consumer protection

The Centre on Thursday notified rules for Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021.

Topics


government of India | CONSUMER PROTECTION


ANI 


The Centre on Thursday notified rules for Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021.

“In exercise of powers conferred by provisos to sub-section (1) of Section 34, sub-clause (i) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 47 and sub-clause (i) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 58 read with sub-clauses (o), (x) and (zc) of sub-section (2) of section 101 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Central Government has notified the Consumer Protection (Jurisdiction of the District Commission, the State Commission and the National Commission) Rules, 2021,” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said.

According to the notification, district commissions will have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of the goods or services paid does not exceed Rs 50 lakh. Further, the State commissions can look onto complaints in the range of Rs 50 lakh- Rs two crores.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 promulgates a three-tier quasi-judicial mechanism for redressal of consumer disputes namely district commissions, state commissions and national commission. The Act also stipulates the pecuniary jurisdiction of each tier of consumer commission.

As per the existing provisions of the Act, District Commissions have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where value of the goods or services paid as consideration does not exceed Rs one crore. State Commissions have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where value of the goods or services paid as consideration, exceeds Rs 1 crore, but does not exceed Rs 10 crore rupees and National Commission has jurisdiction to entertain complaints where value of goods or services paid as consideration exceeds Rs 10 crores.

After the Act came into force, it was observed that the existing provisions relating to pecuniary jurisdiction of consumer commissions were leading to cases which could earlier be filed in National Commission to be filed in State Commissions and cases which could earlier be filed in State Commissions to be filed in District Commissions.

“This caused a significant increase in the workload of District Commissions, leading to rise in pendency and delay in disposal of cases, defeating the very object of securing speedy redressal to consumers as envisaged under the Act,” the ministry said in its official release.

With regard to revision of pecuniary jurisdiction, Central Government held wide consultation with States/UTs, consumer organizations, law chairs etc. and examined the issues that had created long pendency of cases in detail.

With notification of the aforementioned rules, the new pecuniary jurisdiction, subject to other provisions of the Act, shall include some changes.

Firstly, District Commissions shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where value of the goods or services paid as consideration does not exceed 50 lakh rupees.

Secondly, State Commissions shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where value of the goods or services paid as consideration exceeds 50 lakh rupees but does not exceed two crore rupees.

Thirdly, National Commission shall have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where value of the goods or services paid as consideration exceeds two crore rupees.

It may be mentioned that the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 stipulates that every complaint shall be disposed of as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made to decide the complaint within a period of three months from the date of receipt of notice by opposite party where the complaint does not require analysis or testing of commodities and within 5 months if it requires analysis or testing of commodities.

The Act also provides consumers the option of filing complaint electronically. To facilitate consumers in filing their complaint online, the Central Government has set up the E-Daakhil Portal, which provides a hassle-free, speedy and inexpensive facility to consumers around the country to conveniently approach the relevant consumer forum, dispensing the need to travel and be physically present to file their grievance.

To provide a faster and amicable mode of settling consumer disputes, the Act also includes reference of consumer disputes to Mediation, with the consent of both parties. This will not only save time and money of the parties involved in litigating the dispute, but will also aid in reducing overall pendency of cases, the ministry said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.


We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor