Comparison between Consumer Protection Act 1986 and Consumer Protection Act, 2019
Consumer Protection Act, 1986 vs Act of 2019.
According to a report, there are nearly 329 million citizens which means almost 70% of Indian citizen mobile internet users will shop online. The new consumer protection act 2019 is thus going to be very helpful if we look at this number and further without the protection of consumer rights no economy of the world will flourish. In the present times, the demands and expectations of the consumer have changed due to increasing awareness and globalization and thus the protection of the rights of consumers is important. The Consumer Protection act 1986 almost a 3-decade old act was replaced by a new Consumer Protection act 2019. The Consumer Protection act 2019 was published in the official gazette on 9 August 2019 after it received the assent of the President of India.
The key difference between the Act of 1986 and 2019 are as follows:
The CPA 1986 was narrower in scope it covers only 6 types of Unfair trade Practices / Deceptive Practices while as CPA 2019 is broader in scope it adds more than 3 new unfair trade practices.
In CPA 1986 there were no provisions for product liability while the new act contains the provisions of Product Liability.
In CPA 1986 there were no provisions for Unfair Contacts while the new act contains provisions for Unfair Contacts.
There were no provisions for E-commerce and direct selling in the old act but CPA 2019 contains specific provisions for E-commerce and direct selling.
In CPA 1986 Lower Pecuniary limits of District Forum up to 20 lakhs; State commission- 20 lakhs to 1 crore; and National Commission above 1 Crore however the New Act 2019 has higher pecuniary limits of District Forum up to 1 crore; State commission 1 Crore to 10 Crores; National Commission- above 10 Crores.
The role of Central Protection Councils in the 1986 act was to promote and protect the rights of Consumers and the role of CPCs in the New act 2019 is to act as advisory bodies for the promotion and protection of Consumer rights.
In CPA 1986 there were no provisions for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The New CPA 2019 contain provisions for mediation/ alternative dispute resolution.
In the old act, no regulator was in existence; in the new act, a regulator by the name of the Central Consumer Protection Authority shall be established.
A person failing to comply with the orders of Commission could face imprisonment between one month and three years or a fine between Rs 2000 to Rs 10000 or both in the CPA 1986 In the CPA 2019, A person failing to comply with the orders of Commission can face imprisonment up to three years or fine not less than Rs 25000 which may extend to Rs one lakh or both.
In CPA 1986 for the selection of members in consumer dispute Redressal Commissions, different Committees were prescribed but in CPA 2019 there is no provision for selection Committees. The Central government has the power to appoint the members.
The Author is pursuing BA.LLB at School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir.